testimony at DDOT hearing on MBT east-west connections

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Gavin Baker

Mar 2, 2022, 2:43:01 PMMar 2
to Friends of the Metropolitan Branch Trail

FYI, I testified at the DC Council's DDOT oversight hearing on Feb. 18 about improving bike routes across the Metro Red Line/CSX train tracks and connections to the future Metropolitan Branch Trail in Wards 4 and 5. Copy below:

My testimony is about safety & mobility concerns with east-west travel across the Metro Red Line tracks in Wards 4 and 5. In the neighborhoods between Brookland and Takoma, across more than 3 miles, there are only 7 places to cross the tracks. On those crossings, there are no bike facilities, many of the sidewalks are narrow, and there is no public art or beautification, like we’ve seen in other neighborhoods such as NoMa. Now is the time to address these problems, because this is how folks will get to the Metropolitan Branch Trail when it opens here in the next few years.

I’ll highlight 4 of those streets:

On the Taylor St. NE overpass, DDOT plans to add a protected bikeway next year. That will be a huge improvement, and I hope the design will connect directly to the Met Branch Trail. 

On Kansas Ave. NW, we ought to be doing the same thing. Kansas actually has bike lanes in this area, except for a small gap in the underpass, where it will intersect the Met Branch Trail. Closing that short gap is in DDOT’s moveDC plan, ANC 4B has supported it, we should start this project now so it’s ready when the Met Branch Trail opens.

On Galloway St. NE, we come to the last part of the planned Met Branch Trail that D.C. hasn’t started designing yet. Called the Ft. Totten to Avondale segment, it’s also in the moveDC plan, as well as the National Capital Trails Network which the Council endorsed last year. So as we soon finish building the north-south route of the Met Branch Trail, it’s time to fund design for this final segment.

Finally, on Riggs Rd. NE, there’s been a lot of development in this area – I was just at a groundbreaking with Councilmember McDuffie and the Mayor last weekend. There are also several schools right near here. So we need to find a way to connect to the Met Branch Trail through the underpass, and to beautify that underpass, which ANC 4B also has supported

Thank you for your consideration, and I would welcome any questions.

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