It is extremely hard to get information on the Metropolitan Branch Trail. The latest information on the MBT homepage is about the new New York Metro station opening. Even less up-to-date is the District Department of Transportation’s section on the trail which announces this brand new website.
The only news media that checks in on the MBT from time to time is the Examiner. Local blog, WashCycle, keeps track of the trail and gleams some info from various committee meetings. Unfortunately, the latest post suggests progress may not be as imminent as we thought just recently:
DDOT reported that the work on 2nd Street, L, M, and K was bundled and will be completed by June. This segment will incorporate temporary stairs to access the trail at L Street. A trough will parallel the stairs for bicyclist to place their wheels on as they climb the stairs.
DDOT also reported that work is not progressing on the segment from New York to Franklin.
This past November, via my own communications with DDOT and a posting from WashCycle, it was believed that the District Department of Transportation was close to selecting a contractor for the segment of the Metropolitan Branch Trail between Franklin St and New York Avenue (see pdf docs, NY-Rhode Island and Rhode Island-Franklin St.). Per the conditions of the contract’s 12-month schedule (as well as the 2-month lag between contract awarding and the Notice-to-Proceed), this would have resulted in completion next winter.
The project is to include an asphalt trail, fencing, lighting, emergency call boxes, and landscaping. Most of the corridor will be only 18 feet wide with an 11 ft paved surface.
While the MBT will be beneficial to the entire area, the communities to the East of North Capitol that will border the trail should reap the most benefits from this path and, therefore, should bear the greater burden of its progress and upkeep.
Tomorrow night, 6:30 pm, at the Big Bear Cafe, there will be representatives from presumably the MBT Coalition and DDOT who will discuss the status of the trail and what the community can do to help. Do not miss this rare opportunity to get real answers about the Metropolitan Branch Trail from those who are in the know.
Just don’t delay the inaugural film screening at the Bear, Star Wars, set for 7:30: