DC's Vision Zero grants awarded, but I'm not sure how or why

DC announced three new Vision Zero grants this week. 

Ward 7 Business Partnership - $87,000

Residents and businesses in the Deanwood neighborhood will launch “Walkable Ward 7,” a year-long safety program and campaign that will use tactical urbanism and smart cities technology to implement demonstration projects. The project will leverage significant community engagement and existing data to identify problematic locations, and generate new data using sensors and computer vision to measure and evaluate the effect of interventions. The project will explore improving signage, pedestrian crossings, pick-up drop-off zones, and neighborhood festivals with tactical urbanism techniques.

Gearin’ Up Bicycles - $108,000

Gearin’ Up Bicycles is a non-profit full-service bicycle shop, located in Ward 5, that focuses on career development for youth from underserved communities. Gearin’ Up’s Vision Zero grant will support “Bike Force,” a series of mobile bicycle pop-up shops staffed by youth mechanics that provide free bicycle maintenance, repairs, and education. Gearin’ Up will serve more than 1,200 District residents at 50 pop-up events, with special emphasis on locations East of the Anacostia River, where no bicycle shops exist. Gearin’ Up will continue to align its programming with District of Columbia Public Libraries (DCPL), District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) events.

Safe Routes to School National Partnership - $117,000

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership will create “Safe Routes for Youth,” a program for teens in Wards 7 and 8 to support a youth-led Vision Zero agenda, develop youth leadership, and to implement activities that promote a culture of injury-free, healthy active transportation. The Vision Zero grant will support the goal of reducing collisions and fatalities over the medium to long-term by positioning youth in Wards 7 and 8 as community leaders who can engage their peers and District agencies on transportation safety and establish a youth-centered, culturally responsive transportation agenda. The program will prioritize approaches and design strategies that increase transportation safety for youth and conduct youth-led traffic safety education for young people. It will also seek to build understanding around safety issues affecting youth in Wards 7 and 8, including traffic injuries, street harassment, and street violence.

It's hard to be against them, and I'm a big fan of Gearin' Up, but some of them have a tenuous connection to Vision Zero. I guess the point is to innovate and see what works, so maybe I should judge these two harshly, but I'm skeptical these will do much for safety. They seem like good programs I would support anyway, so I'm not too bothered by it. 

When I look at the ideas here, some are better than others. Improved pedestrian crossings, youth-led traffic safety education for young people and pretty easy to connect to vision zero. Pop-up bike shops, neighborhood festivals and building leaders (all of which I love, I'll note) are a little harder.

I'm not sure how these were chosen or by whom either. I hope it's not slush-fundy. 

Maybe, I'm just grumpy. Bah humbug.

CWL 2018 #12 Clarksville, MD to Manassas, VA

The first utility corridor on the list is a long one. Like really long. Like the name of this post doesn't actually do it credit. It's a gas corridor (or perhaps two) that goes south all the way to Moorseville, NC and north to Jacksonville, MD on the north side of Balimore. But for the sake of everyone's sanity I decided to limit things to the close in counties, which in this case means Montgomery and  Fairfax Counties. In both cases I push the corridor a little farther so that it can connect to worthwhile things, like the future i-66/Custis trail.  This corridor is the only one on the list  to cross the Potomac and be in two states (though plenty of other corridors do, they just didn't make the list). This section is 40 miles long, though the map shows the 35 miles north of it too. [On all the maps, Green is the line the post is about, Blue are trails already built on corridors and Red are other corridors without trails]


There are eight sections of the corridor that already have trails on them, three in the Rockville-Olney area and five in Fairfax County. One, the Gude Trail, even has a name.


Filling in the two gaps between the pieces in the Rockville Olney area would create a 7 mile trail from E. Gude Road in Rockville to Manor Oaks Park in Brookeville. The new Montgomery County Bicycle Master Plan includes part of this as "Utility Corridor #4", which would extend the existing middle trail in Olney to the ICC Trail at Muncaster Mill Road. This would create a de facto connection to the Rock Creek Trail and the Gude Trail, using the ICC Trail and the trails around Lake Needwood. A better connection from the ICC to Rock Creek would be great, but obviously it would make sense to go around Lake Needwood. There is a golf course in the way of this trail, but it's on the section that MoCo plans for the trail already so they must think it is manageable.  And of course, this section meets up with another utility corridor in Olney that goes a few miles north and south. The MoCo bike plan calls this "Utility Corridor #3" and plans a 1.5 mile long trail on it centered on the intersection with this corridor.


South of Rockville

On the south side, the corridor first goes to the Potomac. It passes through Rockville, just past Montgomery College, on land that now has parking lots and subdivisions. It would be hard to build a trail on any of it, and then it would need to cross I-270. The one exception is on the west side of Montgomery Avenue, the corridor opens up there until it reaches the Millennium Trail. Then it runs into the Lakewood Country Club golf course. South of that, the corridor is fenced in to a lot of yards.

I'm not saying they own that land or the rights to it, but there would be a lot of people fighting a plan to put a trail literally in what they see as their back yard. At around Piney Meeting Road it opens up some more, but is still fenced in all the way to River Road. It would be a diplomatic challenge to put a trail on much of this, which is why it likely isn't in the plan. 

At River Road, the corridor meets up with the Potomac Water Filtration Plant and the Potomac River. I get that a bridge across the Potomac here would be tough, but not as tough as other places, and the location actually makes sense. It's about 1/3 of the way from Chain Bridge and White's Ferry, an area where there are no bike/ped crossings, so it would fill a big gap. It would be cheaper to build a crossing here than at the American Legion Bridge - though both would make sense. It would create a connection to an island in the Potomac that can now only be reached by boat (something NPS might see as a feature). It would connect the C&O Canal Trail with the Potomac Heritage Trail. And since the area is already clear of trees to make room for the pipeline, it would have less environmental impact than one located elsewhere. It might be the best place to build a new Potomac Crossing to Fairfax.


A bridge could connect on the VA side with local streets, but the corridor quickly becomes back yards and parking lot space again.

That changes around Georgetown Pike. From there it might be possible to build a trail all the way to Wiehle Avenue, and if Hidden Creek Country Club is redeveloped, to the W&OD Trail. That would require crossing Leesburg Pike and Baron Cameron Avenue, but there's already a small neighborhood trail on part of it near the Uplands Pool.


South of the W&OD Trail, the corridor runs into the Dulles Toll Road corridor, Reston National Golf Course and some more development that would make a trail difficult; but south of South Lakes Drive, a trail would be possible to add a trail all the way to I-66. 

This section already has some trails in it. In other places it might make sense to use existing paths in a similar corridor - like the bike lanes on Colt's Neck Road - but most of the way it could just be built in the corridor. Most noteworthy among the existing trails is the 1 mile one from West Ox to Percheron Lane and the 1.9 mile trail in the Cub Run Park area. Building along this corridor - and connecting across the Dulles Toll Road by building a real bike facility in the Reston Parkway corridor would create a trail system from the new I-66 Trail to Georgetown Pike, connecting to the W&OD Trail and Cub Run Trails. 

None of this is in the Fairfax County Bike Plan.

North of Olney

North of Olney, the corridor starts to run into the back yard problem, but it might at least be possible to connect the existing piece to the Rachel Carson Natural Surface Trail. 

Then around Clarksville it opens up again for a few miles south of the Tridelphia Reservoir, though that section would need a bridge over the Patuxent River. But north of that, the pipeline goes under a lot of farmland - and crosses into Howard County.


The corridor is long, and it connects to the Custis/I-66, W&OD, C&O Canal, Millennium and Rock Creek Trails; giving it enormous potential. But the nature of gas lines is that they allow more development on the ground - mostly lawns, parking and golf courses - and so there is more conflict. In addition, crossing the Potomac is no small task - it's both costly and requires building on NPS land next to a secure facility.

At least Montgomery County has chosen to take advantage of the lowest hanging fruit. 

Christmas Wish List 2018 - Utility Corridors


Cherry Creek Trail passes under power lines in Denver, Colorado

After a long hiatus, the Christmas Wish List is back. 

This year it's going to highlight the potential that utility corridors - those that allow for gas or electricity lines - have for multi-use trails.  Montgomery County has been a leader lately in recognizing this, but there are opportunities in Prince George's and Fairfax too (the inner jurisdictions, less so). Montgomery County required PEPCO  to tolerate trails on their corridors in order to allow for the merger with Exelon, and in their recent Master Bicycle Plan they included several trails on utility corridors.

Utility corridors can be used for trails, but they aren't as natural a fit as railroad right-of-ways for trails for several reasons. For one thing, there aren't any in DC proper because power lines aren't allowed in the L'Enfant city. Another problem is that the land is often used by something else -  farms, parking lots or golf courses - beneath or above. That's great for land use, but it makes adding a bike path through a corridor difficult. Finally, the nature of power lines is that they, unlike trains and bikes, can easily traverse rough terrain or bodies of water so there is no pre-existing earthworks like cuts and bridges to reuse. Some of the corridors stretch across 50 miles or more and adding a trail would cost many millions, take decades and require extensive negotiation with dozens of landowners.

Still, utility corridors can help to expand the trail network. They can help create a "breezeway" network that connects towns like the one Montgomery County is planning if they're capitalized on correctly.  After all, one of the regions most popular trails - the W&OD Trail - was a utility corridor at the time the trail was built. Sure, it's best known as a railroad corridor - having hosted one for more than 50 years - but it then became a power line corridor before VEPCO sold the land to NVRPA to build the trail.

It's doubtful any of the corridors I'll mention over the coming days will ever be as popular as the W&OD or that any will become a bike trail in their entirety. Most aren't even vaporware at this point.  But they represent a great opportunity for intercity biking and could be a boon to the communities they pass through. 

Twinbrook Connector Trail - Someday

image from fishers.lukefisher.com

Montogomery County required the developer JBG to build a section of trail from the NIH/NAID development they built, but now the County doesn't have the money to finish it, so it just sort of dead-ends on the other side of Rock Creek. The trail is the Twinbrook Connector Trail and it is intended to connect the Twinbrook Metro Station to the Rock Creek Trail (RCT) next to Veirs Mill Road.

The developer portion of the trail, about 3000 feet of trail and a bridge across Rock Creek, was completed in 2017 but it ends on the far side of the creek about 1200 feet from the RCT.  Early this year, the County built a muddy natural surface trail from the bridge to the RCT, which allowed it to "open" but not in the form originally planned. Nor is it even in the same place. It was originally to run along the south side of Veirs Mill Road and now meanders through the woods, which is where it appears it will stay, despite what is shown in the Veirs Mill Corridor Master Plan.

Because the county part of the trail is so inhospitable, they considered putting a temporary trail on the edge of the southeast-bound Veirs Mill shoulder, but in October they decided that was unsafe, and too expensive.

Now the plan is to design a paved trail connection over the Parkland area (seen below) and finish the design and environmental permitting by Summer 2019. 

image from fishers.lukefisher.com

This is all covered at the incredibly thorough Luke Fischer page, which is where both images are from as well. 

NPS Memorial Circle Safety Improvements would move some trail crossings, and narrow road near them

The National Park Service has finally completed the Memorial Circle Safety Improvements Environmental Assessment that they started back in 2014 and were to finish in spring of 2016. The preferred alternative will modify 3 of the 4 trail crossings on Columbia Island, as well as the crosswalk on the north side of Memorial Circle. There's a public meeting on it tomorrow and the comment period is open until Dec 29th. The goal of the project is to improve transportation safety at and near Memorial Circle while maintaining the memorial character of the area. The goals are to reduce risks at key locations within the corridor and to reduce conflicts between trail, walkway, and roadway users.


The preferred alternative is the more intensive one, which aims to improve safety and reduce conflicts. The EA identifies 10 "hot spots" of which 5 are the bike/ped crossings. This alternative would redesign Memorial Circle as a roundabout. Drivers in the Circle would have the right of way and drivers entering the Circle would be required to yield. The Circle itself would be restriped to reduce from two lanes to one lane. All five crosswalks would get improved signage and/or other alerts for drivers. 

In the vicinity of crosswalks, the NPS would improve signage to draw visual attention to crosswalks. Fluorescent yellow advance pedestrian crossing warning signs would be installed on both sides of the roadways approaching crosswalks at hotspots 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9 to alert motorists that they are approaching a crosswalk. At the same crosswalks, fluorescent yellow pedestrian crossing warning signs with arrows would be installed on both sides of the road to alert motorists of the location of the crosswalk. These same crosswalks would also have vertical flexible lane delineators (aka flexposts) installed at the approaches to further visually alert drivers to the presence of a crosswalk. Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) systems, which flash warning lights in an irregular pattern when a pedestrian or cyclists is crossing, would be installed at crosswalks in hotspots 3, 5, 8, and 9 to alert drivers to pedestrians or bicyclists using the crosswalk.

Furthermore, some of the crosswalks would be moved and others would be narrowed.

At hotspot 3, where S. Arlington Boulevard exits the Circle to the north, the roadway would be reduced from three lanes to two prior to the crosswalk. Two lanes would enter the area from Arlington Memorial Bridge and continue north along S. Arlington Boulevard; one lane would enter from the Circle and merge into the left lane of S. Arlington Boulevard. The existing far left lane that currently exits onto the ramp to S. Washington Boulevard would be removed along with this exit ramp.

At hotspot 5, the existing pedestrian and bicycle crossing would be relocated closer to the Circle, to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross where vehicle speeds are slower and where drivers are anticipating conflicts. The location of the relocated crosswalk would need to be coordinated with the new, small concrete island constructed to allow two northbound lanes from Washington Boulevard to bypass the Circle and enter Arlington Memorial Bridge

At hotspot 6, the merge from two lanes to one lane would be maintained at the crosswalk to continue to enable a safer crossing of only one lane.

At hotspot 8, in the vicinity of the crosswalk at the George Washington Memorial Parkway southeast of the Circle, the crosswalk would be relocated further north along the Parkway. The specific location of the relocated crosswalk would be determined at a future design phase of the project, but it could be moved between 300 and 400 feet north of its current location. The trail connection on either side of the roadway would be realigned to meet the relocated crosswalk. The roadway would be restriped to reduce the lanes from two lanes to one lane in the vicinity of the crosswalk


Safety improvements at crosswalks would allow drivers to be more aware of crossings, which would improve the LOS for pedestrians and bicyclists using crosswalks.

These improvements will make it easier and safer for trail users, sometimes by slowing driving down. 

Roadway modifications within the vicinity of crosswalks would improve crossing conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and would better alert drivers that there may be pedestrians or cyclists in the crosswalk. At hotspot 3, the reduction of three lanes to two north of the Circle would result in crosswalk users only having to cross two lanes of traffic, rather than three lanes. Modifications at hotspots 5 and 7 would result in longer queues and a higher number of stops, but it would result in a tradeoff of safer crossing conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists. At hotspot 5, because the crosswalk would be moved north closer to the Circle, pedestrians and bicyclists would be able to cross the road where traffic is moving more slowly and where drivers are already alert and preparing to merge or yield. Similarly, at hotspot 7, although drivers approaching from the east may be focused on preparing to merge into one central lane rather than on the approaching crosswalk at hotspot 9, because the LOS prior to hotspot 7 and 9 would be reduced, drivers would generally be going more slowly and would be better able to stop for crosswalk users. At hotspot 8, because the crosswalk would be moved to the north, drivers would have better visibility on the approach and traffic would be moving at a slower speed than in the current locations. Additionally, because the road would be reduced from two lanes to one in the vicinity, the multiple threat condition is eliminated for pedestrians and bicyclists at this location. Although the LOS for drivers would be lowered at hotspot 8, it would be a tradeoff for a safer crossing condition.  

But drivers really need to slow down anyway. 

Speed data within the project area was collected during the 2013 traffic study and found that a majority of vehicles exceeded the posted speed limits by 5-10 mph throughout the day on Arlington Memorial Bridge and the Parkway northbound, and about half of vehicles traveled 5-10 mph over the posted speed limits on the northbound bypass of the Circle. Speeds were often higher at off-peak hours because there was no traffic congestion to constrain the speed at which drivers may operate their vehicles.

And as much as this is a positive step forward, it's unfortunate that some of the other considered ideas were discarded. The plan is as noteworthy for what it doesn't do as for what it does do. 


Outside of the crosswalks, they determined that speed cameras would be redundant due to plans for stepped up enforcement. Which is ridiculous considering the scale difference. And they also decided that the traffic impacts of making the road HOV-3 or bike/ped/transit only would be "unacceptable".

Installing trail guide signs, wayfinding, bike lanes on Memorial Avenue or Memorial Bridge, a Capital Bikeshare station and waterproof trail maps were all deemed out of scope.  Also out of scope was any expansion of the trail network such as a grade-separated connection to Mount Vernon Trail north of the Circle, formalizing (or discouraging the use of) the social trails, widening the trails, installing trail overlooks and installing ADA-compliant surfaces. Some of these don't have anything to do with safety, but trail widening does. There's no mention of a connection to the TR Bridge downstream side - which could be done with a trail in the study area - but it is out of scope too.

It's not clear to me why the Washington Blvd Trail crosswalk doesn't get any improvements, other than perhaps they thing it's safe as is - or not a hotspot at least. But it could use some attention. 

Comments will be accepted here

Also, some of the existing signs will be updated as seen below: 

Sign1 Sign1



Arlington's Public Spaces Master Plan Update calls for expanded trail network.

image from washcycle.typepad.com

Arlington has issues the Final Draft of the Arlington Public Spaces Master Plan update. (See more here and here) It updates the 2005 plan is one of 11 critical components of Arlington County's Comprehensive Plan. One of the six Strategic Directions of the plan is about trails, which is why it matters to cyclists. Within trails there are 5 actions and each actions has multiple sub-actions.

Actions include: expanding the network, making sure trails work for a range of users, connecting to hiking trails, consistent signage and wayfinding and better coordination and management of trails. Some of the sub-actions include steps like:

  • completing inner and outer loops in and around Arlington [And don't I feel like a horse's you-know-what because my suggestion for an inner loop is in there albeit a little different (and has been for some time). Oh well.]
  • connecting Long Bridge Park to the District and the MVT
  • Filling gaps in sidewalks and trails to create connections to parks
  • Ensuring trails meet the minimum width based on use
  • Developing more Learn to Ride areas
  • Expand trail use monitoring
  • Name all trail segments using descriptive names
  • Consider joining the Capital Trails Coalition or some similar organization

And there are more. 

The Arlington Bicycle Advisory Council has some specific comments that are well-thought out, so I'm just going to repeat them here:

  • All recommendations concerning trails should be consolidated in the “Trails” section (moving recommendations out of the “Context” section)
  • The definitions of Primary, Secondary and Connecting Trails in the Context section are vague and unnecessary. The Primary trails listed leave off trails that are widely considered primary (such as the Route 50 Trail). It is not clear that the classification is helpful in this document.
  • The PSMP should explicitly consider Land Acquisition for future trails, including trails that are necessary for completing a safe and comfortable bicycle network.
  • In addition to improving multi-modal access to parks, the PSMP should recommend providing adequate, accessible bike parking at all Parks facilities.
  • Trails should be designed to handle the expected volume of users, and future design should consider separating faster users, such as cyclists, from others. Recommendations for trail design should either refer to the Bicycle Element, or should refer to nationally recognized guidelines, such as the NACTO Guidelines. In no case should the PSMP recommend for minimum trail width less than 8 feet.
  • Trail amenities should include bathrooms, water stations, and bicycle fix-it stations, in addition to seating and signage.
  • The proposed Outer Loop needs to more clearly be marked as “in design” or proposed—more thought needs to be given to whether the Zachary Taylor Trail is appropriate to include in this loop, given environmental concerns.
  • The Operations and Maintenance section should specifically highlight the importance of maintaining Arlington’s paved multi-use trails, as they are a part of the transportation network. It should encourage the use a pavement condition index and consideration of crash locations for prioritizing trail maintenance. It should reiterate the importance of debris removal and snow clearing on Arlington’s trails and the need to expand snow clearing to critical side-paths.
  • Operations and Maintenance should acknowledge the need to provide appropriate, safe accommodations and detours when work is being done on trails. Arlington should commit to providing detours that are easy to follow and that provide a route that is as safe as the portion of trail being closed.
  • Throughout the document, there are references that conflate people using trails for transportation as “commuters.” Many people use the trails for transportation throughout the day, and some Arlingtonians only use for transportation for errands and other non-commute trips. Moreover, conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians on the trails often happen on weekends, when trail volume is highest. For example, recommendation 2.2.4 in the final draft should be revised to remove the reference to peak commuting times.

In typical Washcycle fashion, feedback ended yesterday. I'm curious about why the Bluemont Junction Trail was left off the map. Too confusing?

DDOT presents updated Foggy Bottom protected bike lane plans

This week, DDOT presented design options for protected bike lanes in the 20th/21st/22nd street corridor. The purpose of the project is to identify a specific path for north- and south-running protected bicycle lanes between Dupont Circle, the western side of Downtown, and the National Mall on either 20th, 21st, or 22nd Street NW. The process started last spring, after discussions started in 2016, when DDOT hosted meeting #1. Planning won't be complete until 2021.  

Following the March meeting, they eliminated the option of a pair of one-way protected bike lanes on two streets and produced a 10% design for the three other alternatives. 

The three alternatives and sub-alternatives they're considered are:

  1. A continuous two-way protected bike lane on the east side of 22nd Street from Massachusetts Ave to F Street
  2. A continuous two-way protected bike lane on the east side of 21st Street from Florida Ave to Constitution Ave, and then
    • A Contraflow (northbound) unprotected bike lane and shared lane markings for southbound bicyclists from Florida Ave to New Hampshire Ave, or
    • A continuous two-way protected bike lane on the east side of 21st Street from New Hampshire Ave to Virginia Ave
  3. A continuous two-way protected bike lane on the west side of 20th Street from Connecticut Ave to E Street

Alternative 1 does not provide a direct connection to the bike lanes on Q and R, but those could be extended if it's selected, or to the National Mall.  It has more right turn conflicts (2 high volume and 6 low volume) than the others, but it as fewer alley and driveway crossings than Alt 2. It's also 100% protected. 


Alt 1 at New Hampshire Avenue

At L Street, it would have a protected intersection corner, which would be a first for DC.


Alternative 2 Connects to Q and R and the National Mall, but is not 100% protected. Unlike the other alternatives, it has two left turn conflicts. It also has the most alley and driveway crossings.


Alt. 2 at New Hampshire

It would also include this complicated intersection at C Street, which is the result of the street going from one-way to two-way combined with the need for a truck inspection area at the curb.


Alt 2 at C Street

Alternative 3 connects to Q and R, but not the National Mall, though there is a potential for such a connection via Virginia Ave and C Street to continue on 20th Street. It has few turn conflicts and the fewest driveway crossings.

At New Hampshire Avenue, it also connects with L Street, where EB cyclists wanting to switch to 22nd are guided across the intersection with sharrows to a place where the PBL passes through a bump-out. Also, there are a few places where the current road widens at intersections. In those places, the space will be used to make a pedestrian island, with the PBL passing behind it. On the image below you can see that at M Street.


Alt 3 at New Hampshire

In some places the PBLs are behind parking and in others behind a raised buffer. Proposals will remove either a parking lane, a driving lane or both from each of the prospective streets to make room for the bicyclists. Many intersections will have separate light timing.

I don't bike through here often, but at first glance, I like Alt 3 the best.  DDOT is seeking comments through the end of January. To provide input, contact Megan Kanagy at megan.kanagy@dc.gov or visit the project website at https://www.dccycletrack.com/.

About 40 residents attended the meeting, which is not as many as I would've expected. And not all of them were in favor of the plan.

Kerry Bedard, a resident who lives on H and 21st streets, said implementing one of the three proposals would not reduce the number of bikers on sidewalks because bikers in the District do not use lanes that already exist.

“There are cyclists on the sidewalk every day, because they’re not required, or they don’t think they’re required, to use the bike lanes,” Bedard said. “They don’t know what the regulations are, nobody knows what the regulations are, and the bicycles should be licensed just like the cars are licensed.”

In this day and age I would have hoped that the media would have learned to not end an article with a fact claim that can be proven or disproved as this one can. Adding Protected Bike Lanes to a road definitely reduces the rate of sidewalk cycling (by 12% on 15th Street according to a 2010 study). 

I'll also say that it's rich to first state that you don't know whether or not cyclists are required to use bike lanes (they aren't) and then also complain because cyclists don't know what the regulations are (most probably do). But any legitimacy she might have had falls away when she calls for cyclists to be licensed

The Neal Potter Plaza at The Capital Crescent Trail is now open


Last month The Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail dedicated the new Neal Potter plaza at River Road. 

Thanks to hundreds of donations, small and large, the park that the Coalition has worked on for years was dedicated on November 3, 2018 as The Neal Potter Plaza at The Capital Crescent Trail, honoring the longtime Montgomery County leader. A large crowd turned out on a sunny Saturday morning in November for the ceremony and ribbon-cutting, with dignitaries from all levels: State and County elected officials, County Parks Department staffers, representatives of the CCCT board and Coalition members.  

Your board has also been involved in other efforts. We developed a realistic proposal for the Little Falls Parkway crossing, giving equal consideration to all forms of traffic at that location. As a long-term solution, our position favors a bridge, but to promote safety in the short-term, we endorse moving the crossing to the Arlington Road intersection. We also continue to install bells on bicycles at our "Bells and Whistles" events to promote safe interaction among trail users, and we represent you on the Capital Trails Coalition as well as with government agencies.

With the park project completed, the board will start 2019 by setting future priorities. We are considering a number of ideas and welcome your suggestions for future projects and issues that should be addressed to enhance the Trail. And, along with other civic organizations, we will continue to follow the progress of the Purple Line and the adjacent rebuilt Capital Crescent Trail.

Please continue your support for the Capital Crescent Trail by making a year-end gift online atwww.cctrail.org or by mail to:

The Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail

P.O. Box 30703

Bethesda, MD  20824

Work to Begin on the Lynn Street Esplanade and Custis Trail Improvement project next week

Arlington County will begin work next week on a project that will improve and widen several blocks of the Custis Trail in Rosslyn and add a bike lane to a couple blocks of Lynn Street. During construction the Custis Trail will be narrowed to 6 feet.

One part of the project will involve a road diet on Lee Highway that will allow the county to widen the trail from 10 feet to 16 feet and to add widen the buffer from 3 feet to 8 feet.


The project will also shorten the crossing distance at the intersection of N Lynn St and N Fort Myer Dr by adding curb extensions. At Lynn a barrier will be removed to improve visibility and the queuing area will be enlarged. 


Along Lynn a bike lane will be added on the east side of the road.


In addition, the project will widen sidewalks, upgrade traffic and street lights, improve the intersections, add public art and widen curb ramps.


Work is expected to wrap up in spring 2020.

State funds will turn the W&OD Trail into a dual path in Falls Church

image from washcycle.typepad.com

In April, the TPB approved $274,250 to partially fund the creation of separate W&OD trails for people on foot and on bikes on a section between N West Street and Little Falls Street in the City of Falls Church. Now the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has allocated $3.2 million to pay for the rest.

The current 10-foot wide shared-use trail will be replaced by an 11-foot wide bicycle trail and an eight-foot wide pedestrian trail with a two-foot wide median in between. It will run for 1.2 miles from the bike bridge over W. Broad Street to east of Little Falls St. In addition, substandard curb ramps at the six street crossings along the way will be updated and the existing narrow wood-deck bridge over Four Mile Run will be replaced. The project will be launched next year and completed by late 2020.

Implementation efforts currently include updating all six street-at-trail crossings on the improved route in the City. Four of the crossings are being updated by City teams with funding from the City’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), and the remaining two will be updated in conjunction with the Founders Row mixed use development project that was given its final approval by the Council earlier this fall and will be paid for by the developer.

Broad and West are in spitting distance from one another, so I'm not sure exactly where the west end is. 

This is just part of what Falls Church wants to do with the trail.

Currently, the City staff and NVRPA are working jointly to implement the City’s master plan for the W&OD Trail, according to City officials. The separated walking and biking trails is one part of that master plan, which also includes improved crossings at street intersections, plazas and resting places that tell the history of the W&OD railroad predecessor to the trail, restored and native landscaping and added lighting. 

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority identifies the project as among the first in a phased effort to improve levels of service along congested portions of the W&OD Trail. 

It is seen as a broader effort to “encourage non-motorized transportation” by extending hours of use to include commuting hours, and includes in the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plan to widen Interstate 66 and construct a 20-foot wide W&OD Trail bridge over Lee Highway (Rt. 29) so that trail users will no longer have to cross hazardous lanes of traffic.

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