Last year’s Christmas Wish List featured twelve projects that I thought were good ideas. Before getting into this year’s list – which will be significantly different (more on that tomorrow) I thought it might be good to review last year’s list and any progress that’s been made on them.
My opinions on these projects have changed over the year. Some seem more important (#7), others less so (#2), but I still think each would be a good project in its own right.
Progress on these projects has ranged from non-existent to slow (see below). There has, however, been progress on other cycling projects this year. DC has roughly thirteen new miles of bike lanes. A portion of the Mt. Vernon trail was realigned to avoid flooding. A new section of the North Bethesda Trail was finished, as was the Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge. Work began on the Marvin Gaye Trail rehab, the Matthew Henson Trail, and the Holmes Run Trail extension. I’m sure there’s more I’m leaving off (feel free to list them in the comments if you know of something).
2005 List and progress:
- Mt. Vernon Trail Extension – no progress that I could find
- WB&A to Anacostia Connector Trail - no progress that I could find and work on the connection between the two WB&A portions, which was suppose to start this summer, didn't (though it was budgeted).
- Suitland Parkway Trail – no progress that I could find (though DDOT has said that if Maryland will extend the trail, DDOT will rebuild the DC portion)
- W&OD under 395 - there was an update to this in February and the county took it up that same month
The Four Mile Run Trail Crossing of Shirley Highway project will construct a new section of trail approximately 0.6 miles in length that will link the Four Mile Run and W&OD Trails where they currently terminate at Shirlington Road with the Four Mile Run Trail section that parallels South Glebe Road east of West Glebe Road. The project will involve construction of the trail underneath Shirley Highway (I-395) and West Glebe Road. The project was awarded a federal RSTP grant of $960,000 towards its construction in FY1999. The RSTP funds will pay for about half the estimated construction cost of $1.8 to 2.0 million. Additional federal funding is currently being sought for the federal secondary program to provide the remainder of the needed funds. Should funding be secured, construction of the project will likely begin in late 2006 and will take approximately 12 months to complete. The trail is proposed to be constructed in conjunction with the installation of a new sanitary sewer main that is planned to follow Four Mile Run in approximately the same alignment. The sewer main is funded independently through water/sewer hook-up fees. Construction of the entire project, trail and sewer main, is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2006 provided that a qualified bidder is secured. The best source of federal funding to enable this project to be constructed in 2006 is federal secondary road funding. In September 2005, the County Board authorized the use of $23,750,000 of federal secondary funds to fund construction of seven transportation projects. Each year, additional federal secondary funds is allocated to Arlington, so another $1,000,000 is now available, to be matched by $250,000 in County funds (20percent match) to close the funding gap for this project
But this hasn't happened and I believe I've seen the sanitary sewer being installed, so I'm not sure what happened with this project. The Captrack entry hasn't been updated since 1/12/06 - it predicted the design phase would end this fall.
Bethesda to CCT - Some good progress was made on this. The bikeway through Battery Park Lane and the NIH trail were both constructed (possibly before this original post) and I've noticed bike lanes in the area (though I'm not sure if they're all finished).
- BW Parkway Trail – no progress that I could find
- TR bridge completion - only that it was mentioned in the Interim Draft of the Arlington Master Transportation Plan
- Reopening DC - no progress on any of the items listed specifically (nor others not mentioned that I can think of). But I did learn that bike commuters can cut through Fort Myer. "Any person without a DOD ID must state a valid reason for entering the installation. Valid reasons include, but are not limited to: bicycle commuting..." Assuming that website isn't out of date. Does anyone cut through the Fort?
York Avenue Station MBT - This has actually gotten worse. When I wrote about this, the hope was work would start in the spring. It didn't. Though it appeared that it had. But it hadn't and DDOT was aiming to finish this spring. Then we learned that the project had been satisficed. Some effort was made to come up with a better design, though still nowhere near as good as the initial plan. The completion date was pushed back to this summer with work beginning this spring. But I just heard last week that, due to some paperwork errors, the project is on an indefinate hold, making spring an unlikely start time. So we're actually farther away from it being open this year then we thought we were last year. And what we're going to get is something less than what we previously expected.
the 14th Street Bridge - The humpback bridge project, originally funded in 2002, is still being worked on and funded but it doesn't appear to be in the FLH's plan until 2008. The North Tract bridge was dealt a set back when Monument Realty backed out of it's land swap deal, but Arlington is still negotiating the land swap and is prepared to buy the land needed if they have to. Both bridges were brought up when WABA met with Congressman Moran last February. Captrack - again, not updated since 1/12/06 - has it listed as On Hold.
- Improve Rock Creek Trail - since writing this, some progress has been made - but it may all be for nothing. The contract should have been approved over the summer, but it wasn't. Once work begins the whole thing could be done in three years. But, DDOT and the Park Service are having trouble agreeing on trail width. NPS wants to cap it at 8 feet. DDOT wants 10 feet (their engineers might not sign off on anything narrower for safety reasons). NPS controls the land so DDOT can't do anything in Rock Creek Park without them, but DDOT is paying for it and doesn't want to pay for a substandard trail (when they could spend the money elsewhere and get something better). NPS says a 10 foot trail will ruin the park-like experience. That's interesting, but leaving the road open during non-rush hour times - that doesn't ruin the park-like experience? If a compromise can't be reached, DDOT might pick up it's ball and go home. NPS would still have to fix the trail (or face several lawsuits) but when they would get the money to do that is anyone's guess.
- A Real Bicycle Beltway - With the exception of the Wilson Bridge bicycle/pedestrian deck, scheduled to open in mid-2008 nothing has been done on this.