MBT now open…sort of

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.


6 thoughts on “MBT now open…sort of

  1. Those homeless people get on my nerves. It’s disgusting to witness everyday. Why would anyone want to use that bike trail when it’s being used as a homeless depot?

    • I’ve run on the path through their makeshift camp, and, other than telling me that the upcoming trail was closed, they have been nothing but nice to me, including offering me food they were cooking up. (it was meat so I gladly passed).

      I have never seen them be “disgusting”, although I’m sure they have been; I’m sure if my house had no walls, people seeing me bathing, washing, and dressing would probably consider that disgusting.

      If they were violent or intimidating, I would feel differently and push for their removal. Since they aren’t, I understand their need to protect themselves somewhat from the elements, and large bridge covers help do that.

      • You sir, are an idiot. Take you homeless lov’n self elsewhere. I don’t need apologists living in the vicinity near me. Maybe you like the smell of 30 day old alcohol and homeless monkey doodoo wafting near your nose while you take a morning jog but not I.

  2. I will agree that the homeless folks currently there are nice. However, this is not the place to urinate, defaecate, bathe, store junk, sleep, etc. In fact, there is no difference between their current locale and on the sidewalk in front of your house.

    Moreover, back in December I noticed several of them had horrendous coughs. Smell and debris obstacles are one thing–potentially catching a communicable disease is another.

    This is not the scene that helps a new trail gather steam nor is it inviting for parents to bring their children.

  3. Exactly Flatland, this is not the kind of environment that’s going to change our neighborhood. My family would not want to use this trail when they come visit. They would find the people squating here repulsive, as do I. The city has shelters and they should use them. And this is supposed to be a trail for people to walk, run, ride, and use recreationally, not a makeshift home for the homeless where they can store their crap and smell up the place. I would not expose my children to this filth and I’m sure the people that stay at the Courtyard will never use this trail if homeless people are living in it.

  4. Well, I am happy to hear that the trail is sort of open. I just rented a bike locker at NY Ave metro and will be bike commuting to work from there. Being able to miss FL and NY Ave intersections should be a great time saver. It is also good to hear that the homeless folks along the trail aren’t hostile, though it would definitely be nicer if they weren’t there at all.

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