DC's office of planning recently released the draft Adams Morgan Vision Framework, and as can be expected for a heavy bike use study area, bounded by the Rock Creek Park Trail, biking is a strong part of that vision. The framework is meant to be a " lighter, briefer, strategic planning effort" than a small area plan which would result in "a high level vision for the neighborhood and identify key implementation items to direct public investment and private actions." As such it is short on specifics.
Nonetheless, the framework has 17 goals and #16 to "improve bike and pedestrian access and safety and establish a more connected bicycle lane network." That goal is broken into two sub-goals
16A Examine the study area to identify locations to potentially locate or improve cycle-tracks, bike lanes, and access to Rock Creek Park. Work with the DC Bicycle Advisory Council (DC BAC), Washington Area Bicycle Association, and DDOT to implement recommendations from the DC BAC Facilities Committee to improve neighborhood bicycle infrastructure (e.g., access to Rock Creek Park).
16B Work with DDOT to identify pedestrian and bicycle enhancements and improve connectivity throughout the neighborhood. The community identified the need to improve bicycle and/or pedestrian safety concerns at key intersections (e.g., intersection of 18th Street and Columbia Road, NW, 19th Street and Columbia Road, NW, and Connecticut Avenue and Kalorama Road, NW.) Coordinate solutions that bring together placemaking, public space activation, and safety for all users at these critical intersections.
In addition to that is goal 12A, which has a more targeted aspect
Establish a clear, direct pedestrian and bicycle connection between the neighborhood and the Zoo. Work with the National Zoo leadership to explore the possibility of controlled, limited access through the existing gate adjacent to Walter Pierce Park.
The Zoo's policy of closing its roads, and the Rock Creek Park Trail through its property, after closing in the early evening makes it into a real barrier to walking and biking in the area. The Rock Creek Park Trail EA discusses the reason why the gates can't be opened.
Based on a June 2011 meeting between the project team and the National Zoo senior management, the gate and its scheduled closure is required in order for the National Zoo to maintain its accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums(AZA). This accreditation is a program that sets standards to assure a high level of animal care. The AZA standards specify a requirement for a perimeter fence. The fence must be constructed so that it protects the animals in the facility by restricting animals outside the facility and unauthorized persons from going through it or under it and having contact with the animals in the facility, and so that it can function as a secondary containment system for the animals in the facility (AZA 2013).
Which means that the access sought by the AMVF might be hard to acquire. I'm not sure where the perimeter fence is, but it looks like it runs along the northern edge of Walter Pierce Park. Perhaps a trail along that fence could connect to the trail on the south side of the zoo.
On the north side, the best chance might be to connect the under-construction Klingle Valley Trail with Connecticut along the old road ROW that used to exist behind the Kennedy-Warren apartments (assuming that is outside the perimeter fence) as seen on this map from 1937.
Speaking of Klingle Valley, DDOT had a meeting last week on the stream restoration part of the project. They presented project schedule updates and information regarding the upcoming stream restoration work on Klingle Creek and provided an update on the Klingle Watershed Green Streets project, which starts design this winter. The Green Streets project will install bioretention features and permeable pavement in the streets and alleys uphill of Klingle Run to reduce stormwater runoff into the stream.
Update: WTOP covered the meeting last week. Pipeline relocation work continues for now, and stream restoration has just started. Trail construction will begin in the spring - the same time Rock Creek Park Trail work begins (see below).
Construction of the trail alongside the stream is scheduled to begin in March. Crews will work from west to east, beginning near the Woodley Park Towers near Connecticut Avenue. The trail’s surface will be water permeable to further reduce the effects of runoff.
“There will be lighting throughout,” Pelletier said. “There will be benches at each of the trailheads. It will be multi-use so it will be a bicycle and pedestrian trail and it will connect to the Rock Creek multi-use trail down by Porter Street.”
At Thursday’s meeting, some residents expressed concerns over the proposed lighting, which will remain illuminated all night long. Wildlife, they worry, will be disturbed by the brightness. The park sits on the fringes of Rock Creek Park. Others voiced concerns over crime and which jurisdiction will be responsible for patrolling the new path.
I love the Klingle Valley Trail construction website. I wish all DDOT projects had one.
And, not to leave the most important part for last, but tonight NPS is hosting a meeting on their plan to reconstruct Beach Drive and the multi-use trail through Rock Creek Park starting in the Spring.
Beginning next spring, the National Park Service and Federal Highway Administration will begin a multi-year project to reconstruct Beach Drive and the multi-use trail through Rock Creek Park. The National Park Service, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1), Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (Ward 3) and Councilmember Brandon T. Todd (Ward 4), invite the public to learn more at a meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, 5200 Glover Rd NW, Washington, D.C."Rock Creek Park is a retreat within the city, and thousands of people travel through it on their way to work, school or play every day," Tara Morrison, superintendent of Rock Creek Park said. "Undertaking a project of this magnitude comes with enormous benefits, but it will inevitably cause inconvenience. The National Park Service wants to minimize the hassle by providing as much information and planning time to people as possible."Other public meetings will be held closer to the start of construction. The meeting will cover the project timeline, detours and the work to the road and trail.