|Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail|
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Thanks should go to NPS and MoCo for the great ride.
I went from Georgetown all the way to Bethesda with my road bike tonight. The trail was perfectly plowed. It was a great ride, thank you!
Trail all clear Tuesday evening!
The trail was all clear this evening both in the lower National Park Service section and in the upper Montgomery County section as of about 6 PM, so should be no problem tomorrow (1/28).
This is a result of both jurisdictions getting out and plowing today as there was considerable snow on the trail for the AM commute, and we would have been dealing with icy sections for days.
NPS and MoCo Parks making a great effort to clear CCT
This morning on the way on, and on the way home at 4:30, both times, county crews were out clearing the cct. The park service stretch was mostly clear. where the county had cleared the cct it was easily rideable. On the stretches they hadn't gotten to this afternoon it was pretty tough going through the slush, but they'd cleared at least one lane for much of the trail.
Not sure I'll want to be on the CCT tomorrow on a bicycle, but the county (and probably the park service too, I just didn't see them out there and the park service section was nearly all clear) is/are making a great effort to make bike commuting possible this winter. There were a lot of other bicyclists out too, and that means fewer cars on the roads so safer for everyone.
Hope you'll pass along thanks for the county and park service, and thanks very much to you too for all you do for the CCT.
MoCo snow-broom proves to be effective. NPS section needs one too.
At around 5pm, a county crew was clearing the path, using a new snow-broom roller which was doing a really great job on the surface. they had a plow in the truck but didn't need it. the county portion may be ok to ride tomorrow morning, with great caution, of course.
didn't look like the park service had been out there. the park service section was big patches of snow georgetown to fletchers but often with some pavement on the side, and then often more snow than pavement with no clear stretch to get through up to the county line. while it was only an inch or so, a lot of bikes had already been through -- the path clearly gets a lot of transportation use even in these conditions -- and if it freezes it'll be tough and dangerous to get over.
when you talk to the county hope you'll send thanks from the folks who are now able to get to work on the path after a snow -- reducing the number of cars out there on extra-crowded streets.
This time its true!
No problems developed from the dusting this AM. This evening, I rode all the way from Georgetown to Bethesda and did not touch snow or ice until the two grade level bridges in Bethesda--the ones crossing Mass Ave and Bradley Blvd. Even the overpasses for River Road and the Water Treatment Plant were completely clear, but those two nearing Bethesda are in shaded areas and are treacherous. I walked those.
Trail has a dusting of snow.
Biked the CCT trail this morning, and the trail has a coating of snow, but is not slick. Hopefully its cleared by MoCo and NPS during the day before it gets compacted and icy (in time for my commute home tonight!).
MacArthur Rd trail about the same as CCT (dusting/coating).
Custis Trail in Arlington has been cleared and salted and so are in great condition.
Trail not just for the hardcore types now.
I biked from Bethesda to DC this morning, starting just north of the Dalecarlia Tunnel. From there to the DC border, the trail was completely clear. From the DC border to Georgetown, the trail was about 90 percent clear, but the remaining ice patches were easy to avoid. There were several other bikers on the trail, not just the hardcore types with studded tires. All in all, not a bad ride at all.
A hint of glaze but good going.
CCT trail was clear this morning going into – a hint of glaze but pretty good going most of the way. A few spots of ice, but easily navigable. MoCo section and the notoriously bad icy MacArthur tunnel clear.
MacArthur Rd Trail had patches of ice but still passable, but lots more glaze (and generally colder than DC).
Hopefully the sun on the trail dries things out even more today,
NPS delay plowing snow costly
As others have said, the stretch from the DC line to Georgetown is really tough because the Park Service waited a day to plow and now we have conditions suitable for studded tires or ice skates. Cold temps and low sun and I am not counting on riding it Monday until we get some rain.
I have been ditching the trail at the DC line and taking surface streets (Norton Loughboro Macomb New Mex Cathedral Wisconsin). Lot more hills and salt/sand dust from cars but it is just too hard to ride on clear ice.
On the other hand, is now possible to ride on pavement on the full MoCo section with the exception of about 20 ft at the north end of the Dalecarlia Tunnel. MoCo did it right.
Trail conditions Friday afternoon
I walked the trail from Georgetown to Sumner. In the DC part, before the boathouse, I saw one bike (no snow tires) in a minor crash. More ice than dry pavement, and walking was slow. In MD, it looked like it was possible to ride, with just a few ice patches. Hooray for MOCO for its decision. Lots more walkers/runners in MD than in DC.
I'm planning to ride on Monday morning, particularly with Sunday above freezing, but I'll be doing lots of walking in DC.
Report from ride in on Thursday morning.
As Loren reported yesterday, kudos to Montgomery County for plowing their portion of the paved trail. From downtown Bethesda to the DC line, the trail has plenty of packed-down snow and ice, but enough strips of clear pavement that make it possible ride at reduced speeds (I have a hybrid).
The DC portion heading into Georgetown was a different story. Although it looks like the NPS DID pass through with a plow, for some reason that portion was 99% covered in snow and ice. I found myself looking for patches of snow to ride on which provided at least SOME control at 5 MPH, but it became so ice-ridden that I switched to the tow-path which was only slightly better.
Regardless, I applaud both MoCo and the NPS for their decision to plow. Last year the Maryland section would remain a total mess LONG after the DC portion was snow and ice free. I suspect that by tomorrow (Friday) afternoon the sun will have burned off enough of the ice/snow to make both sections safe for any type of bike.
Sorry for no pictures. Will try to take a few on my ride home tonight.
This is huge - MoCo and NPS both committed to clearing the CCT!
Winter riders may recognize the significance of these photos, as they were taken at the treatment plant/the border of Montgomery County and the District. Until this year, this is where you hit the unplowed stretch northbound since Montgomery County had never cleared their section of the trail. So the first two photos show that they plowed the path (yesterday) and it is mostly pavement by mid afternoon today.
This is huge since it suggests that both jurisdictions are committed to clearing the trail so it is a viable option for year round commuting.
Thanks to all that helped make this happen!
Bad news and good news - watch for black ice!
Rode the trail this evening and the bad news is that the lower section from Georgetown to the Dalecarlia was not plowed and a slow ride. It was mostly rideable with a mountain bike or cross bike but there were no breaks, all combinations of snow, ice, tire channels from other riders. No pavement anywhere. Hopefully they will plow tomorrow, or that section is going to get worse through the week.
The good news is that the section from the Dalecarlia north was plowed, and while it wasn't it all clear to pavement, it was an easy ride with knobby tires. Even a little sun tomorrow will further clear that section.
Also conditions are good for black ice on untreated roads, so keep an eye out for that if riding tomorrow AM.
Frequent deer sightings on the trail. Be alert!
I have been noticing what appears to be an unusually high concentration of deer trails-side between milepost 7.0 and 10.5 for the last several weeks. I have run along this section of trail, usually several evenings a week, between late September and March for many years now, and cannot recall observing them along the trail in the past so regularly or in such numbers. Over the last several weeks I have also noticed a greater frequency of deer that stay right on the trail or will cross back and forth over it, particularly between mp 7.0 and the Arizona Ave bridge. During the week of Nov. 10, on two separate evenings I encountered a good sized buck just above mp 7.5 that lingered right on the trail or just on the edge and was not fazed or caused to move by a number of cyclist who passed very close to it, perhaps within three or four feet of him.
I would encourage cyclists who pass through that section to be particularly alert to their presence here especially during the remainder of November which is still peak rutting season.
Watch out for center line painting on trail.
From Jeff Devlin, Montgomery County Park Manager
"Parks will be re-painting the center lines, and safety messages starting next week weather permitting."
"We will use traffic cones to mark wet paint and where we are currently working."
The fall rut is on, watch out for deer!
We are receiving reports of deer on the trail, and a crash last Friday evening at 9 pm when a cyclists struck a deer on the trail. Be alert!
Georgetown Branch Trail gives a rough ride toward Silver Spring.
Sept. 16, 2014 Update
MCDOT maintenance crews have made repairs to much of the erosion damage several times in the last two months, and conditions are better at this time. The fundamental drainage problem remains, however, and the trail can still deteriorate badly with any heavy rain.
The Trail at Lyttonsville, July 17 2014
July 17, 2014
The summer storms have been pounding the Georgetown Branch Trail (a.k.a. future CCT) especially hard east of Rock Creek, where the trail's stormwater runoff system cannot keep up. The trail is becoming seriously eroded, and is becoming hazardous for cyclists not on fat tire mountain bikes.
Unpaved, gravel trails like this need much more frequent maintenance than do hard surface trails. This Trail has not seen any significant maintenance this year, and shows it.
Trail clear after storm.
I thought after last night’s thunderstorms there would be a lot of debris and downed trees, but the trail was clear. The part from Silver Spring to Chevy Chase was, as usual, muddy and slow going, but from then on it was great.
Down trees and brush make trail difficult.
As of 5 pm, July 3, the thunderstorms had caused several trees and many branches to fall between Mass. Ave. and Fletcher's Boat House. Riders were able to get through with difficulty.
Debris on trail after storm
Bethesda (mile 3) to mile 5 south of River Road.
Trail Open, Damage Done
The good news is that the trail is open after the two flooding related closures. The bad news us that the last section of the trail was damaged by the heavy trucks that were used in the repair efforts. This kind of compression damage is not visible anywhere else on the trail and obviously does not occur from bikes.
CCT reopens at 4 pm on Saturday May 17!
Jonathan Reeves, of the Office of Emergency Management at DC Water, has emailed the CCCT that NPS has given clearance to open the trail at Water Street!
5/16/14 - DC Water investigating Possible Sanitary Sewer Overflow in C & O Canal National Historical Park
Media Contacts: John Lisle, DC Water, 202-812-5006
DC Water is investigating a possible Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SOS) overnight in C & O Canal National Historical Park. An SOS occurs when diluted untreated wastewater spills or overflows, and can be caused by excessive rainfall. Due to the overflow, the Capital Crescent Trail is closed to the public between Water Street in Georgetown and Fletcher's Cove. The National Park Service recommends using the C&O Canal Tow Path as an alternate route in this location, but cautions that portions of the Tow Path prone to flooding may be closed farther upstream. Water levels are expected to peak Saturday afternoon.
In coordination with the National Park Service and U.S. Park Police, DC Water is cordoning off the affected areas and the public is reminded to respect these public health and safety closures. Untreated sewage can contain many pathogens causing a variety of illnesses ranging from e-coli to hepatitis. If people come in contact with the untreated overflow they risk getting sick and bringing these pathogens into their homes.
It is important to note that DC Water's drinking water system is separate from the wastewater system and is NOT affected by the overflows. DC Water's intake valves are on the Potomac River at Great Falls and Little Falls, far north of the District.
DC Water has mobilized repair crews and contractors and will take immediate action to decontaminate impacted areas of the Park. In addition, the Authority is investigating to determine the cause for this and a prior overflow on April 30.
With nearly 1,800 miles of sewer lines throughout its service area, DC Water appreciates notification from the public if a sewer back up is suspected. Please call the 24-hour Emergency Command Center at 202-612-3400 at any time to report water or sewer emergencies in the District of Columbia. More information on the sewer system can be found at dcwater.com.
DC Water is committed to protecting the health of the public and the environment. The Clean Rivers Project is a $2.6 billion long-term project to add capacity to the combined sewer system and reduce combined sewer overflows. In addition, the project's enormous storage tunnels may also alleviate some SSOs.
You can view this News Release at http://www.dcwater.com/news/listings/press_release653.cfm
CCT closed by sewage spill at Georgetown Trailhead.
DC Water has closed the trail again at Georgetown. Heavy rains have caused a sewage overflow. No report yet when the trail will reopen.
National Park Service News Release
Capital Crescent Trail Now Open Following Clean-up and Repairs
Washington - The National Park Service (NPS) has lifted the Capital Crescent Trail closure that has been in place since last week's storm. The trail was closed for more than a week from just below Fletcher's Cove to Water Street in Georgetown, while DC Water conducted cleanup, decontamination and repair work to the Capital Crescent Trail and lands surrounding the C&O Canal. The NPS worked with the US Public Health Service and the District Department of the Environment to ensure that the work was conducted safely and that the area is now safe for public use.
We still discourage the public from entering the Canal water prism below Lock 6 due to combined sewage overflow that also occurred during last week's storm. Bacteriological water samples were taken today by DC Water to ensure that the recreational water quality standards are being met.
Above Lock 5 to Lock 7 additional sewage discharges into the canal may have occurred. Cleanup, decontamination and repair work is on-going. The NPS advises users of the canal to avoid direct contact with water in the canal. In this area shallow water depths typically preclude fishing and boating activities however pet owners are reminded that all dogs are required to be controlled on a leash 6 feet or shorter in length and should be discouraged from allowing their pets to access the canal water between these locks.
NBC 4 Reports CCT has reopened! Visitors should stay away from the water.
WTOP reports NPS has found a third spill location,
CCT remains closed as NPS makes itself hard to reach
As of tues pm, may 6, all clean-up equipment had been removed from spill site and no one was working there. Same was true for wed am, may 7. So while the path remains closed, no work being done on it, and park service continues to “assure” our safety, commuting bicyclists are left getting to work on the mud swamp that is the towpath, slippery as hell with the canal on one side and a drop-off on the other. Must be entertaining to watch for the drivers on canal road. Speaking of which, I wonder how long the park service would have allowed canal road to remain closed, had there been an incident there? The park service has insulated itself against calls on the cct; I’ve had no luck getting through to a living person on any of the numbers listed on its website.
Trail remains closed from south of Fletcher's Cove to the Georgetown trail head.
Our contacts at The National Park Service (NPS), the custodians of this section of the trail, report that the clean-up is continuing. Please keep in mind that this was a sewerage spill, and NPS is concerned about trail users traveling through an unhealthy environment. They promise to keep us posted.
Ron Tripp, Chair
CCT remains closed till further notice...towpath detour muddy this a.m.
Towpath detour is pretty muddy this morning (Tuesday 05.06.14) after last night's rain...a lot of puddles, most of which have spots you can get around them, but there is some zig zagging involved. Definitely smells like a sewage spill over by the spill point....you can see the crew on the trail in the white plastic suits working down there. Talked to one of the workers, and they said they don't have a definite timeline yet. I wished him well, and carried on....slow going in the mud, added about 15 minutes to my commute. :( Saw a lot of cyclists with all manner of bikes, and no one seemed to be having any trouble. I went ahead and jumped on the towpath right at Fletcher's so I didn't have to use the stairs.
CCT remains closed, NPS not ready to announce a reopening date.
The National Park Service reports that they are working with DCWater on a daily basis to ensure they clean the area as promptly as possible. Further, they indicate that they will keep us posted as things change or if they have an idea of a reopen date/time for the CCT. In the meantime, The Capital Crescent Trail remains closed from the Georgetown trail-head to Fletcher's Cove.
Ron Tripp, Chair
CCT still closed, but towpath doable.
Crescent Trail still closed South of Fletcher. However, it’s only a <1.5-mile stretch and the detour on the C&O towpath is quite doable (a little muddy, but suitable even for road bikes).
CCT closure could last at least a week. Aternative is the muddy towpath, or try this MacArthur Blvd. on-road route courtesy John Ellicott.
Checked at the Georgetown trailhead at 3:15 pm today (May 1). Lower trail still closed from trailhead to Fletcher’s Cove. Workman at trailhead said the trail closure may last for a week while broken sewer main section is replaced.
Alternative to muddy canal towpath is MacArthur Blvd. Going outbound from Water Street under Whitehurst Fwy go up 34th St steps, across pedestrian bridge over canal and up ramp to M St. Cross M at light, then left to cross 34th Take M Street sidewalk west (careful for pedestrians; M and Canal Rd. Traffic too dangerous for bikers) on north side around curve and up short steep hill to light where Foxhall meets MacArthur. Cross at light and go northwest on MacArthur (special care for first half mile because of parked cars). Re-enter CCT at Manning or Norton connections. Reservoir Rd. crossing of Canal Rd. not safe.
Posted by John Ellicott 4pm 5-1-14
Please report if you see the CCT has reopened.
Yes, the diversion to the towpath made for a rough ride this morning. If anyone learns of the CCT re-opening, please post immediately!
CCT closed between Fletcher's and G'town
As of about 7:30 this morning, the trail is closed between Fletchers Boat House and Georgetown. A crew is repairing a broke water main near the stairs that lead down to the trail. Bicyclists are being detoured onto the towpath, which is very wet and muddy but passable. I saw a couple of bicyclists ignored the closing and take the trail. Despite the towpath conditions, I wouldn’t advise doing that.
All that water turns out to be sewage...
All that water reported in the previous post turns out to be sewage. Apparently, a major sewer pipe blew so the CCT is closed from Fletchers Cove to Georgetown. The towpath is your only option, but it's wet, mucky, and sandy ...
Water sweeping across the trail.
Lots of water on the trail including a few spots near G'town where sewers were overflowing and sting currents crossing the trail. Foundry Branch tunnel was flooded, and the water in the canal was very high.
Never seen so much water.
Snow gone, mud moves in at E-W Highway
As of Friday evening, all the snow was gone from the trail G’town to SS. Where the CCT goes under East West highway, on the SS side there is still some serious mud. It will be worse with today’s rain.
Ice lingers from Bethesda to Silver Spring
From G’town to Bethesda, the trail is great, with only a few patches of snow/ice. Bethesda to Silver Spring is another story: large areas of ice, snow, and mud, especially Bethesda to Jones Mill Road. For the next few days, I’d be very careful in the early morning or late at night, as it could be quite hazardous if it refreezes.
Georgetown Branch Trail near Jones Bridge Road
Snow lingers on bridges
Only snow on the trail at 6:30 PM 3/25 was on the two bridges.
Dalecalia waterplant bridge
Snow free trail for now, mud in places on GBT
From Silver Spring to Georgetown, clear of snow and debris. Some tricky mud under MD410 [East-West Hwy], and in places along Georgetown Branch portion between Jones Mill and Silver Spring.
Clear from G'town to Bethesda except for slush on bridges
Rode from G'town to Bethesda @6PM Tuesday and the only snow or slush was a little on the River Road bridge. Most of the trail was dry. Surprising.
GBT has standing water, ready to turn into mud
The North end of the bridge after Dalecarlia tunnel still has snow/slush on it, but there is a clear path. Same thing with the River Rd bridge. GBT is almost clear of snow/ice, but there is a lot of standing water ready to be turned into mud. The trestle bridge still has snow and ice on it, but there is also a clear path on one side.
CCT clear from Bethesda to Mass. Ave.
The CCT is clear of snow from mile 3 (Wisconsin tunnel) to mile 5 (between River and Massachusetts), except for some slush on the River Road bridge. That and a few wet spots may refreeze and be hazards for morning bikers.
Between Little Falls and DC
Its back! Snow on the CCT that is.
Mixed conditions on the trail after the snow. First photos are looking north and south from Little Falls Pkwy, the second two are just north of Dalecarlia where someone shoveled a long stretch of the shady/snowy sections. Tomorrow AM will be sketchy with some crud and black ice so will ride cross bike, tomorrow PM ??
Looking north from Little Falls Parkway
Looking south from Little Falls Parkway
looking toward the Dalecarlia Tunnel
Looking toward the Dalecarlia Tunnel from farther north.
Ice free but...
The Bethesda to Silver Spring section has some deep mud and ruts. The worst spots are the bridge under East-West Highway, and the section from Jones Bridge Road to Silver Spring. I have seen people fall, and some near accidents as pedestrians and cyclists try to navigate over thin strips of dry ground. It might take a roller to get it back into shape.
CCT free of ice from Bethesda to Georgetown
Sumner Shadows (just north of Dalecarlia Tunnel) still rough going
Rode the Sumner Shadows and the Little Falls Branch Trail today at 4:00 and 5:00, respectively. The Sumner Shadows was rough going. I rode on 2.2 inch mtn tires and still had trouble, but made it without dismounting. The LFBT was a touch better, but still challenging. Both trails should be much improved by tomorrow afternoon. As mentioned in other postings, the DC side is clear.
Icy sections short enough to walk...
Things improved considerably from AM to PM on Thursday, as there are now only certain sections that are snow and ice covered. I was able to ride through nearly all without putting a foot down, with most of the snow and ice just north of the tunnel. For those with road tires or don't want to take chances, the sections are short enough to walk. By tomorrow PM, should be nearly clear as what is still there is generally thin.
Montgomery County is still tough going..
As of Thursday AM, Montgomery County was still tough going. Lots of rutted ice forced me to walk from mile 6 (just north of the tunnel) to the DC border. Once in DC, it was smooth sailing.
Near Mile 6
Approaching the Dalecarlia Tunnel
River Road to Dalecarlis a rutted ice field...
"The MD CCT from Bethesda to River Road has been plowed and is 95% dry blacktop."
"River Road to Dalecarlia is a rough and rutted ice field with a few portions of blacktop now showing."
"Dalecarlia to Georgetown is dry and clear."
Tommorrow am will be icy...
"The DC portion of the trail was plowed on Tuesday mid day and so by Wednesday PM was nearly dry in all places. The sections north of the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant/tunnel are a different story: still generally snow or ice covered, although not as deep as the last storm. So tomorrow AM will be icy and tomorrow PM probably still a problem since the temps will only be in the 30s. It is possible to ride with a knobby tire bike but it is not easy--I am taking the neighborhoods and dropping on to the trail just north of the tunnel."
"Sorry no pics, but I came back after dark. Btw, Tuesday AM I rode by mtb and was expecting the southern part to be cleared, so it was a really long commute that day. Beautiful, but tough."
DC portion still very icy
"If you have thin tires, its tough"
An icy mess in MoCo, patchy in DC, "Still beats driving!"
"I rode the trail into DC this morning, starting from mile 6.0, just north of the Dalecarlia Tunnel. The trail was initially a mess: soft snow on top of ice (first picture). I had to walk my road bike, although I did see a couple guys on mountain bikes who seemed to be doing okay. Once I crossed into DC, the trail was patchy, but rideable (second picture). After the bridge over Canal Road, the trail remained patchy all the way to Georgetown (third picture), but I was able to ride the whole time, albeit slowly. Still beats driving!"
CCT plowed in DC, packed snow in MoCo
DC CCT has been plowed. It's about 60% blacktop with the rest as soft ice.
Water plant to Bethesda is, as always, unplowed with a moderately established packed snow and ice single track trough. It'll be solid ice tomorrow morning so it's another bring your carbide tips to work day.
CCT for the hardy who have knobs and studs
@ 5:30, the crescent is unplowed with no established, compacted trail from Bethesda to Georgetown.
The Dalecarlia-to-Georgetown trail is not yet plowed.The ride downhill was a long, hard slog with sections of crusty ice underneath. Knobs required and studs recommended.
Sumner Shadows (i.e. just north of Dalecarlia Tunnel) at 1 pm Saturday
Photo courtesy Tom Mann
Black ice on trail this a.m. nearly gone this p.m.
Biked at 8am to G-town and there were some patches of black ice before Dalecarlia Bridge. When I biked back at 1pm it was very easy and mostly clear!
Clear in DC, numerous ice patches in MD
The trail was clear on the DC side, but numerous ice patches between Bethesda and the DC line, especially approaching the tunnel. Nevertheless, I and many other riders seemed to get through it okay.
The ice is back?
A @CCTravailis tweet Tues. evening about some ice north of the Dalecarla Bridge after yesterday's snow, plus new snow this Wed. a.m., sets us up for another period of ice on the trail. Be alert.
Bethesda to Georgetown 100% clear
Bethesda to Georgetown is 100% clear. There are a few piles of snow still surviving just off the trail but the pavement is clear of all snow and ice.
All ice gone now - @CCTreports (retweeted from Charles Ford at 6 pm.)
Trail clear except at Dalecarlia and west end of Georgetown Branch
Trail was fine all the way to end at Georgetown except for right before the Dalecarlia Bridge and the stretch before old & new trails meet.
Little Falls Trail an alternative to "Sumner Shadows"?
Heading south from River Rd., just after you pass over the bridge at Mass. Ave, turn left onto and go down the ramp (careful). At the bottom of the ramp, go right on the sidewalk at the bottom. Ride a few feet on the walk and go right onto the Little Falls Branch Trail (at Mass/Little Falls Pkwy). Follow this for a few mins to get back onto the CCT (go left).
There is minimal ice/slush/snow left on the LFBT bypass as of 2/22 at 4:00 pm. Don’t go too far on the bypass or you’ll miss the right turn (a 90 degree turn) that leads back to the CCT. If you’re coming north from the DC side, just reverse the directions. You’ll totally bypass the snow/ice on the “Sumner Shadows” section. Piece of cake.
Webmaster: I've always assumed the Little Falls Trail would not clear much before the CCT. Have others had good experience with Andy's alternative route?
Still a large icy patch at north side of Dalecarlia Tunnel
Rode DC segment today, all clear. Continued north thru tunnel, large slushy, icy, bumpy patch leaving tunnel. Rode a bit further and trail seemed to be clear from there on up on the MD segments.
Snowy and icy before Dalecarlia tunnel, may be ridable soon
At 8 am There was no more than a quarter of a mile snowy and icy right before McArthur tunnel (coming from Bethesda. Between the tunnel and River there is a little ridable path (see picture). With another mid day in the 60s hopefully by the end of noon the snowy and icy section should be ridable.
Still very icy and bumpy north from Dalecarlia Tunnel
I thought that another day in the 50s might come close to clearing the trail. Wrong. From the MacArthur tunnel it was very snowy and icy. Maybe Monday.
MoCo Council asks Parks how much it would cost to plow CCT
Studded tires not enough for the trail in MoCo
Bad prediction regarding conditions this PM: trail between Dalecarlia Treatment plant and River Road still very difficult. As an an indication, I met a guy with studs on his bike tires and he was taking the neighborhood route rather than trying to ride the the trail.
DC is great, MoCo slushy and icy and lots of snow
As of 12:30, DC is great, Kudos. Montgomery County is slushy, icy, and lots of snow. I didn't see anyone riding beyond the Delacarlia bridge.
Deep slush in MoCo between the two bridges
Killer hard ride this evening on the way back. Deep slushy crud between the two bridges, nearly impossible to keep the front wheel pointed forward. I hopped off to ride the streets instead.
Tomorrow AM will be tough whether or not it freezes as there are now lots of wheel tracks cutting up what was a relatively flat and ridable surface this AM.
My guess is that by tomorrow evening all should be nearly clear.
Tough riding in MoCo., fat tires recommended tomorrow!
Tough ride between the River Road and water treatment plant bridges. Above and below those the trail has been plowed, although still some ice and snow (especially north). Fat tires recommended tomorrow.
The trail has been plowed in D.C.
DC portion of the trail from the water treatment plant to Georgetown has been plowed and mostly clear. Some icy spots, but paths through them and no need to get off your bike.
Now is the time for skiers!
The Georgetown Branch from Bethesda tunnel to CT Ave has at least one foot of snow with more in some spots.
A pretty good ski track has been cut. I tried to cut a second track for walkers and us runners, but only got from the tunnel to the 2.5 mile mark (that's quite a workout).
Skiers should go now while their track lasts.
Trail ice free this a.m.
The DC and lower MD part of the trail was icy last night, but fine this morning.
A few patches of snow, but not enough to stop riding.
There were some patches of snow this morning, particularly on bridges and closer to Maryland, but they don’t appear to be slippery. Happy biking!
East of the Rock Creek Trestle
1 p.m. Fri. Feb. 7
Trail is clear of ice, but has some hazards on Georgetown Branch
Trail is clear of ice all the way from Georgetown K St to the end in Silver Spring, but there are a few hazards on the Georgetown Branch.
Icy conditions, e-bike
A few icy spots on the trail today, mainly at the northern end of the bridge over River, and at the southern end of the bridge over the water treatment plant. Just keep it straight and you'll be fine.
Also got buzzed by that e-bike guy at the AZ Ave bridge going southbound around 7:15. Based on my own speed he had to be going at least 25mph, probably more.
Webmaster: Also posted at E-bike Forum
Trail clear Georgetown to Bethesda
I rode almost the whole length of the CCT today and it's all clear! I rode from the stairs going down from the C&O near Georgetown to Dorset st, so the bits I missed were not the places that usually freeze. Looks like most of the precip tomorrow will be rain, so the trail should be fine afterwards too (FYI the Custis is also clear, and I'm guessing the others....)
Ice forms in the Dalecarlia Tunnel
Photo taken by a regular CCT user on Jan. 31, 2014
Ice still lingers at Sumner, near mile 6.0, on Sunday at noon.
At about noon on Sunday Feb. 2 at "Sumner Shadows"
(Between Dalecarlia Tunnel and Mass. Ave.)
by Thomas S. Mann
At about 1pm Friday Jan. 31 at the "Sumner Shadows"
(Between Dalecarlia Tunnel and Mass. Ave.)
by Thomas S. Mann
Georgetown to Dalecarlia Tunnel 99% bare pavement. Mixed conditions in MoCo, with Georgetown Branch mostly a mix of mud, slush and snow.
Georgetown to Dalecarlia Tunnel is 99% bare pavement.
Dalecarlia Tunnel to River Rd. is all about patches little and large of slushy ice or packed snow. It starts as you exit the tunnel, then packed snow on the little bridge before the Little Falls Trail junction. Packed snow with some slush mixed in after Little Falls Trail for about 1/3 mile. Bridge over Mass Ave is mix of packed snow and slush. River Rd bridge is clear.
River to Bethesda is pretty clear, but all the bridges are icy slush/snow.
Bethesda to Conn Ave. is a mix of mud, slushy ice and snow.
Conn Ave to Jones Mill is more hard packed snow than anything else.
Jones Mill to Stewart is more of the same on the Silver Spring bound side, but there is a clear path on the other side of the trail.
Georgetown to Dalecarlia Tunnel - 95% Dry Pavement.
Georgetown to Dalecarlia tunnel was 95% dry pavement.
Dalecarlia tunnel to River Rd was 75% packed snow with ice underneath - ride slowly and straight.
River Rd to Kenwood was alternating dry pavement and packed snow. The North side of the bridge had some ice/snow covering and the South side was mostly dry pavement.
Kenwood to Bethesda was mostly dry pavement except for both sides of Little Falls Pkwy and the bridges into Bethesda.
Didn't even try the Georgetown Branch portion.
Bethesda Now reports on messy CCT.
The blog Bethesda Now posts on the conditions on the trail, with a great photo of the Georgetown Branch Trail near Jones Mill Road.
Trail conditions worsen.
Unfortunately, the trail conditions have actually worsened overall. The last light round of snow has now frozen and covers much of what was bare pavement on Tuesday. The icepack in the shady sections and bridges in MoCo has now hardened and is even more rutted from the recent snow. And finally, the Georgetown branch is still mostly a bumpy ice-field.
Let's hope for a thaw!
Huge difference between morning and afternoon commutes!
The DC portion of the trail went from 50% covered in ice this morning, to 99.99% ice-FREE this evening. I attribute this to DC's plowing of the trail after the storm.
For the MoCo paved portion, it's still pretty ugly. Lots of ice in areas that saw limited direct sunlight today.
Some snow pack in MoCo is changing into ice
Just a quick update. Basically the paved sections are the same as I reported on Monday, except that the snow pack on the MoCo section was a bit slicker this morning. More ice than snow as compared to Friday and tougher for both bikers and joggers. I suspect it'll be that way all week since the MoCo portion is heavily shaded and we've got more cold weather coming.
Still snow-pack in MoCo, ice patches in DC.
I rode the entire trail this morning.
The comments about "Snow-pack in Moco, Ice patches in DC," are still current.
I would add that the Georgetown Branch section is the worst, basically just footprints in hard packed ice.
E-bike discussion moved to our new E-bike Forum
Snow-pack in MoCo, Ice patches in DC
Bethesda to DC line: Snow-pack covers 100% of the trail, but there are continuous 1 to 2 foot wide strips that are packed down enough to ride a hybrid or mountain bike on. I did fine with my fitness hybrid with standard tires (although I deflated them a significant amount before leaving). The strips are packed down enough to ride comfortably, yet textured/ridged enough to prevent sliding.
Joggers would probably be fine on this section of the trail as well.
DC line to Georgetown: A whole different story. Kudos to DC for plowing their section of the trail, but unfortunately right now the plow basically just stripped off all the textured snow pack on top and left lots of ice. There were some strips of bare pavement here and there, but attempting to maneuver your bike to get to them was next to impossible because the ice makes it impossible to do anything but go perfectly straight and hold on for dear life. Basically, I wouldn't recommend riding this section without good snow tires, and jogging would not be wise.
Again, thanks to DC for plowing the trail. Even though it made it more dangerous for fools like myself who ride on this stuff, the snow and ice that remain should melt more quickly than in the un-plowed Marlyand section.
Also, I recommend riding about half speed or less if you insist on riding in these conditions. Slow down even further for pedestrians and give them as wide of a berth as possible- even if it means leaving the packed-down strips and riding into deeper snow.
On Electric Bikes: from our CCCT Chair, Jan. 16, 2014
The Coalition For The Capital Crescent Trail has made both the U.S. Park Police and the Montgomery County Park Police aware of the complaints regarding recent appearances of electric bikes on the trail. Please notify them when such a vehicle is seen on the CCT. Even if you are unable to call immediately, do so when you can with time and location of the vehicle. Please report such sightings to us at firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
If in Montgomery County: MoCo Park Police, 301-949-3010
Ron Tripp, Chair, CCCT
Response to Michael from Tobias on electric bikes
E-bikes and pedelecs (bicycles with pedal-assist systems) can go on the CCT as long as they comply with public law PL107-319 (2002): Any electric support must be leveled-off at 20 mpH. E-bikes that would provide support beyond this speed are not legally sold for use on any public road or trail. Trained road bikers often (and easily) surpass 20 mpH, which is fine if within applicable speed limits. Traffic laws and CCT etiquette apply to all bicycle riders: Fast riders must adjust to accommodate slower riders before passing. Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians. Stay safe and healthy!
From the webmaster: Sorry, but the Montgomery County Park Police have given us word that motorized vehiicles of all types are banned from the CCT, except for handicapped vehicles such as wheelchairs. Also, NO vehicles can exceed 15 mph on the trail.
Electric Bikes back, and are still illegal!
I've been passed three times in the past 24 hours by a motor assisted bike travelling at about 30 miles an hour. The first time, yesterday morning, the guy was actually on K Street just past the CCT, but in a place where he had obviously come from the CCT. He blew through a stop sign doing about 30. Then last night the same guy passed me on the CCT west of Key Bridge but before Fletchers, in the dark, and again going about 30. That was about 7:00pm. Then again this morning he passed me at 8:35 am in about the same spot going eastbound.
I called US Park Police, and the guy who answered (named Lawrence) said he didn’t think it was illegal but said he’d check into it. I think Lawrence is wrong and it would be great if the Coalition could campaign to get these dangerous riders off the trail before someone gets seriously injured or killed.
From the webmaster: Electric Bikes are indeed illegal on the trail - as is going 30 mph! CCCT took this up with the Montgomery County Park Police last May, see electric bike report. Please help be the eyes of the MoCo Park Police - call 301 949-3010 to report motor assisted bikes on the CCT in Montgomery County. If in DC, call NPS at 301-745-5804.
Trail good from Bethesda to Georgetown!
I hadn't been on the trail since last week's snow & the deep freeze so didn't know what to expect this morning. It turned out that the trail was in perfect condition from Bethesda to Georgetown, although it was cold. Traffic was light.
Snowpack on trail
Ran the CCT trail today at 8:30 am from the crossing at Little Falls to Georgetown....it was pretty much snow packed almost the whole way...approaches to and from the bridges were slippery and the C & O portion was the most packed ....hardly any runners out there this morning...no bikes. One tree down on the C & O easy to step over...
photo by Sharon Putterman, near Fletcher's
photo by Wayne Phyillaier, at Rock Creek trestle
Georgetown Branch Trail will be closed at Rock Creek Park
I noticed that signs have been posted on the Georgetown Branch extension (around the Rock Creek Park overpass) warning of a closure for deer management from January 10th into February, 6 pm to 6 am.
From the webmaster: This part of Rock Creek Park has been scheduled for deer population management using "Park Police-based Sharpshooting" starting in January. The trail section through the park (between Jones Mill Road and the Grubb Road/Terrace Drive access path) will be closed on weekday nights between 6 pm and 6 am during this period. See the Parks website at deer population mngmnt for more on the deer management program and schedule.
Trail clear, but watch for black ice when it freezes.
Rode the CCT in this morning at 8 and path was completely clear of ice from Bethesda all the way on down. No problem riding it, though stretches of pavement were still wet and black ice could certainly be a problem in the morning cold, but I didn’t come across any.
Trail is free of ice and snow.
As of Monday (Dec 16) morning, CCT is free of ice on snow on bridges and trails from Dorset Ave in Bethesda to Georgetown. Much improved since Friday evening
Trail can be used if you walk the bridges!
The downed trees reported yesterday by AZ are gone (thank you NPS). Short stretches of iciness from Bethesda to River Rd, and from River to the Tunnel, but usually with a groove down the middle you can ride through. All the bridges (River, Reservoir, Canal) are heavily frozen; I walked them this morning. With the exception of two small patches of black ice just south of the reservoir bridge, all the non-bridge surface from that point south is entirely clear. The frozen parts in Bethesda are not enough to make it worth not riding. Beats Metro by a long shot.
Trail has icy patches in MoCo, bridge iced over in D.C.
At 7:30 am thursday, large patches of rough ice in Montgomery County, including but not limited to bridges and areas over drainage pipes. Some areas are treacherous. D.C. has only small areas of ice, except for the bridge over canal road, which is iced over.
Tree blocking trail in D.C., Slushy Conditions.
There are large leafy branches down just south of the Delecarlia Tunnel partially blocking the path, and a large, splintered tree trunk blocking the trail about halfway between Fletcher's and Key Bridge.
This morning (December 9), it looks like the National Park Service did a good job preparing the trail for the storm on the DC side. The Montgomery County side was not prepared and was quite slushy, with ice on the bridges.
Temporary trail closure near Mass. Ave. Wednesday Nov. 13
Asplundh Tree Experts will be removing a tree stuck in PEPCO high voltage power lines today. The work will began about 10:00 a.m. and take place south of Massachusetts Ave. near the connection to Brookeway Drive. It is expected to take a couple of hours and will involve temporarily closing the trail to users.
Tree and brush clearing along the trail
Our contractor will be conducting tree and brush clearing along the CCT over the next several weeks.
Concrete blocks remain after the shut down to pose a trail hazard.
The park service has left in place those huge concrete blocks they used to close the trail in October. They re a hazard, serve no purpose where they are, and the park service should remove them for safety. Eventually someone will ride into them - trail's pretty narrow, leaves are slippery, lots of traffic at placement point - and that will be a serious accident.
Nov. 7 UPDATE: The National Park Service will be removing the blocks, per CCCT request.
"I don't want to hit anybody!"
I don’t want to hit anybody on the trail. Nor do I want to get hit. That's why I always use a light on the trail when it’s dark.
If you are using the trail at night without reflective clothing and lights, you are putting yourself and others at risk. Many wear black from head to toe. If that isn’t a dumb idea I don't know what is. Others have buds from MP3 players in their ears and/or talk on their cell phones. Almost as dumb. I suspect some people think that those of us with lights can see them no matter what they are wearing. That isn't true, especially if another bicyclist with a light is coming the other way with his/her light in our eyes.
For those who do have lights, a request. Please aim your light to the side rather than directly into the eyes of those coming toward you, and don't use the brightest setting. That’s what I do. If it ever becomes essential that I need the brightest setting, I’ll start taking Metro. May have to go a bit slower, but it isn't difficult, just considerate.
Tree down across trail north of Fletchers Boat House
Chain closing the CCT is a Hazard.
What happens when you hang a chain across a popular bike trail? Accidents happen, of course. Hence the poor woman I saw today on the ground in front of the “closure” sign at the D.C. line with blood all over her face.
No warning signs? No orange cones? That chain is obviously a public hazard, government shut down or no.
Also this afternoon, a park police officer was speed-gunning bikers coming down off the River Road bridge. If the police are going to stand in the trail in the name of public safety I would prefer them to stand in front of the “closure” chain and warn people then to slow down.
CCT River Road Bridge CLOSED 10 am - 2 pm Wed. Oct. 2
Capital Crescent Trail Construction:
Trail will close if the govt. closes!
NPS has notified its volunteers that the CCT will be closed to all uses if the govt. closes. They have placed bollards at the entrances to prepare to block trail traffic within D.C. The sections of the CCT within Mont. Co. should remain open.
Trail line painting starting on Sept. 30
The Montgomery County Park Maintenance Division will be re-painting the lines on the Capital Crescent Trail between September 30, - October 4, 2013, as weather permits. This is the section of the CCT from Bethesda to the D.C. boundary.
This is usually completed with minimal disturbance to the public other than some cones and a brief slowdown at the point where painting is actually occurring.
Ruts and soft sand at Silver Spring end.
The trail at the top end (close to Silver Spring, after you cross the bridge) has become rutted and full of soft sand. It can be a little tricky to navigate with narrow tires.
Trench hazard at Georgetown Trailhead
Please use caution at the new Georgetown trailhead gate. This morning I witnessed a bicycle accident that resulted when a cyclist ahead me drove from the trail through the gate, hit the shallow trench that runs completely across the road just past the gate, lost control, and crashed. He was shaken up but apparently not seriously injured. I reported the accident to the Safety Officer/Acting Chief of Maintenance for C&O Canal NHP, so he is aware of it.
That trench, which had been merely an annoying obstacle, is now truly dangerous because the new gate funnels you right toward the center and deepest part. As this accident demonstrates, the trench can cause you to crash if you don’t expect it or hit it too fast. I’ve read that the Park Service plans to make improvements to the trailhead area here, and I asked in my report that they make repairing this trench a high priority.
Night trail closures at Arizona Ave. bridge ended.
New 5 1/2 foot wide gate at Georgetown Trailhead.
The National Park Service has installed a gate at Georgetown where Water Street begins. Trail users should use caution when passing through this area.
See pictures and more information at CCT News and Events.
Work Crew at downed tree.
Tree down on trail.
Trees cleared from trail.
The downed trees that had been blocking the trail near the Canal Road Bridge have been removed. Thanks to all who reported them.
Down trees blocking trail near Canal Road.
JP reports there are two trees down blocking the entire trail just North of the Canal Road bridge. They are about 20 yards apart. You can squeeze by them on one side of the trail.
See also the photo of one of the trees on the trail on our CCTreports Twitter feed at left, sent by Mark W.
Electric bikes are back - and are still illegal.
"I've been noticing an uptick in cyclists using electric motors on the trail. These are sold as battery powered/assisted bikes and seem to be becoming more popular."
From the webmaster:
Electric bikes are NOT legal on the CCT. CCCT Chair Ron Tripp passed Nathaniel's email on to Montgomery County Park Police Chief Antonio Devaul, and received this response:
"Thanks, Ron. We have increased our patrols due to the seasonal changes. Please stress to all to contact our dispatch center at 301.949.3010 should they see any motorized bikes on the CCT. The extra eyes and ears are extremely helpful."
Please help be the eyes of the Park Police - call 301 949-3010 to report motor assisted bikes on the CCT.
Bethesda Tunnel closed.
J.P. reports he found the gates to the tunnel closed at 8 a.m., and a friend found them to be closed at 10 a.m. today. We have no other information at this time.
Asphalt patch now covers sinkhole near Canoe Club.
David S. reports that John Adams of NPS sent an email saying that the current patch is temporary and that once DC Water determines the cause of the sinkhole, a permanent repair will be made.
Metal Plate covering sinkhole near Canoe Club.
There is a metal plate on the trail approx. 300 yards upstream from the Georgetown Trailhead, and construction in the area. Use caution.
This notice is from the National Park Service:
The DC Water and Sewer and Water Authority are repairing a section of the Capital Crescent Trail approximately 300 yards upstream from the end of Water Street / Washington Canoe Club. The emergency repairs are in response to a series of sink holes affecting the Capital Crescent Trail from a yet to be determined cause. Construction is on-going and takes place at night to minimize conflicts with commuters. Currently a temporary metal plate is in place and bicyclists are urged to use caution when traveling this section of the Capital Crescent Trail which will remain open to commuters and other recreational activities.
Mount Vernon Trail Closures start April 8
NOT an April Fools joke - the CCCT has received a notice from the National Park Service that there will be extensive maintenance to the Mount Vernan Trail and bridges starting on April 8, and the trail will be closed at times.
See their announcement with a map of a detour route at their April 1 MVT Advisory (pdf).
CCCT thanks the NPS for sending us notice of this closure.
Maintenance along the Trail, with several closures.
We have learned late this week of two separate, major maintenance projects that will have significant impacts on trail users.
1) Repairs at the Canal Road Bridge by the National Park Service (NPS), with deck reconstruction that will close the trail at times:
Expect the bridge that carries the Capital Crescent Trail over Canal Road and the C&O Canal to be closed and detoured over a temporary bridge. The WashCycle blog reports the following information from the Palisades neighborhood listserve, which quotes the National Park Service:
"The contractor is working during a night time road closure of Canal Road from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am. Traffic is re-routed around this closure. If all progresses well the contract should be complete with all repairs in June. The CCT trail is slated to remain open during most of this process. We required the contractor to install a temporary bridge to serve the commuting public. There will be a closure of the CCT during the concrete deck demo (1-2, 8hr periods) near the beginning of the project and again during the replacement of the new concrete deck, after repairs to the steel superstructure (1-2, 8hr periods) near the end of the project. I am checking to make sure that weekly traffic information is getting out to the public. I will share with you the media outlets our regional office is utilizing. It is our intention for the daily CCT commuter not to be impacted from 5:00 am through 9:00 pm time frame."The Coalition will post other details as we learn them.
2) Maintenance work along the trail in Montgomery County by the Mont. Co. Parks Department:
Jeff Devlin, Reigional Park Manager, Montgomery County Parks has provided this information:
Trail users are asked to use caution along the Montgomery County portion of the paved trail while trail improvements are made. You’ll see the following signs in the work areas:
We are told that crews will start near the Bethesda Avenue trail head and work south towards Little Falls Parkway and beyond. Please slow for work crews and use caution in the work areas.
Responses on CCCT's call for input on maintenance needs.
We have received a good and varied response from many trail users on what the trail needs. A summary of the responses is available at Trail Issues.
Thank You for your good input. It will help guide us, and will also provide trail user feedback to use as we discuss these maintenance issues with NPS and MoCo Parks.
the CCCT Board
Call for input on CCT maintenance needs.
The CCCT intends to approach both the NPS and DDOT about the growing need for substantial repairs and/or repaving of the Trail in DC. We welcome your input regarding what is most needed. What should we be asking for?
The trail section under NPS control is the approx. 3 mile long section from the DC line south to Georgetown. NPS performed repairs several years ago near Fletchers Cove, when bumps in the trail from tree roots were cut out and patched. But those repairs are starting to fail, and trail pavement appears to also be failing elsewhere.
What do you believe is necessary to keep the DC section of the CCT in good condition? Which specific areas need the most attention? Can the problems be addressed with local repairs, or should we press hard for repaving the entire section even if funding will be more difficult to find?
Please send comments and suggestions to email@example.com
Trail clear everywhere.
No ice anywhere!
Trail from Georgetown to Silver Spring: No ice anywhere. Very soggy Bethesda to Silver Spring. Lots of people out to enjoy the warm weather.
A "shout out" to the Secret Service
Update: This repair has been completed. The ramp is gone.
Temporary sewage pump-a-round crosses CCT near mile 5.5
The following email has been forwarded to us - expect the pipe to be across the trail near marker 5.5 for another week or so:
To: Devlin, Jeff
FYI, This past weekend WSSC discovered a problem with one of their sewer manholes and was forced to set up a temporary sewage pump-a-round that crosses over the surface of the Capital Crescent Trail. The crossing is located several hundred feet south of mile marker 5.5. The 4-inch line is covered with a plywood ramp and several traffic drums are in place to alert the public. The ramp should not be a problem for pedestrians. However, cyclists should reduce speed and use caution when crossing the plywood ramp.
WSSC is working out the details for the manhole repair and hopes to be finished in a week or so. Other options for the location of the pump-a-round pipe were considered. However, given the forecast for another storm coming up the coast on Wednesday. Placement of the by pass line through the adjacent stream culvert did not seem to be a viable option.
As I receive more information about this emergency pump-a-round, I’ll pass it on to you.
Police release composite sketch of assault suspect
The Police Major Crmes Division has issued this press release with a composite sketch of the suspect in the October 21 assault on the CCT:
Bethesda to Silver Spring has a lot of leaves.
MoCo has done a great job of clearing the CCT Bethesda to DC line - even the leaves are gone.
Bethesda to Silver Spring has a lot of leaves, which might be hazardous as they decompose and become slippery. At least the entire trail from G'town to Silver Spring is clear of trees and large debris.
Who can we thank for clearing trees?
I think trail users would be delighted to thank the folks who did the hard work so quickly to get those big trees of the path. One of them was big trunk and a lot of big branches covering the CCT. Who can we thank for all that? Thanks a lot, Jeff
Webmaster's response: These trees were in the D.C. trail section maintained by the C&O Canal National Historic Park. Our contact email for maintenance issues is Mike_Seibert@nps.gov
Trail clear of down trees
I'm happy to report that the trail from Georgetown to Dorset Ave. has been cleared of fallen trees. Wet leaves and assorted twigs still adorn the trail.
CCCT re-issues statement on trail assaults
Police patrols have been increased, but trail users still need to use a few simple precautions - see About the recent attacks on the Trail
From the Chevy Chase Patch
Police cruisers on the CCT.
Two police cars were spotted on the CCT on the MD side of the Dalecarlia tunnel. Good to see their presence, but patrolling would be better.
An assault on the CCT.
There was just another attack on the CCT, occurred at about 7pm. The woman escaped the assault and attempted rape. It was on the Montgomery section, but I don't have the exact location. The suspect fled on a bicycle with a basket on the front.
People, PLEASE use strength in numbers after sunset. All it takes to not be a target is one other person with you.
Yet another assault reported at Bethesda Tunnel.
The Bethesda Patch reports a boy was assaulted in the tunnel on Saturday, Sept. 30 at about 8 p.m., and taken to the hospital by his parents. The Mont. Co. Police are stepping up patrols in the tunnel. See the story here.
It is worth repeating this from our CCCT Chair's response to the prior assaults this year:
We urge all users to take reasonable precautions. It's best that no one use the trail alone after dusk. There is always safety in numbers. And at all times of the day or night everyone must remain aware of their surroundings, especially in isolated areas. Forget the earphones and leave your ears open; take a look behind you now and then; look around, you should never be surprised by the presence of other people on the trail. Most importantly though, if you must use the trail after dark, please do so with a friend or companion. Don't give the trouble makers the opportunity they're looking for.
Now that it's getting dark again...
If you are on the trail at night without a light or reflective clothing, even if you are wearing brightly colored clothes, you are next to invisible to cyclists and you are putting yourself, and others on the trail, at risk of being run over.
I use a light that is really bright - my friends call it the light of god. But even with that light, I can’t see runners very well at all if they are not wearing reflective clothing or using a light.
And if you are riding a bike with a “light of god” or any other light, please please please be considerate of people coming the other way by aiming your light to the right, or lowering its intensity.
Taming the overgrowth.
Kudos to all involved in the cutting back of the overgrowth on the lower end of the trail – between Fletcher’s and the boathouse. It seemed to have been forgotten after the initial cutback farther up the trail, north of the Canal Road bridge.
I was out of town for a few days and was most pleasantly surprised to see that the trail trimming had taken place in the interim. It is great to see the trail at full width again, and so much easier to navigate in the context of the AM and post-5:30 outward bound rush.
Thanks for addressing this – and yes, I like the signs informing all as to who was responsible for making it happen.
A "before" photo of overgrowth on the trail -
near milepost 9.5
(Webmaster note: The C&O Canal Trust is responsible for this - see before and after photos on their website at C&O Canal Trust)
Thank you to the biker who ran me off the trail.
Thank you to the biker in the light blue shirt who ran me off the trail this morning when I was running. I am thanking him because he stopped to make sure I was OK and to apologize profusely for biking so recklessly. In all my years running on the CCT, this is the first time I've had a biker acknowledge his mistake and it meant a great deal to me. Of course, another biker almost clocked us as we were talking and at least five bikers passed me quickly, closely and without warning during my run. But I have hope.
Increased police presence on Trail.
For what it's worth, I saw a marked increase in police presence on this morning's commute into town. Two cars were patroling the lower portion of the trail (past Fletchers), and the Park Police chopper seemed to be making several passes of that area as well.
Please see our
Runner seriously assaulted near Georgetown.
A female runner was assaulted tonight (Wednesday, July 25th, around 9:00 p.m.) near the Georgetown end of the trail. A man, described as a young, African-American male, with short dreadlocks attacked the woman from behind with a choke hold. The woman escaped, and ran towards Georgetown for assistance.
The police responded (some 6 cars worth, EMTs, and a helicopter) and searched for the attacker. The victim was scratched and bruised, and had lost her glasses and cellphone. She was taken to the hospital, though she appeared to not have sustained serious physical injuries. [note: Later reports are that the victim was more seriously harmed than immediately apparent, see the update below.]
If anyone has information pertaining to this attack, please contact the U.S. Park Police, 202-619-7300.
Update: The Washington Post has reported on this at Woman sexually assaulted on Capitol Crescent Trail. The Park Police contact to report any information is Detective Glenn Luppino at 202-610-8750.
Two strong arm robberies at the Bethesda Tunnel.
The Chevy Chase Patch reports that there have been two strong arm robberies on the Georgetown Branch Trail, at Two robberies in tunnel near Elm Street Park.
Both robberies happened on a Friday evening at about 8 pm. In both instances the robbers were groups of young men who had been seen loitering in the park at the east end of the tunnel.
The east end of the tunnel. Elm Street Park is on the left.
This is the first violent crime that we are aware of to occur in the tunnel since it opened for trail use in 1998. We believe that the trail, and the park, continue to be reasonably safe. But trail users need to be aware of their surroundings whenever they use the trail. This will be especially true in the area of the Bethesda Tunnel until this recent wave of strong arm robberies passes.
CCCT is seeking to learn more about the circumstances of the assaults and what measures are being taken to make the area more secure.
Maybe this sign has been here for a long time, but this is the first I've seen it.
Mudslide and Road Rules (from David, Sept. 8)
In heavy rains this morning there was an oozing flow of mud across the trail at approx. mile marker six. Though there are many of these along the trail, this one flowed completely across the trail and was rather slippery, being over 1 inch deep in places. I'm not sure if NPC or MNCPPC has a policy of periodically shoveling off these mini-mudslides, but this one will be around for a long time.
Also, diving into the trail safety debate, I'd like to commend the previous posters. The Capital Crescent Trail risks becoming a victim of its own success. As the number of users increases annually the requirement to use it responsibly becomes more acute. As a longtime bicycle commuter I can report that the majority of people apply common sense and share the trail safely. Still, in light of the occasional unfortunate accident I thought I'd offer a few rules of the road, which may repeat what others have written, but they show that safety is not a subjective assessment:
Always warn to pass. Regardless of whether you warn vocally (“Passing on your left!” works) or use a bell, warn at least three seconds before you will come alongside the person being passed. A warning made while alongside is too late and could startle the other person. Use common hand signals to warn cyclists who may be behind you.
Think a couple of moves ahead. If you gauge that the person you are about to pass is also about to pass a slower rider or pedestrian, don’t pass either one unless you are sure that you have ample room and that both people have heard your warning.
Avoid squeeze plays. The trail is not wide enough in most places to safely accommodate passing where there is also oncoming traffic. We know that cyclists hate to touch their brakes, but better to wait a few seconds for a clear lane than to spend a month healing from a crash.
Go at a reasonable speed for the conditions and avoid forming pace lines of more than a couple of riders.
For Runners and Walkers:
No surprise U-turns. Always look over your shoulder well before changing course or even stopping.
Wear light-colored or reflective clothing at night. Black is fashionable, but it is also invisible in low-light situations. Remember, the trail is unlit and even slow-moving cyclists may not see you until it is too late.
Also remember that when pushing a stroller you are likely to lead with it when you turn. Thus, it is essential to look over your shoulder and turn only when it is safe to do so.
Dogs are generally good about staying to the side of the trail, but when they see another dog, they can dart across, so please be alert for this. Also, leashes are a must, not just for the safety of trail users, but for the dog as well.
For All Trail Users:
Keep to the right except when passing.
When stopping, move off of the trail.
Wearing headphones makes it all but impossible to hear the warnings of others. For safety, go easy on the volume or leave one ear uncovered.
Be as narrow as possible. Walking or riding three or four abreast is not advisable. Also. some uses and equipment are wider than others, such as in-line skating, double-wide strollers and certain bicycle handlebars. Extra width requires extra clearance when passing.
Be predictable and respect others.
For the National Parks Service and Montgomery County (the Trail’s Owners):
Improve the centerline markings on the trail. The painted lines are all but gone. Better markings will help trail users keep to defined lanes. Also, adding lines along the outer edges of the pavement would improve the trail’s safety for nighttime users.
When repaving the trail, widen it. Even an additional foot or two on either side would help make the trail more comfortable for more users, yet without damaging any trailside trees or shrubs. The Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail has recommended making the trail 16 feet wide between downtown Bethesda and Massachusetts Avenue, which is the most crowed section of the trail.
Grind down root bumps, as is periodically done along the Mt. Vernon Trail.
Remember that the trail is a public right of way and that you have a responsibility to maintain it in safe condition no less than a public road.
A commuting cyclist's perspective on safety (Mike, Sept. 2)
As a commuting cyclist and a former runner, I agree with the points made in the previous posts but think that we all need to make a much stronger commitment to etiquette and consideration for others on the trail. This cannot be a cyclists vs runners vs walkers thing. I see behavior contributing to unsafe conditions in every category nearly every day when we fail to think about what we each owe the other person to mutually create a safe trail. What works on your neighbor sidewalk or street is not sufficient in a crowded corridor like the Crescent, especially north of Dalecarlia. For better or worse, in addition to the points already made about keeping speed down, warning and respecting other’s space, here’s my plea to all cyclists, runners and walkers:
1. Ride, run or walk as far to the right as possible. Passing on the right is dangerous but if you are in the middle or left of the trail, a person overtaking doesn’t have much choice.
I will do my part but that won’t be enough to keep us both safe unless you do yours too!
Another appeal, from a runner (Deborah, on Sept. 1)
(I decided to write this before I saw Steven's appeal. Clearly something is going on that is causing some general concern).
Watch out for poison ivy on the CCT:
Watch for poison ivy when crossing fallen trees: After two trees fell across the trail on June 22, just north of the 7 mile marker, many cyclists carried their bicycles over the fallen trees. One cyclist who carried her bike over the trees reported that she developed a rash on her arm about two days later. The rash worsened and was diagnosed as poison ivy. The cyclist urges all trail users to watch for poison ivy on the trail, both on the ground and in fallen trees. Click here for more information about poison ivy on the trail.
Help us by reporting trail conditions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety is NO ACCIDENT - Courtesy is Contagious