As Groundskeeper Willie might say, "An old fashioned hole diggin', aye, it's been awhile." And it has been awhile since we've seen a groundbreaking for a new trail. According to the Gazette,
Construction of the Matthew Henson Hiker-Biker Trail from Aspen Hill to Layhill will begin Nov. 6, despite continued objections from residents who are worried the trail might bring crime to their neighborhoods.
I'm surprised the crime thing still comes up. Trails bring people, people bring eyes and eyes deter crime. A crowded dark street is way safer than an empty well lit one I've been told. And the police agree that the trail is not a conduit for criminals
Kane said Maryland-National Capital Park Police would patrol the trail daily. ‘‘The fact is that it is easier to patrol trails,” he said. ‘‘According to studies we have seen, the crime on trails is negligible compared to crime as a whole.”
More on the trail
the Matthew Henson Hiker-Biker Trail will begin at Rock Creek Trail at Winding Creek Local Park near Aspen Hill and Veirs Mill roads. It will go northeast through Matthew Henson State Park and along a stand of trees near Hewitt Avenue and Bel Pre Elementary School. From there, it will continue east across Layhill Road to Alderton Road, near Indian Spring Country Club, measuring about 4.4 miles.
Construction will start in the section from Georgia Avenue to Alderton Road, Elsasser said, because the Maryland Department of Environmental Protection will be completing stream restoration of Turkey Branch from Veirs Mill Road to Georgia Avenue.
The asphalt trail will feature wooden boardwalks over wetlands to minimize environmental damage
Let's hope they learned the lessons of the Mt. Vernon and those boardwalks have anti skid surfaces. Scars are cool and all, but injured shoulders and knees just suck.
It's been a long time to get to this point. The trail was originally approved in April of 2003. But since then there have been efforts to inflate the cost, drop it from the budget (funding was restored in May), and create a huge detour on Veirs Mill Road. The intersection is still an issue
Thorne also expressed concern over how pedestrians would cross Veirs Mill Road to get from Winding Creek Local Park, south of Veirs Mill, to the other side of the trail.
‘‘Do they really expect us to cross seven lanes of traffic?” she asked.
State Highway Administration spokesman Chuck Gischlar said the state is pursuing a crosswalk, which would be located by Turkey Branch Parkway and Veirs Mill Road.
Gischlar said the hatched crosswalk would be at-grade or ground level, with flashers in advance of the crosswalk and warning signs. Hikers and bikers would cross and then wait in a grassy median before crossing to the other side of the trail. He said the median would be protected by concrete barriers on either side.
‘‘We’re pursuing the Turkey Branch crossing because it’s closer in line with the trail,” he said Friday afternoon, adding a traffic light at Parkland Drive is about 1,000 feet away.
Still some people are not happy about the trail at all
Barbara Eldredge said she received little comfort from the meeting. ‘‘[The trail is] 50 feet from my property line,”
She must not read this blog, if so she'd know that's a selling point. She goes on to say that "it’s just like they put a road in my back yard.” Except quiet. And non-polluting. And only 10 feet across. And with top speeds of ~15mph. But otherwise just like a road. I'm sure that's how people who live along the Capital Crescent Trail see it.