|Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail|
Reports are not checked for accuracy and may no longer apply.
Please help us by reporting about conditions or accidents on the CCT or Interim CCT. Email reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full names and email addresses will not be posted.
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."
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