NPS to hold meeting on Georgetown Boathouse Plan/Capital Crescent Trail improvement
The National Park Service (NPS) is developing an implementation plan for nonmotorized boating facilities and related park improvements in the area of the Capital Crescent Trail Georgetown trail head. From the announcement (emphasis mine)
The proposed project area extends from 34th Street, NW within Georgetown Waterfront Park to approximately a quarter-mile upriver from Key Bridge. The project area encompasses both public and private land including portions of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Rock Creek Park, and several privately-owned parcels (the Potomac Boat Club, several private residences, and a small parcel accessible from the shoreline only).
The purpose of this project is establish a Potomac River recreation zone that more fully supports non-motorized recreation, increases the public’s access to the river, improves functionality of the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) as it connects to the Georgetown Waterfront Park, and respects the historic character, natural resources, and existing recreational use of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and Rock Creek Park. Non-motorized boating facilities are needed in Georgetown due to limited public access points for non-motorized boating and paddle sports along the Georgetown waterfront. Increased popularity for non-motorized water sports (canoeing, kayaking, rowing, paddle boarding, etc.), and insufficient capacity at current boathouse facilities that provide access to the river and related amenities (boat storage, concessions, access facilities, boat rentals, beach, and docks. The current configuration of the CCT and its connection to Georgetown does not provide safe and compatible access for pedestrians and bicyclists with motorized vehicles to and through the “zone.”
At this time, the NPS is announcing a public scoping meeting and a 30-day public scoping period to solicit public comments on preliminary alternatives for this proposal (see attached newsletter). The meeting will consist of an open house with a short presentation. NPS staff will be on hand to visit with you and answer questions.
The public scoping meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 from 6:00pm to 8:00 pm at the Palisades Public Library at 4901 V Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20007.
The public is invited to identify any issues or concerns they might have with the proposed project so that the NPS can appropriately consider them in the preparation of the Environmental Assessment. Comments may be provided either in person at the meeting or electronically at the National Park Service's Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/nmbzea) or submit written comments to:
Chief, Planning, Compliance & GIS
National Capital Region
National Park Service
ATTN: Georgetown Nonmotorized Boathouse Zone Development Plan
1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20242
The preliminary alternatives newsletter identifies three alternatives of high, medium and low density. From the standpoint of a trail user they are all identical, but for the amount of development between the trail and the river. I've shown the high density alternative (#1) below.
I only see a couple of differences. One is that cars will not be able to go under the Aqueduct, where the bike path will pass under on the north side. The other is that that, after going past the Potomac Boat Club, the trail will be separated (protected bike lane?) from the cars and located on the south side of Water Street. It appears that this separation will continue past the study area.
Creating a protected bike lane on Water Street is kind of a no-brainer and is something that's been needed for a while, if just to reduce grief.