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Section of D.C. Hiker-Biker Trail Under Construction

Metropolitan Trail2 - DDOT.jpg
This area by the Red Line will be the latest part of the trail. (John Lisle-DDOT)

The ground near the elevated Metrorail looks desolate now, but someday, in the dreams of hikers and bikers, it will be the Metropolitan Branch Trail, connecting Silver Spring and Union Station, eight miles away. Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and other D.C. officials broke ground on the latest section of trail.

This is a 1.5 mile stretch from New York Avenue to Franklin Street NE. It will go over Florida Avenue, under New York Avenue and over Rhode Island Avenue, thus avoiding 18 lanes of heavy traffic. The section should be done in late summer.

The Metropolitan Branch Trail is to hikers and bikers what the Intercounty Connector is to drivers: Long-awaited. Planning started in the 1990s.

Bike Station.jpg Bike station on May 21. (John Lisle - DDOT)

So far, three segments have been built. Completion of the section underway now will mean a continuous trail from Catholic University in Brookland to downtown Washington. Eventually, the completed trail will link up with the Capital Crescent Trail and the Anacostia Tributaries Trail System, as well as the National Mall.

Meanwhile, down at the end of the trail, the Bike Station at Union Station is nearing completion. John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, says D.C. is hoping to open the hub in August.

By Robert Thomson  |  June 9, 2009; 3:13 PM ET
Categories:  Biking  | Tags: Fenty, Metropolitan Trail, Union Station, cycling, groundbreaking, walking  
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The trail is far more than what the ICC provides. Bike trails provide alternatives that relieve traffic, they have an almost zero impact on air pollution and its far more cost efficient.

Posted by: josh703 | June 9, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Lets face facts:

Most drivers have NOT been waiting for the ICC, and wish it would go away. Maryland voters never were given a choice in this matter - the $3,200,000,000 ICC toll road boondoggle was a construction/developer giveaway and everyone knows it.

Not only will Maryland drivers pay for this porkway with their tax dollars - even if they never use the road - but the ICC will certainly drain transportation funds away from existing heavily utilized free roads. That many are waiting on a bike/foot path only further demonstrates what has been statistically proven: Marylanders are driving less...much less.

The responsible move would be to stop the ICC toll road "project", let the developers keep their "take" thus far and save MD taxpayers the remaining burden.

Posted by: free-donny | June 10, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

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