Why Has It Taken 21 Years for D.C. to Build a Bike Path?

It's been 21 years (and counting) since D.C. developed plans to build the Metropolitan Branch Trail's eight mile northern segment. The delayed project threatens the city's goal of increasing the proportion of biking and walking trips to 25 percent.

"Twenty-one years after plans were first devised -- and seven years after D.C.'s bike master plan called for its completion -- a planned eight mile bicycling and walking trail that may eventually connect Union Station and Silver Spring is still years away from being finished," reports Martin DiCaro.

Though the Metropolitan Branch Trail was the scene of an unprovoked attack this summer, it remains a popular bike route and a centerpiece of efforts to increase biking and walking mode share within the city.  

"The issue is not money," explains DiCaro. "When construction eventually begins, DDOT has funding programmed into its budget to finish the eight-foot wide trail within Washington, whose completed southern segment (1.5 miles from Union Station to the Brookland neighborhood) sees 15,000 bicyclists and pedestrians per month. The biggest unresolved issue remains property conflicts near the Fort Totten Metro station: the Met Branch Trail must navigate a municipal trash transfer station, privately-owned railroad tracks and a concrete factory, onto National Park Service property and around land owned by Metro."

Full Story: First Envisioned 21 Years Ago, a D.C. Biking and Walking Path Remains Unfinished


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