New Things on the Met Branch Trail in DC

If you’ve been inside staying warm for the past couple of weeks, you might have missed some exciting new connectivity and access improvements on the Metropolitan Branch Trail in NE, DC.

The Rhode Island Ave bike and pedestrian bridge is open

Even with a dusting of snow, this new bridge is a huge win for trail access!

Construction on an exciting new bicycle and pedestrian bridge quietly wrapped up at the end of 2014, bringing a direct connection between the Met Branch Trail and the Rhode Island Ave. Metro.  The new bridge, which spans the busy freight and passenger rail corridor, will be open 24-7, offering an easy trip to the Metro, nearby shopping, neighborhoods, and even a Capital Bikeshare dock.  Remarkably, after years of delay, this project finished a month ahead of schedule.

Better trail access from Florida Ave

In another quiet development, back in October, the developer of the new residential building at 100 Florida Ave. finished landscaping on a new dog park and trail entrance between Florida Ave and New York Ave.  Though placeholders for what will eventually be two office buildings, these small additions to trail access make urban trails more inviting and useful.  This will tie in nicely to the proposed bike improvements on Florida Ave NE.

DDOT is filling in some gaps for more seamless low stress riding

M St. NE protected bike lane

New protected bike lane connection on M St.

Earlier this year, we celebrated the opening of  DC’s first curb separated protected bike lane on First St.  At the time, many commented on the awkward half block street connection between NoMa’s favorite trail and its new protected bike lane.  Thanks to some quick work from DDOT, and supportive businesses, the transition is now seamless with another half block of protected bike lane and a new curb cut. And speaking of gaps, construction started last month on the final one block gap from G st. to Columbus Circle at Union Station.  Over the next 6 – 9 months, crews will rebuild the street to southbound only, reconfigure the loading zone, and extend the protected bike lane.  When complete, expect a low stress trip from Franklin St. to Columbus Circle! All together, the southern four miles of the Met Branch is getting very close to completion.  We look forward to more news on the northern gaps as planning continues. MBT-Progress-Chart-Jan-2015