With the finishing exterior touches now complete on the new Courtyard by Mariott, the spiral staircase (next to Au Bon Pain) leading up to the elevating portion of the Trail along the tracks is now open.
Coupled with a knocked down fence along Harry Thomas Way (thanks to the homeless people squatting under the New York Avenue Bridge), the nicely worn path that takes one past the Pepco building to the Trail (thanks again), and the torn-off security gate leading to the Trail under the bridge (thanks once more)–and you can now walk, run, or ride your bike from Eckington to the Metro Station (or all the way to L Street) without crossing a single intersection.
I have contacted DDOT to inquire about the homeless situation (I asked them back in December and was told an agency was right on it) as well as to seek a potential temporary, more friendly access.
Every day, students from McKinley High have to cross Florida and NY Avenues to get to the Metro Station–tying up traffic along Eckington Way, Florida Ave and New York Ave. If DDOT could do something as simple as gain permission to use the 30 yards or so (if it does not already have rights to it) of land–8 ft wide would be sufficient–lay down a temporary surface such as mulch (as was done for the inaugural on the Capitol grounds), then these kids, along with Eckington residents, could already avoid these intersections–freeing up a lot of traffic, providing a safer route for pedestrians, and discouraging loitering from resuming (once it is removed) under the bridge.
I will update this post with their response as soon as I receive it. Until then, I see no reason Eckingtonians cannot use the current makeshift access route if the city has made no efforts to prevent the homeless from camping out under the bridge for all these years.