One inconvenient section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail is the z-curve that greets you as you approach NoMa. Its back-to-back 90+ degree turns will break your momentum at R Street NE. Not only that, considering I ride mostly at night, it’s a pretty desolate stretch, well-lit but no one in sight if you find yourself in need of help.
Fortunately, the plans for a park in that empty patch of land between the MBT and Harry Thomas Way NE include addressing the z-curve, making it more bike-friendly. And with the park should come more people in the area, and hopefully, more use of the MBT by more bikers.
Currently it’s called NoMa Green, but there’s a survey to rename it. Of over 100 suggestions, we’re down to four options for the new name.
Gales Wood — The land that became the present-day Eckington neighborhood was the country home of Joseph Gales Jr. (1786-1860), a newspaper publisher and Mayor of Washington. After the Civil War, the area was known as “Gales Woods” and was a popular picnic ground.
Met Branch Commons — This name acknowledges the adjacency and the integration of the Metropolitan Branch Trail in the park.
Union Green — This name reflects the history of the site, which became a rail yard after the combination of the B&O Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad at Union Station. This merger enabled the creation of the National Mall.
Construction will be starting this fall and be completed by late 2019.