Earlier this week I went on a ride with the Facilities Committee of the DC BAC.
We started out riding across the 11th Street Bridges and then looked at the preliminary design plans for the new bridge. The design/builders Skanska/Facchina have some ideas about the Active Transportation Lane (ATL).
- For starters instead of having a 14 foot ATL on one side of the "local bridge" and a 6 foot ATL on the other as mentioned in the FEIS, they'd like to build a 16'9" ATL on one side only. You will note that 14+6 does not equal 16.75. This is also down from the "cyclist preferred" alternative that had two 14' ATLs, one on each bridge. Furthermore, the first foot of the 16'9" ATL will be taken up by poles for the streetcar catenary. Then there will be two feet of "shy space" leaving about 13'9" or about 8 feet for a bidirectional bike lane and less than 6 for a pedestrian area. DDOT would like to paint it to separate users which would differ from every other bridge in the area. DDOT wants more space for the ATL. They'd like at least 20 feet, which would get them to 10 foot bike area a 7 foot pedestrian area.
- DDOT would like to see a wall put in between the roadway and the ATL to keep debris from piling up and to create a greater sense of safety (More like the Wilson Bridge than Memorial).
- The new bridges will be closer together than the existing bridges and will have a narrower footprint. They're looking at leaving the existing piers in place and extending catwalks along the southern ones with observation areas on the ends. These would connect to the ATL. On the north side they'd build peregrine nests.
- The ATL will connect to Good Hope Road on the river side of the Anacostia Freeway as it does now. There was originally to be a car lane connection to Good Hope in this same location off the new bridge, but the designers might take that out.
- Continuing east on the new bridge, where it becomes MLK, the ATL will give way to a 6 foot sidewalk to Good Hope Road on the old town side of the Anacostia Freeway. Users will cross one or two signalized intersections (depending on if the road connection mentioned above is kept).
We then rode along Alabama Avenue which will be signed as a bike route soon. The bike route will run the length of Alabama from MLK to Southern and will then follow Southern, 54th and 55th to Eastern. I'm not sure how much bike traffic that route will get, but some bike lanes are possible in places.
We came back on the Marvin Gaye Park Trail. A lot of work has been done since I last rode it in March (when this photo was taken). Some trail and bridges have been completed. Some landscaping and lighting has been installed (though we saw kids throwing rocks at the lights so I wonder how long they'll last). There are still a few places where the trail is closed while work is being done, but it appears close to completion.
Finally I came back on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail on my way home. The boardwalk under East Capitol Street is finished, but the Jersey barrier at the entrance from Independence is still blocking the way.