When we bought our house in North Michigan Park, one of the benefits we didn’t even think about was being relatively close to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Within a mile or two, I could be coasting down a car-free, well-lit, obstacle-free paved road that spits me out at NoMa, just around the corner from the U.S. Capitol Building and the National Mall. No stopping (more like pausing) every block for oncoming traffic, no dodging cars parked in bike lanes, no crashing in front of a large audience waiting for a walk signal.
The route I take to get on the trail, however, does require me to travel along roads with cars. It’s only about two miles away, but it makes me not want to ride until later in the day when the traffic has calmed a bit. And then I read about the green light to break ground on an extension of the Metropolitan Branch Trail to Fort Totten. Love it!
Fort Totten Metro is less than a mile from the house. Though I prefer to avoid climbing Gallatin Street NE to reach the entrance, and there’s probably going to be another incline awaiting me once I get to the trail, I am so looking forward to starting my trips just around the corner from the house. The amount of time it takes me to get to 8th and Franklin Streets to get onto the trail will probably be cut in half. With it being new, there will be less flawed pavement to dodged like the potholes that sprout up (down?) from the winter precipitation. And I like the retaining wall, assuming the renderings show how the finished product will look.
It is unfortunate that the trail requires a ride down 8th Street NE once you get to Monroe Street NE, though. Having to stop to cross the street is inconvenient; would’ve been ideal to go under the street along the Metro tracks riding parallel to 8th Street until getting to Franklin Street NE, but this is significantly better than nothing. If anything a dedicated bike lane on 8th Street NE, but eliminating (or disrupting) all that parking space probably would’ve created too much push back from residents. Eh. I get it.
The ground breaking is scheduled for this summer. It’s anticipated to take a year or so. Now only if they could reduce the incline grade on Gallatin Street NE.