In it they state that right now they're waiting on the Federal Highway Administration to approve the Environmental Assessment. Now, why the FHWA has to approve the EA for a trail in a National Park is above my paygrade, but there you have it. When they might approve it is unknown - the "near future" they said - but "Construction could begin on the project as early as Fiscal Year 2015."
There is a lot more at DCist for those looking for more history on this issue.
In a Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee meeting Monday, council members showed support for funding the [North Branch Trail project], according to Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At Large).
The project, which would connect larger trail systems in the county and greater metropolitan area, has been designed, and construction is expected to cost $4.29 million.
However, County Executive Isiah Leggett removed the North Branch Trail project from his proposed Capital Improvements Program budget through 2020 because of a lack of funds, said Amy Wilson, a management budget specialist in the county’s Office of Management and Budget.
The capital spending plan is now under consideration by the County Council, and several residents asked the council to fund the North Branch Trail project at a hearing Feb. 5.
But it may be bad news for those who support the Magruder Trail
Council staff and the Planning Board have recommended that the council fund the trails in the spending plan by moving funds from the Magruder Branch Trail to this project. This would delay the Magruder project, a .75 mile trail extension in Damascus, according to Planning Department staff. The Magruder project is in the early design phase.
The Gazette reports (and this has already been reported by cyclemoco)
Funding for the North Branch Hiker-Biker Trail has not been included in the county executive’s latest Capital Improvements Program Budget, although design is already underway.
The paved trail would be about 2.2 miles long, with two segments, in the Rock Creek Regional Park and North Branch Stream Valley Park. It would connect larger trail systems in the county and Washington, D.C.
“Due to affordability, the executive could not recommend that funding be put in,” said Amy Wilson, a management budget specialist. “We’re still coming out of the recession and we do have limited availability of funding, so it was just weighed against other priorities,” she said. Wilson emphasized that this is a new project; it was not previously included in the budget.
But with the design near completion, park staff was disappointed by the omission.
And speaking of trails, DCist reports that work will begin soon on the Wharf in SW DC, which will include a section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail while JDLand reports (skeptically) a June start for the Florida Rock project which also includes a section of that trail, but this one is in SE.
DDOT has finished producing the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the rehabilitation of Broad Branch Road NW, between Linnean Avenue and Beach Drive (and thus the Rock Creek Park Trail). Broad Branch is found to be deficient in its roadway, stormwater management and access for pedestrians and cyclists and DDOT would like to improve it.
Alternative 4, which is the widest and most expensive option, would include a 4' bike lane in the uphill direction on the east side of the street. This would also modify the Broad Branch Road intersection with 27th Street and the bridge over Soapstone Creek to be wider for the bike lane. The provision of a shared-use path on the west side of Broad Branch Road or of a bicycle lane in both travel directions were eliminated because or concerns about cyclists and pedestrians sharing space and because of width considerations.
This represents an improvement over the current state. As the EA notes
Broad Branch Road is currently signed as an on-street bike route, however only the southern portion (south of Brandywine Street) is officially mapped as such. The 2011 DC bike map lists it as having poor biking conditions, with no on-street bike lanes. The northern and southern termini of the project are located near on-street signed bike routes
The southern terminus of the project area is located near a signed bike route on Beach Drive, an on street signed route with fair suitability for bikes.
Broad Branch Road averages 30 pedestrians and 21 cyclists with its current design - which includes neither sidewalks nor bike lanes.
The data reflect an average that could vary significantly based on seasonality, day of the week, and time of day, i.e., counts could be higher during warmer weather, on weekends, and at times others than morning and evening commutes.
In addition to the 4' climbing lane, Alternative 4 would have two 10' wide traffic lanes and a 6' wide sidewalk.
A preferred alternative has not been selected yet, but for cyclists that option is likely Alternative 4. Broad Branch has been under discussion for bicycle improvements since the Bicycle Trail Study was started in the 1970's. In the 1990’s WABA got close to getting improvements, but they were shot down by the ANC’s. So, it's unlikely that advocates will get another bite at this apple any time soon.
DDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will hold a public hearing related to the EA on Nov 5th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Methodist Home of DC, 4901 Connecticut Ave NW. So if this is project you support, you should drop in an say so.
By the way, here's an interesting factoid from the report that is not mentioned often enough
Rock Creek Park was established by Congress in 1890 as an open space for the enjoyment of the
scenery, bicycle and horseback riding, strolls, picnics, and pleasure driving.
Please Comment: Proposed Trail Signage along Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail
M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks is seeking input on proposed trail signage intended to improve wayfinding along the 14-mile hard surface Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail in Montgomery County, Maryland and the adjacent neighborhood trail connectors leading to the main trail. Input will also be used to inform the development of a Trail Signage Design Manual that will be used as a standard for future hard surface trail signage improvement projects in the Montgomery Parks trail system.
Trail users are encouraged to review proposed trail signage available at www.ParkProjects.org and submit comments bySeptember 30, 2013 for consideration in the design and development of trail signage for the Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail. For more information, visit www.ParkProjects.org or call 301-495-2595.
I noticed that the Gateway signs make reference to the Washington, DC "border" which is odd because usually things around here refer to it as the "boundary." [It stick out for me because I was once made fun of for saying that I grew up near the Texas-Louisiana "border." "In most places we call that a stateline and borders are between countries; but in Texas, of course, it's the border" this person said and it's probably accurate.]
The push is on to further limit sidewalk cycling. “We understand that there are concerns with sidewalk bicycling, but we think that sidewalk riding is normally a problem where there is not a space in the roadway that bicyclists perceive as safe,” said Shane Farthing, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Jeanne Mallett is really worked up about sidewalk cycling.
Long Bridge Drive, which will feature bike lanes that might some day connect Arlington to the MVT, might finally be ready for construction.
Centerville Football coach is either wrong, or misquoted "Haddock said the highest rate of concussions in youth sports occurs in girls soccer, and the highest rate of concussions in the United States stems from bike accidents." He's talking about NUMBERS, not rates and not at the high school level. Either way, it's deceptive to try and cast football as less of a concussion risk than cycling. The numbers are higher because far more people participate in those sports. Concussion rates for football are the highest in all high school sports. I'm unaware of any data on concussion rates for cycling, but I'd be stunned if they're higher for cycling than for football. While there are twice as many bike-related concussions per year than in football, there are far fewer people playing football than biking (for starters, almost no women play).
Speaking of failing to consider the denominator. Here's someone arguing that Mixed Martial Arts fighting is safer than cycling because more people die while cycling. He also fails to consider the benefits of cycling - everything looks bad when you only consider the costs [Thousands of people contract sexually transmitted diseases each year? Well, I guess it's cold showers for me from now on.] "Is it all so simple that we can just ignore the hard numbers behind these two activities and two data sets?" he asks. Apparantly, it is. By his logic it's safer to play Russian roulette than bike, because fewer people die doing it. [I don't have an opinion on MMA and whether it should be legal or not, but casting Citibike as dangerous or biking as more dangerous than fighting without using all relevant data is bad form].
The south end of the proposed trail will connect to the existing Lakeside Trail located on the east side of Lake Frank within Rock Creek Regional Park and will continue north to connect with Muncaster Mill Road and cross at the Emory Lane intersection. The trail then will use the Emory Lane Bikeway and cross the Intercounty Connector Bikeway to the ICC bridge over the North Branch of Rock Creek. The proposed trail will go under the ICC bridge and connect to a future hard surface trail, which will be constructed by the developer of the Preserve at Rock Creek and will be dedicated along with parkland to the Department of Parks. The developer-built trail will end at Bowie Mill Local Park.
There was a suggestion to connect the trail to two local, dead-end roads, but residents of those roads didn't want the trail connections. “Connecting the trail is important to the Olney community, as it is a missing piece of a larger network, said association President Barbara Falcigno. “GOCA feels the master plan alignment that keeps the trail within the natural area is preferred over directing users onto roads.”
"The resolution also stated that GOCA feels the trail route should stay off area roads such as these which do not have a shoulder or sidewalk, which could make it unsafe for users."
This is a photo of the Rock Creek Park Trail, approximately 100 yards up stream from the mouth of the RCP tunnelon the Zoo potion of the trail.
Over the past few weeks heavy rains have washed much of creek's bank away. It looks like one big storm could wash some of the trail away. This portion of the trail, managed by the Zoo, already has a pretty sheer drop into the Creek.
I have little faith the Zoo can quickly fix the trail since building a new river bank would take some time and permitting would not be quick. They could potentially route the trail over a portion of the road next to it, but I'm guessing they won't and we are potentially looking at a relatively long closure of the trail through the zoo.
The majority of people (66%) in the DC area approve of "Washington D.C.'s effort to increase the number of bicycle lanes on major roads." Only 26% Disapporve. Oddly support was lower in DC than in Maryland and Virginia. But that may be because bike lanes had much lower support (57% as opposed to 71%) among African-Americans. Still, there wasn't a single group that didn't approve by a wide margin. In addition, local residents think
Post article on reduced congestion barely mentions biking "Although 75 percent of area commuters get there by car, the survey revealed that commuters are open to alternatives. By about 2 to 1, there was a preference for options other than roads. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they approve of the District’s expansion of the bike lane network."
In April, "street markings and signs on the 9th Street S. and 12th Street S. side of the bike boulevards" that parallel Columbia Pike were to be placed in "late Spring." Now they're saying "in the next 6 weeks."
the Montgomery County Planning Board approved construction of the North Branch Hiker Biker Trail. It will go from Lake Frank in Rock Creek Regional Park to Bowie Mill Park on Bowie Mill Road, connecting to the ICC Trail along the way. Future extensions will take the trail into Olney. A developer of a residential subdivision is building part of the trail on that land. It will be placed on the 2015-2020 capital improvement plan, meaning that it should be built by 2020. See map below.
"The only thing standing between where we are and the kind of infrastructure in Arlington and DC is the will to act....But in many ways, the true highlight of the trip was our meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)"
Good article on CitiBike. I like this "could one use my iPhone’s speaker to tell me which bike stations have empty docks as I approach my destination?"
"There's no direct translation for randonnée (pronounced ran-don-NAY) — it can mean a long outing or trip, or a ramble in the countryside. For its practitioners, called randonneurs, it's easier to define the event by what it isn't: a race. There are time limits, which means riders can't go too slowly — but they also can't go too quickly."