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BTW, Connections was awesome - I never saw the original, but I loved its reincarnations Connections^2 and Connections^3, which aired on TLC in the 90s back when The LEARNING Channel actually had educational (i.e., non-reality programming)! ;-)

I am less than thrilled by the idea of using this or any other long tunnel for a bike facility. Security would be a huge headache (probably sometimes quite literally). It would remove a major side benefit of using a bike for transportation: being able to look at the sky and the buildings, people and scenes you're passing (something you can't do when you're driving a car). Finally, the tunnel runs for a mile or so from 3rd and New Jersey SE, under the freeway, to 17th and M SE, on the Anacostia waterfront under the Sousa Bridge, with no intermediate entrances/exits, or daylight; just how many people are going to want to bike that? (Especially considering that G Street SE, for example, provides a nice, direct, lightly trafficked alternative which also serves intermediate destinations.) Whoever came up with this idea definitely has not thought things through (to be as diplomatic as I possibly can).

CSX's proposal is not to have a paraless tunnel during construction, but to have an open air temporary track running along the excavated tunnel. There is no permanent trackage to be used in the Rails to Trails or other program. The project will break the linkages between Capitol Hill and the Riverfront, disrupting natural bike routes between 3rd and at least 11th streets.

@davidj, I actually did think it through. This tunnel would actually be about 0.7 miles long not a mile long, btw.

First of all, Have you ever biked through a rail tunnel? It's actually pretty cool - There are, in fact, 3 rail tunnels you can bike through in the immediate DC area. There are tunnels in West Virginia that are a mile long. Biking through a mile long tunnel is amazing. Yes, you give up the chance to see the sky, etc...but it is an experience of it's own. Such a thing might become a local destination in and of itself (I can see runners using it in the summer to avoid the heat).

The people who would use the tunnel, besides people who would go to it for itself, are those who are not interested in going to an intermediate destination. There are those who would be interested in a direct route from Garfield Park to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. One that allows them to avoid grade crossings. This is especially great for runners and walkers in that they don't have to lose their pace at every intersection.

I think people would use it, if it could be built.

@davidj and others. For those who have a pre-conceived notion that tunnels are by default dangerous, I'd urge you to have a read of this study: http://www.americantrails.org/resources/railtrails/Tunnels.html

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