NPS, the FHWA, the Kennedy Center and DDOT are considering modifications to the Kennedy Center's River Terrace to create direct access to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Trail along the river.
The purpose of the project is to improve access between the Kennedy Center River Terrace to the Potomac Riverfront. The action is needed because physical barriers and safety concerns currently discourage pedestrian traffic between these two resources.
There are two alternatives in addition to the no-build alternative.
Alternative B includes a pair of curved staircases with integrated elevators that would provide pedestrian access from the Kennedy Center River Terrace to the Potomac riverfront. At the bottom of the stair and elevator structures a landscaped plaza of approximately 13,100 square feet would be constructed of asphalt, concrete, or pavers and would tie into the RCPP Trail. The plaza would provide unimpeded accessibility to the RCPP Trail and the Potomac riverfront. Alternative B would eliminate a small portion of the strip of green parkland that currently provides a buffer between the RCPP Trail and the roadway and forms a continuous stretch of greenway along the Potomac River.
Alternative C proposes the construction of a single formal staircase descending toward the Potomac riverfront perpendicularly from the Kennedy Center River Terrace. The staircase would span approximately 180 feet, the width of the Kennedy Center River Terrace between the Hall of States and the Hall of Nations. The proposed staircase would have an 85-foot run, and the plaza at the base of the staircase would be a maximum of 9,800 square feet. To accommodate the staircase and plaza, the existing sea wall would need to be relocated approximately 34 feet out into the Potomac River. Depending on the final design of Alternative C, the RCPP Trail would be routed behind the staircase along the RCPP or in front of the staircase along the Potomac River. Alternative C would include the construction of an elevator located at the junction of the north end of the River Terrace and the North Plaza.
I would prefer the trail go in front of the stairs, but perhaps it could do both so that people can choose which they prefer.
And the staircase(s) should have channels to allow cyclists to roll their bikes up. The last meeting on this was over a year ago, so I have no idea what the timeline looks like.