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A cycling lane along MacArthur would be far more useful and cost effective.

MacArthur doesn’t go to Georgetown.

Also, I disagree that a bike lane along MacArthur would be more useful. It would be used by zero walkers, zero runners, zero people with strollers and few kids. It might be more useful for bike commuters like yourself, but that isn't the same thing.

And they won't go to the same places, in addition to Georgetown, the ROW goes on the far side of the reservoir and creates shorter connections within the neighborhood.

But of course we aren't in an either/or situation here. We can do both.

Define "along." Not enough room on most parts of MacArthur for such a lane without taking out a travel or parking lane. Seems like if that was put to a vote in that neighborhood, the off-road trail on the right of way would win hands down.

MacArthur actually has things along it. And it does go to Georgetown. There's a sidewalk on each side (other than at the reservoir) for joggers and strollers, which means I actually understated how much room there is.

I wouldn't use it as a commuter. I think both routes are a bit off purpose for that. For purely local use, I think Macarthur's better.

And then there's the cost. The trestle bridge is simply very, very expensive.

MacArthur ends at Foxhall Road. I wouldn't call that Georgetown and neither does Google maps.


The trestle covers a length that MacArthur doesn't. It literally starts where MacArthur ends. MacArthur "competes" with the section from Foxhall to Palisades.

I'd bet that a trail along the ROW would have more daily users than bike lanes on MacArthur (assuming we don't count cars that park or drive in the bike lanes).

Yes, you are correct that Macarthur stops literally at the edge of Georgetown. I guess I could claim I'm right, too, since I didn't say "into" Georgetown, but that would be churlish.

I just look at the proposed route of the trail, which only touches neighborhoods in a few places, and it seems unfathomable to me that it would get the usage that a lane that goes thorough neighborhoods would. Also, the sidewalk on Canal that starts at Foxhall is pretty wide and could be made into a riding and walking path.

in addition to preserving the bridge structures, I think there's a value to reactivating and reusing for a new purpose the whole right-of-way of the trolley line to make its history more prominent.

this trail wouldn't be the most heavily used, or meet a desperate need in the biking network (besides a better Foxhall to G'Town link), but to let the bridge structures rot away, and the ROW lie fallow, just seems like an opportunity to preserve a part of the community's past could slip away

The section of the trail with the trestle begins where MacArthur Blvd. ends. Right now the only access to Georgetown from that spot is the sidewalk along Canal Road, which is awful. It's narrow, it's steep, and there are utility poles in the middle of the sidewalk. Because Canal Road runs between the canal and a cliff there's no room to widen it.

Another thing a trail over the trestle has going for it is that it maintains elevation. There's a big ravine there, that's why they put a trestle in. For both pedestrians and cyclists maintaining elevation is a great thing. I think if a trail were built along that section in a few years people would wonder how we ever lived without it, kind of like the way the CCT is today.

The section of MacArthur from the trestle to the Safeway is miserable, it's narrow, the sidewalks are narrow and poorly done. I've heard it can't be widened because it's controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The trackway is only usable up to Galena Place. From the Safeway that's about a mile. That section also has lousy narrow sidewalks, but there's some potential for either bike lanes or better sidewalks.

I just look at the proposed route of the trail, which only touches neighborhoods in a few places, and it seems unfathomable to me that it would get the usage that a lane that goes thorough neighborhoods would.

There are actually lots and lots of connections to the trackway right now, they're just informal dirt paths. If it were formalized into a trail -- with a bridge at Maddux Run (Discovery Creek) it would be very useful for getting around the neighborhood. You could get to the playground, the library, the grocery store, the post office, the elementary school, or the CVS from anywhere in the neighborhood along a path without major grade changes. People of all abilities would be able to bike or walk - -something that just isn't the case today.

Yes, you are correct that Macarthur stops literally at the edge of Georgetown.

I never said that. And the map I linked to shows that it ends just shy of Georgetown.

Hell, finish this trail and I'll use it, and I don't even live in DC or Maryland. Over the last 25 years I've spent a fair amount of time running, walking, and driving in this area, but cycling has been limited to the CCT and towpath because it really sucks for cycling. It's either quite hilly, or quite dangerous-seeming, and sometimes both, and connections are often unpaved so only suitable for certain types of bikes.

Good discussion, guys. Thanks.

How did I miss this discussion?
I've been talking with the various entities and I'm saying it aint over til its over.
Palisades Citizens Association , Foxhall Community Citizens Association and the Citizens Association of Georgetown have all endorsed letters of support for saving the trestle. I've talked with Mary Cheh and Jack Evans and I'm still trying to drum up support.
Yes Crickey, I'm still offering you a tour of the area if you are interested. Contact the Washcycle Master Dave and he can put you in touch with me.
If DDOT or Myself thought Mccarthur Blvd was wide enough to add bike lanes, it would have been done already.
The median is owned by Army Corps. No one wants to get rid of those trees either. And no one wants to get rid of the cars parked on MccArthur Blvd.
So a 5 mile trail from Galena to Prospect and 37th in Georgetown uninterrupted except for 2 major streets and 1 very minor street is the safest corridor for cycling in this region.
(Foxhall RD, Reservoir Rd, Chain Bridge roads are the only streets in this 5 mile space) Hardly gets used either.
Would connect to the following:
Georgetown near Exorcist Steps
Georgetown U
Canal RD tunnel
Georgetown Day School
Fletchers Boat House
The River School
Palisades Rec Center
From Rec Center, very close to Key School.
Ends at Galena, but cyclists connect to CCT at Norton Ave via Sherier

BTW the whole debate about Palisades Rec Center was about parking and traffic. Very few people ride their bikes to the rec center due to a lack of quality cycling access.

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