Greater Greater Washington

A gap in the Met Branch Trail slowly closes

The Metropolitan Branch Trail, which runs along the Red Line's eastern segment, still has a number of large gaps. The largest stretches from the Fort Totten trash transfer station to the Maryland line. DC officials recently announced they are moving ahead with preliminary engineering and design to close this gap.

WABA made an infographic showing the trail's progress:

According to WABA's post, officials from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) told the Bicycle Advisory Council that the firms RK&K and Toole Design are now working on the project. It will get the trail segment to the 30% design stage; after that, more as-yet-unscheduled work will be necessary to get the design to 100% and ultimately build the trail section.

There are also other gaps in Silver Spring and in Brookland. A bridge to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station is under construction now, and in NoMa, DDOT is adding short cycletrack segments to get riders all the way to Union Station.

David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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I don't ride the MBT often. It will be nice when it's all built out. However, it in the meantime, if they would improve the signage for the interim on-road portion between Ft. Totten and Takoma, it would make it easier on folks like me who are not so familiar with the route. A couple times I had to go back and look for a missed turn sign.

by The Truth™ on Jul 18, 2014 11:24 am • linkreport

I hope DC will consider the Met Branch extension all the way down past Union Station along Louisiana Avenue. That's also a prominent gap to connect to the Mall and the PA Ave cycletrack. I suggest a two way cycletrack on the east (Capitol) side, which I believe would have fewest conflicts and most utility. I think the current parking lane should be taken for a cycle track, or else the lanes should be shifted to make room, rather than building the track on the current sidewalk. It's in MOVEDC, but I haven't seen much chatter yet.
http://bikearlingtonforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=5348&d=1398264108

by Greenbelt on Jul 18, 2014 11:44 am • linkreport

Are there any plans to widen or at least repair the section on the MD side of the line? It's riddled with holes and not wide enough to support much traffic, which seems like it will be more of a problem if they fill in the gap to Takoma metro and beyond.

by Gray on Jul 18, 2014 1:27 pm • linkreport

I am not aware of any length of trail between the Michigan Avenue viaduct (at the Brookland Metro) and Ft. Totten unless the above map simply indicates riding on the road in that section.

But I am glad some things are being done. I use this route a lot.

by NE John on Jul 18, 2014 4:42 pm • linkreport

Can't wait!!

by Jonathan on Jul 18, 2014 5:34 pm • linkreport

@NE John

As you pass under Michigan Avenue and past the entrance of the Brookland Metro you are on an asphalt path. This asphalt path is the MBT and runs on the east side of John McCormack Drive NE (the west side is a concrete sidewalk). As you approach the Transfer Station going north the trail switches to the west side of the road.

by Rob on Jul 18, 2014 11:06 pm • linkreport

Thanks Rob.

by NE John on Jul 19, 2014 6:06 am • linkreport

is there really not even a plan for the Ripley-Philly and Brookland-Franklin sections? No plan at all?

by Joseph O'Reilly on Jul 19, 2014 7:11 am • linkreport

Rob beat me to the answer, but regarding the section by Catholic U, I will add that the path surface is somewhat uneven. However the road sees little traffic and has no cross streets so it's a good alternative.

Regarding the Franklin to Monroe section, I am under the impression that the plan is for the trail to remain on the road there. That stretch also has no cross streets, although there is a bit more activity due to a school, equipment rental business, etc.

by John on Jul 19, 2014 12:34 pm • linkreport

Is there any timetable for when the RI Ave. ped. bridge over the tracks will be complete?

by Jon on Jul 22, 2014 9:14 am • linkreport

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