Fort Totten Opening; Takoma Walkthrough

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Gordon Chaffin

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Feb 7, 2022, 5:02:11 PMFeb 7
to Friends of the Metropolitan Branch Trail
Hello, MBT friends.

**Please share this group with any friends or neighbors who could be interested in volunteering for this MBT Friends group. It's open for joining by anyone when they go to https://groups.google.com/g/friendsofmbt. ("Join" button should be on top of the page.)

1. MBT Ft. Totten open in late-February

D.C.'s lead bike/walk planner George Branyan gave a detailed interview to WaPost last week, and said the following about the Fort Totten MBT section: 

Probably within the next two weeks a new section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which goes from Brookland to Fort Totten, is going to open. That’s going to be a big deal. That’s a key route that we’re gradually building out, which will give a really nice, safe off-street facility for more people and more neighborhoods up through the northeast of the city.

That interview contains an updated map of protected bike lanes planned for D.C. to design and build through CY2024. I've attached that image. The map is low-resolution but includes several MBT connections, including a PBL on Taylor St NE from University Heights up to Rock Creek Church. I know a lot of parents (want to) bike to Yu Ying school. Reducing car lanes on Taylor should reduce rampant speeding. ANC Commissioner Colleen Costello (5B...@anc.dc.gov) is organizing to push DDOT to get that planned Taylor improvement to go further east at least to 12th NE.

I hope we can meet soon as a group to collect ideas for an MBT connections map where our group can push for safe-for-everyone bike/walk improvements.

2. Takoma commissioners hosting MBT design walk this Friday

This Friday, ANC commissioners from Takoma are hosting a walkthrough of all the proposed MBT designs that will take the future trail through downtown Takoma and connect to Maryland. Meet at 3:30 p.m., this Friday, Feb 11, at the corner of Van Buren and Blair NW. I hope to capture the event somehow for everyone who can't make it.

Thanks,
Gordon Chaffin



Gordon Chaffin

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Feb 7, 2022, 5:03:56 PMFeb 7
to Friends of the Metropolitan Branch Trail
Of course, I forgot the map attachment. Here it is...
DDOT PBL Map Jan 2022.jpg

Gavin Baker

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Feb 7, 2022, 5:41:12 PMFeb 7
to Friends of the Metropolitan Branch Trail
Hi,

I support the idea of advocacy for east-west connections to the Met Branch Trail (of course, in addition to completing the north-south MBT route). Currently, between Brookland and Takoma, there are no bike facilities that cross the Red Line tracks -- that's a distance of more than 3 miles. Looking north from Brookland:
  • The Taylor St. project on the DDOT map would be an important connection. Because it's already in DDOT's plans, I would suggest that it should be a top priority for advocacy.
  • Construction is expected to begin this year on Galloway St. to South Dakota Ave. This has variously been described to me as a "sidewalk" or a "trail," and I don't think I've seen the final design, so I'm not sure what to expect.
  • Longer-term, the MBT plans include an east-west leg along Galloway/Gallatin Streets toward Avondale and the PG County Connector. I would like to see design for this segment funded in the upcoming DC budget.
  • ANC 4B in 2020 also called for bike facilities on:
    • Riggs Rd.,
    • New Hampshire Ave.,
    • Kansas Ave., and/or
    • Van Buren St.
    • Out of those, Kansas is the lowest hanging-fruit, because there's only a ~1,000 ft. gap in the existing bike lane. Because of that, I would suggest that it should be a top priority for advocacy. This is probably the only project that is plausible to get constructed by 2024, when the corresponding MBT segment is expected to open.
    • There may also be an opportunity for a short stub on Riggs from the MBT to South Dakota Ave. within the existing sidewalk and/or converting part of an extra eastbound lane on Riggs.
  • Note that Taylor, Galloway, New Hampshire, and Kansas are all included in the new moveDC plan. But that's a long-range plan and doesn't immediately translate into design or construction.
    • Due to the width of the underpass on Van Buren, sharrows are probably the only viable option there, although beautification could be done in the underpass and the rest of the street seems like a candidate for a "Neighborhood Bikeway."
    • Riggs was in the previous moveDC but removed from the new one, which is probably a bad sign for the chance of doing something there. But maybe at least a short stub through the underpass may be possible.
So I would encourage advocacy on all of the above, with a particular short-term focus on Taylor, Kansas, and getting design funded for Fort Totten to Avondale.

Gavin
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