A major section of Washington, D.C.'s long-awaited Metropolitan Branch Trail is now under construction and close to completion. The first layer of asphalt was put down last week between Franklin Street and Rhode Island Avenue, and construction continues south to New York Avenue along the rest of this 1.5-mile section of trail in the Edgewood and Eckington neighborhoods. Last week, RTC partnered with the Coalition for the Metropolitan Branch Trail, the D.C. Bike Ambassador and the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association to host Bicycling in Brookland, an event to answer questions about safe cycling and the trail, which will connect Brookland residents with downtown.
In addition, two tours this past weekend took area residents onto the trail for the first time. On Saturday, a bike tour of Ward 5 led by Bicycle Advisory Council member Jeanie Osburn attracted 38 cyclists from across the city and prominently featured the new section of trail. A smaller group of about ten area residents came on Sunday for RTC's tour of the Metropolitan Branch with D.C.'s trails planner, Heather Deutsch. Many in attendance have been awaiting the trail's completion for years, and while one part of the trail has fresh pavement, the key missing link that would connect this new stretch to an existing section at the New York Avenue Metro station is still awaiting stormwater runoff permits from WMATA and may not be completed until spring 2010 because of this delay.