The Far Southeast III Livability study presented some results of the ongoing study and some concepts for making the area more livable last week, and they include some long needed bike facilities in the area.
The study identified issues for cyclists trying to get to/from the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, getting across the Anacostia and crossing East Capital Street. The general solution to these issues were to complete the bike network, consider alternative designs and to create new connections. In specific, the proposed bicycle improvements (seen on the map below) include protected bike lanes on portions of East Capitol Street, Ridge Road and Burns Street; sharrows on Texas Avenue and Ely place, and a new connection between the Greenway neighborhood and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. These do not completely address all the issues identified.
The most important part of this may be the connection to the Anacostia Trail, which addresses two of the issues - getting to the trail and crossing the river.
It would connect to the existing trail at the southern base of the bridge over the railroad tracks. It would then use the existing road to the point where it crosses the tracks at grade, but instead of crossing the tracks it would continue on a new trail on the south side of the tracks, under DC-295 and connecting to Greenway at either E Street or D Street (why not both?). In so doing it would also cross the unused Shepherd Industrial Spur railroad that may become a trail of its own in the future.
This is a pretty common sense connection and one that is well overdue.
A less fleshed-out idea is to put eastern East Capitol Street onto a road diet and use some of the newfound space to create protected bike lanes.
The area would still be short on bike facilities, and no doubt some will find fault with the E-W route being a signed and sharrowed on-street route, but nonetheless there are real improvements here. You can send comments here.