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I had some email exchanges with Tanya Topolewski who is running as a write-in candidate for ANC 4B02. GGW endorsed her. However, in our exchanges, after admitting she didn't know much about bike infrastructure and cycling, she said she opposed a bike lane on Blair Rd because of the heavy traffic there. DDOT plans to take one lane of north-bound Blair road for the MBT. I directed her to the DDOT traffic study (http://metbranchtrail.com/wp-content/uploads/MBT_Display_Traffic.pdf)in which they found that the northbound direction (with 2 lanes) only has 12% more traffic than the southbound direction (1 travel lane and 1 parking lane). Removing one lane on the northbound side is not expected to significantly affect travel times. After pointing this out to her, she then replied with the following: "I think the current proposed solution that DDOT has for placing the MBT on Blair is the wrong approach and would be detrimental to the neighborhood as a whole. It's not about volume, it's because of the turn onto Aspen St. I believe I even made this comment to DDOT in the comment period, if memory serves. There's got to be a better alternative. It's been my experience that DDOT can be very rigid in their thinking and they need to be prodded toward different solutions. My experience as a designer is that the process is iterative. You go through a range of options until the best one comes up.
Have a great day and keep supporting biking transportation planning. You and I may disagree in this small instance...but we agree that biking needs to be thoroughly integrated into the transportation system and that there's lot of work to be done there."

I'm worried if she is elected we are going to end up with yet another ANC nitwit who stands in the way of improvements to the District cycling infrastructure. A portion of the MBT will pass through ANC 4B02 along Blair Rd. I voted early and I did not write her name in.

Mr. Sriqui lives at the entrance of the trail from the NW.....on Galena. I will not be giving out his exact address.
He has attended almost every meeting regarding the trail and for that I give him a thumbs up.
But he is now running for the ANC and in his response to GGW he wrote on Page 22 of this link
"I favor a slightly more dynamic final design for the Palisades Recreation Center than many of my neighbors seem to, but would be guided by the wishes of the majority on this issue. I am troubled by some proposals to substantially alter the Palisades Trolley Trail, but even more so by the repeated attempts of a few to circumvent the well-documented opposition in the neighborhood to broadly overhauling it."

He never acknowledges that he lives on the trail.

Proponents such as myself are NOT circumventing anything. We've had at least 7 or more public meeting regarding the trail.
And there is not broad opposition to the trail.
Please feel free to view the link to the results of the survey:
Over 900 respondents responded to the survey.

His views that we can put sharrows on MacArthur Blvd to solve bicycling issue is a non starter.
Please explain to me how children from 5 to age 15 are going to benefit from sharrows on Macarthur blvd.
The Trolley trail is 5 miles long (3 1/2 from his house to Foxhall RD)
In this space, there 2 major road crossings(Reservoir and FoxhallRD) and 1 minor crossing (Chain Bridge RD)
Feel free to post if you have more questions

The Trolley Trail seems pretty marginal to me, and I don't live particularly close to it (though I go nearby quite often).

The posting above is ridiculous. His opinion shouldn't count because he's highly impacted? That's the point of the ANC - and the neighborhood association - it impacts neighbors! I do live by the trail - (this part of the trail already does exist) and it is very well used already by families to go to and from the Rec Center. There are bikes, but mostly kids walking and tons of dog walkers. People don't want it over run by cyclists to the exclusion of what it's main current purpose is. The proposals at many of the meetings are all about paving for bikers to commute through the neighborhood - instead of going two extra blocks to access the CCT. My family REGULARLY bikes on the trail - accessing it by biking to the existing access point around Manning off of Potomac Ave.

The point isn't that his opinion shouldn't count, it's that voters should know his opinion.

The proposals at many of the meetings are all about paving for bikers to commute through the neighborhood

If that's what you believe then the people explaining the proposals at those meetings have done a terrible job, because that's not at all what it's about. It's about giving people who live in the neighborhood better connectivity to the neighborhood and local trails. The idea is to give people better access to the rec center, plus the connection to the CCT that's coming at Arizona Avenue, and to Fletcher's Boathouse, which is vastly improved now that it has a light and is slated to be improved quite a bit more as part of the Canal Road project.

It just doesn't make sense as a through commuter route because it doesn't really go anywhere. If you want to cycle fast, MacArthur Boulevard is always going to be a better route.

instead of going two extra blocks to access the CCT.

It's a little more than two blocks, Google Maps says it's 0.5 miles from the Galena end of the proposed trail to the CCT connector you're talking about, so a mile round trip. But that entrance can't be used by people of all abilities, because it has stairs, you have to be able to carry your bike (or stroller or wheelchair) to get down to the CCT there. The closest access point where you don't have to carry your bike is at Norton, which is more like 0.8 miles from Galena. Even that is not for people of all abilities as it's unpaved and rather steep. Those are also minimum distances, if you live over toward Battery Kemble it's more like a mile and a half -- three miles round trip -- to get onto the CCT, and a crappy access point at that. There really isn't a way to get across Discovery Creek/Maddux Run except by biking on MacArthur Boulevard, which is fine if you're a high-speed commuter but not for everyone.

What non-cyclists tend not to understand is how poor the access to the CCT and C&O is from most of the Palisades, how unsuitable the sidewalks on MacArthur are for just about anything, and how difficult it is to bike the length of the Palisades if you're not a strong cyclist.

Now personally, I'm not a big fan of paving the section of the trolley track between Chain Bridge Road and Arizona. Sherier is a fine street for biking, with good sidewalks for the timid and walkers, the trail from Chain Bridge to the park accomplishes nothing that Sherier doesn't. At the park there is an existing paved path from the parking lot to the door of the tennis courts, it just needs to be extended less than 100 yards to the bridge. Then pave from the bridge to Galena, another 100 yards or so. And get rid of the stupid curb on the bridge. Presto! Paved path all the way from Chain Bridge to Galena with 200 yards of paving. And it's completely unappealing to any high-speed cyclist.

Then pave from Chain Bridge to Reservoir and put a bridge over Maddux Run so that people on the park side of Battery Kemble can get to Fletcher's, the Safeway and the library, and people on the Fletcher's side can get to the park.

" His opinion shouldn't count because he's highly impacted?"

Why do you make up quotes? I never said that.
His opinion counts. He just needs to disclose that he lives on entrance to the trail and how it will affect him.
His refusal to mention that shows a lack of clarity.

"....it is very well used"
Baloney. The area from Galena to the rec center gets used the most....but that's not saying much.
Let's keep in mind that the trail, from Galena to Foxhall RD is 3 1/2 miles long.
Every time I walk the whole section, on a really nice Sunshine day, I don't see more than 5 people on it.
This trail, in its current state, is woefully underused.
I walked in during the 4th of July parade and from Chain Bridge to Q street, and NO ONE WAS ON IT. (Yes Galena to the Rec center was used....I didn't have time to count but it wasn't a tremendous amount of people)

In re-reading your comments I think you might have been referring to the original post by the Washcycle rather than my post. I thought your comments were attributed to my post. I got confused.

His opinion shouldn't count because he's highly impacted?

I didn't say that, and neither did anyone else.

I live in the area you are talking about. Go sit there on a nice weekend day. HUNDREDS of families use the area from Galena to the Rec center. Really. Kids, families, dog walkers, and, yes, even some on bikes. You don't live in this area of the Palisades, why don't you disclose that! The people from the Palisades who answered the survey do not want this paved. As a person above notes, real cyclists are going to use MacArthur or CCT anyway.

Sadly this sounds like the standard semi-public/private trail argument. That being that this public trail should only be for the private use of the adjacent residents. Likely wanting to use public funds to build the semi-private trail.

Who actually owns the land? Is it public or are the current users trespassing?

As for the idea of only local residents having access to a possible public trail, that would be like banning people from the sidewalk in front of a house unless they live with in a few blocks. Might as well try and limit the use of the rec centers to only the people who live in the adjacent neighborhoods as well.

The land of the trackway is ownd by DC. When the Glen Echo trolley went bankrupt it was taken over by the city. The trolley company owned the land under the rails outright, it was not a right-of-way. The neighborhoods along the track were developed after the trolley was built.

Joe F. you have it close but not quite right. Many of the neighbors along the trackway are currently using it as extensions of their back yards. There are lightly used sections that are currently not very accessible. Those people are opposed to public use because they would lose their private use.

The people from the Palisades who answered the survey do not want this paved.

This is just not true. Survey results are here: http://www.palisadesdc.org/documents/survey_summary.pdf

People self-identified as Palisades residents were 68% of respondents (page 3). Only 24% of respondents said they favored leaving the trail as it is (page 5). Even if 100% of the respondents who favor leaving the trail as-is were Palisades residents, it would still mean that 52% of Palisades residents favor improving the trail.

real cyclists are going to use MacArthur or CCT anyway.

Anyone on a bike is "real" cyclists, and some of them would rather not be on MacArthur.

The land of the trackway is owned by DC. When the Glen Echo trolley went bankrupt it was taken over by the city.

Not that it matters too much, but DC bought the land from WMATA (who "inherited it" from DC Transit) in order to build a water main below it. At the time there were plans to build a trail on it (The watermain bike path), but a late night, somewhat suspect, vote killed it.


Area from Galena to the Rec center
"Hundreds of people...."
Hundreds of people weren't even using it on July 4th let alone any other weekend in the past year.
I full welcome DDOT to do a study and videotape and count how many people are even using that segment of the trail.
Again, the trail goes from Galena all the way to Foxhall RD and the whole trail is woefully used.
Let's get an independent agency to count each segment of the trail and really find out how many people are currently using this trail.

I don't understand why destroying the trolley trail to put in yet another paved road is even under consideration. There are already two trails that parallel the trolley trail nearly exactly that are closed to traffic. (The Capital Crescent Trail and the Canal Towpath.)

As a cyclist myself it pains me to see how incredibly selfish the rest of my community seems to be, advocating for the destruction of the only natural trail on that route so they can have a THIRD (really a fourth when you take MacArthur Blvd into account) paved bike trail along the Potomac? It's absolutely shameful.

I don't understand why destroying the trolley trail to put in yet another paved road...

Oh geez. You know full well that no one is proposing put in a road here. The discussion is of improving the existing trail. The existing trails (there are two pieces that get used now) could be connected and extended all the way to Georgetown. And an improved surface would improve the utility of it. That's why it's being talked about - and why it's been talked about since before the city acquired the land.

As a cyclist myself it pains me to see how incredibly selfish the rest of my community seems to be, advocating for the destruction of the only natural trail on that route so they can have a THIRD (really a fourth when you take MacArthur Blvd into account) paved bike trail along the Potomac?

Well, I wouldn't call MacArthur along the Potomac, but...

This would be a 4th route in a parallel corridor, but it would serve a very different group of users and go between different places. The CCT and unpaved C&O Canal are down by the river, but this trail would be up on the escarpment, making it easier to use if you don't want to go down and then back up - plus both trails have only limited access. And unlike MacArther Blvd, it could be used by kids and other less experienced cyclists - plus it would double as a recreation facility instead of just a transportation route.

I've ridden MacArthur and I hardly think of it as a pleasant ride.

You might as well ask why we need Canal Road when we have MacArthur. Or ask why we needed the railroad along the river and a trolley to Glen Echo.

In a way, the trail already serves as a road. It is used as a right-of-way by both Pepco and DC Water, and they regularly run their trucks down the trail to do maintenance. When they do they chew up the surface and leave a muddy mess -- something that paving would prevent.

I have more of an issue with the characterization of the trail as somehow being in a "natural state." There is nothing natural about it. The whole thing was artifically leveled to put in rails.

As for the parallel trails argument, it's true that there are sections where you can walk along the trolley trail and see the CCT and C&O. The thing is, you can see them, but you can't get there by bike or on foot -- the canal and Canal Road form a barrier for the entire length of the trolley trail. I don't believe that anyone who makes the "parallel trails" argument has ever actually biked in the area.

Beyond that, the parallel trails argument fails to hold water when you think of how many existing walking trails there are. Why do we need more unpaved walking trails when the Battery Kemble and Glover Archbold parks are honeycombed with them? And under NPS rules bicycles are prohibited everywhere.

Finally, I find the use of the word "selfish" to be ironic. The survey results are clear, the vast majority of people want this public space adapted for greater public use. What's selfish is denying the many for the sake of the few.

Anyone who is pretending that improving a trail is actually putting in a road is capable of pretending to be a cyclist in order to make their view seem more plausible on a cyclist forum. Failed in that though.

I've walked through there before and have seen absolutely no one. It's likely just a couple of NIMBYs who want to keep it that way, and it's their right to want that, but they should not pretend to speak for everybody.

I need a scorecard. I can't tell who's for what here.

We all just want what's best for the children. Won't somebody think of the children?

Wow, there is a lot of history with this trail. Thanks of the links.

Interesting to see that one of the arguments to exclude bikes is that National Parks supposedly do not allow bikes on trails. Of course they completely ignore the fact that the C&O canal is a NPS trail and allows bikes (Page 10 http://www.palisadesdc.org/documents/survey_summary.pdf)

There are also a number of NPS natural surface trails across the US that allow bicycles including Fort Dupont Park in DC.

By default, bikes are prohibited in National Parks. They are only allowed where they are specifically permitted, and generally the NPS is conservative about allowing them, both nationally and in DC. The C&O Canal towpath and the CCT are two of the few DC NPS trails that allow bikes, most do not, and those two have a combined DC distance of about 12 miles. There are miles and miles of trail in Battery Kemble, Glover Archbold, Rock Creek and the C&O park proper where cycling is illegal.

To expand on Contrarian's excellent explanation of NPS trail policies, I would note that generally speaking in National Parks, cycling is allowed on paved trails and roads but not on dirt/natural surface trails. The Ft DuPont trail is an exception that was specifically designated for bike use.

Long list of NPS trails and dirt roads that allow bicycles. https://www.imba.com/nps-trails-roads

Considering that the National Park Service controls 413 sites with more than 84 million acres of land that's not a long list at all, just 28 sites that allow cycling on any trails at all, and 30 that allow cycling on any dirt roads.The vast, vast majority of the system is closed to cycling.

In DC, NPS controls 8,000 acres in 13 sites. Except for eight miles at Fort Dupont, and roughly six miles where the CCT and C&O run parallel, cycling is prohibited in all of it.

I agree the NPS doesn't provide well for cyclist in the DC area but was pleasantly surprised how may locations out side of DC allow bicycles. Much more than I expected.

No need for name calling. I have a difference of opinion with opponents but I have not resorted to name calling with anyone.
This trail isn't natural.
There is plenty of greenspace within the Palisades.
Currently Pepco drives its trucks on the trail to fix power lines.
From 1900 to 1960 streetcars used the trail.
More recently the residents were mowing the trail and now the city is mowing it.
If anyone wanted it natural then why mow it?
Its a 30ft wide trail that runs 5 files. Its the safest place for kids and myself to ride a bicycle in the Palisades. That is why I am advocating it.

Finally, NPS
Please take a look at the last page of NPS' bike plan document:

"Several comments received were related to the Glen Echo Trolley Trail. While this specific
recommendation is not included in the plan, the NPS endorses the idea for additional study on this
trail concept"

@Contrarian, you are leaving out the Rock Creek Trail. Or maybe your list was intended to include only unsaved facilities? The Anacostia River Trail is partly on NPS property too.

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