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Thanks for writing this Dave.
I will be a the Mayor's Agent meeting to testify next week.
Looking forward to it.

Crickey will be joining us soon to tell us its a waste of money to keep the bridge, but let me respond to that statement.

There is zero bike lanes in the Palisades and there are very few in all of Georgetown.

A 5 mile bike trail from the Palsiades rec center to the Georgetown U campus would be great for our communities.
This trail already has 3 schools on the trail.

A bike lane on Macarthur Blvd is not in DDOT plans because paking would need to be removed and there is not enough room on the side streets to accommodate those spaces.
There will never be bike lanes on Canal RD.
And on Reservoir RD, the French Embassy, Georgetown U, and residents all want the onstreet parking and parking meters. So no bike lane on Reservoir RD.
That leaves the bridge as the only East-West connection in Between the two neighborhoods.
The path is 30 ft wide and use to hold 2 concurrent trolleys.
Yes this bridge is very important, Crickey!

Depends what you mean by "on the trail" but I count the following schools within a couple blocks of the trail:
Lab School (2 campuses)
River School
Our Lady of Victory
St. Patrick's
Key Elementary

Plus the Mt. Vernon campus of GWU.

Sounds like you don't even need me, you had the argument all by yourself and declared yourself the winner. And yet, I find myself strangely unconvinced.

Note that GDS' lower school will be leaving that location at some point for its Friendship Heights/Tenleytown expanded campus.

1) DDOT agrees with me. 5 years ago I talked with Jim Sebastian about MacArthur Blvd.
BAC rode with me in the Palsiades and agreed with me too.
Too many cars and not enough spaces on the side streets to compensate.

2) As for GDS, they are leaving and have been sold.....to another school.
I talked to their principal over the phone but they have yet to announce who the new school/buyer is.
Essential I am assuming its another private school.
My regret is not pushing for DC to buy the GDS campus.

Sounds to me like HPRB is pinning a lot of hopes on a vague set of ifs from DDOT. No other agency wants it. Even if the demolition is stayed, what are the odds DDOT will find the appetite for a multi million dollar rehabilitation of the trestle, followed by more millions for the trail? Because mere stabilization is pointless. As the piece notes, "In refusing to accept ownership of the trestle properties prior to completing the study, Mr. Zimbabwe explained, “[DDOT] doesn’t want a bridge that needs millions of dollars of work and can’t be a transportation asset. In that case, some other district agency can preserve it or [WMATA] can tear it down/mothball it."

what are the odds DDOT will find the appetite for a multi million dollar rehabilitation of the trestle, followed by more millions for the trail?

I don't know, but they have some appetite for it, or else they would not have put it in MoveDC and other forecasting and planning; nor would they be doing a feasibility study or setting aside money for it.

Can we all just wait until the feasibility study is done before we settle the debate?

Because it's forcing the closure of trails that people actually could be using.


1) DDOT is currently doing a study which should finish by mid year. The study (and due diligence) will determine if the 5 mile trail is feasible)
2) The trail is closed because WMATA chose not to put ANY money towards the bridge while it was in its possession.
Even with their argument that they don't want to put any of their own money into the bridge, they somehow are very willing to come up with 500k to demolish the bridge.
Also, because the bridge is a historic landmark, over the 20 years WMATA owned the bridge, they could have applied for Historic landmark funding. They could have worked with SHPO on how to maintain the bridge without using WMATA funds. Instead they let all 3 bridges that they own decay.
SHPO conclusion WMATA wants to demolish due to demolition by neglect.
If they let everyone who owned a historic landmark do this, then everyone who owned a landmark building would never put money into it and then demolish the building.
So WMATA was in violation of the covenants that they took on when they took over a historic landmark bridge.

The trail is closed, which is WMATA's fault. And I think when this is all done, and land that is not used for the trail should be handed over to NPS as a way of making trail users whole. But maybe they would owe NPS more. They should pursue a lawsuit.

Tearing down possibly historic buildings is not a way to resolve issues like this.

Letting nature reclaim Man's works is poetic justice.

There is no other way to get cycle lanes between the Palisades and Georgetown.
No space on Canal Rd.
Reservoir RD has the embassy and the University and residents who park their cars on street.
The bridge is the last chance for an East-West connection.
For someone who is very knowledge about other cycling projects in the city, I wish I could meet with you in the Palisades and show you why I'm doing this.

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