I know that a lot of people are down on the racetrack ovals on both ends of the proposed new Frederick Douglass Bridge, and they make a good point, but from a biking standpoint, the new Douglass Bridge as presented last night by DDOT has the potential to be the best bridge in DC.
On the bridge itself, cyclists will have their own space (as seen in the photo at right). They won't share a MUP with pedestrians or the road with drivers, they'll have a 10 foot wide two-way cycletrack - separate from the sidewalk and protected from auto traffic by some sort of barrier. And there will be one on each side of the bridge. Cyclists will get 20 feet of space on this bridge all to themselves, and that's kind of amazing. Pedestrians will get two 8 foot wide sidewalks and occasional overlooks (Belvederes we were told).
Once off the bridge, cyclists will find pretty direct connections to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trails (ART) on both sides of the river and in both directions. On the east side, they'll also get a direct connection to the forthcoming South Capital Street Trail.
On the SW side (top of picture belwo) cyclists will ride off the cycletrack and onto the large mixing area and then along the sidepath past the line of trees where they could U-turn down the ramp to the ART. Pedestrians would make a quicker turn to go down stairs to the ART. Or cyclists could continue along the sidepath along South Capital. The presentation had a better angle of this in one of their renderings, but it's not available yet. [Update: It's here on slide 25. Also there is a mention of a "Bikeway connection to Suitland Parkwaybike path" which I failed to include.]
On the NW side cyclists could also connect to the trail or follow the sidepath, but this rendering is probably unclear since the Florida Rock development will go in.
On the east side, pedestrians would again connect to the ART via stairs immediately along side of the bridge, but cyclists on the NE (left of image below) would ride along the oval and then head north along the Anacostia Drive Connector to connect to the trail near Poplar Point. On the SE side, cyclist would follow the oval a short distance before turning left to connect to the ART. Or they could go straight to the South Capital Street Trail or further up and to the right to follow the Suitland Parkway
Below is a map of the bike network on the west side of the river. The blue lines show 18 foot wide facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and orange is 12 foot wide. Purple lines are bike lanes (so bike lanes on Potomac Ave SW and R SW).
There are more renderings here.
There was no mention of or drawing showing a bike trail along the old Shepherd Branch rail line, not that I really expected to see that, though I did notice they were planning to buy the ROW under I-295, but that is likely for the streetcar.
There's not much - from a biking standpoint at least - to criticize here. Some might wish there were more bike lanes for cyclists who don't want to ride on sidewalks - even really, really nice ones; but cyclists will be allowed to ride in the road if they choose.
It's a pretty nice setup though. The whole thing is estimated to cost $622 million (so less than the baseball stadium) using local and federal money. Work could begin in late 2014 and wrap up in 2018.
One last image is of the transportation work in the area. The red lines are the existing or planned ART. The South Capital Street Brdige and the area west of it constitutes one of the last major parts remaining. There is of course the Kenilworth Section (see renderings here!!! Bids for that work are due next week), the Virginia Avenue Trail and the trail along 2nd St SE to connect to it, but that is kind of it and they're done.