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I like most of your suggestions for trail improvements. Not sure that any extension of NW Branch is feasible. Quite rocky just a big north of where the current paved trail ends, and the final few hundred yards before 29 would likely prove impossible for paved trail construction - large rocks, it looks like the Appalachian Trail. Without a connection to 29 an extension would not be worth while.

Given that both RCP and Sligo cross the Beltway rather than run alongside, the impact will be fairly modest. The Towpath crosses below 8 lanes of 495. It survived. This particular objection seems a stretch.

I’d happily take the expansion if we got more bicycle infrastructure out of it, especially a new river crossing on an expanded legion bridge

Crickey, Rock Creek Park runs directly along side the Beltway. They think they'll need to put the creek in a box culvert to make the expansion work. It'll be the hardest hit part of it. NCPC's concerns are about the parkland, not the trail. But this blog is focused on the trail which will be impacted.

Connect Rock Creek, Sligo, NW Branch bike trails along 495,
where they are closest and it is flattest.

And extend the 495 bike trail
from NW Branch, Sligo, Rock Creek trails all the way to the Patomic, canal trail, which 495 also intersects
not too far from Rock Creek.

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