|Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail|
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John Dugger memorial will be held on November 7
Supporters and Users of The Capital Crescent Trail;
With great sorrow The Coalition For The Capital Crescent Trail (CCCT) reports the passing of John Dugger. An advocate for the trail from it's beginning, John served many years on the CCCT board. John and his wisdom will be missed for years to come.
His obituary has appeared in the Washington Post:
Please take note of the tribute to John Dugger placed along the trail at mile marker 6.5.
We had reported on the Sept. 12, 2014 dedication of this plaque HERE.
October 11 Bike Rodeo and Free Bells & Whistles.
Saturday, October 11, 10:00am - 1:00pm
A fun event for the whole family along the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda!
Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail (CCCT) Board Members will be giving out FREE bicycle Bells and Whistles to trail users to promote giving warning on the trail (note: bells only available if installed with bike present) 10am - 1pm.
MD National Capital Park Police staff will give safety awareness tips to children along with the Bike Rodeo which will demostrate basic cycling skills through a variety of fun activities 11am - 1 pm.
These events will take place along the Capital Crescent Trail where it intersects with the Washington Episcopal School parking lot on Landy Lane, just off of River Road by the CCT overpass (look for the "Washington Episcopal School" sign).
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The window of opportunity for having a new CCT tunnelunder Wisconsin Avenue may reopen briefly next year.Oct. 1, 2014
Just as it appeared to be over, a representative of the building owners came forward to say they were still interested in making a deal and were disappointed they had not been given an opportunity to make a counter offer - see the report at mymcmedia: Apex building owner hoping to revive deal with county to raxe building. Hopes were boosted further on Sept. 30, 2014 at a county council Purple Line status update when MTA's Deputy Executive Director for Transit Development told the panel that there would be an opportunity to reopen the matter "very briefly" after the vendor is selected to build the Purple Line next year and prior to the start of construction on the line. Several council members expressed their strong desire to support continuing the negotiations. A more complete report of the Sept. 30 status update is at Bethesda Magazine: Brief window remains on possible Apex building deal for Purple Line station
CCCT continues to advocate for a tunnel crossing of busy Wisconsin Avenue. The benefit of a safe, grade-separated crossing of Wisconsin Avenue for the region's most heavily used trail should be obvious to all. Razing the Apex building would not only open the space needed to build a new trail tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue, it would also allow a much better Purple Line station, better elevator connections to the Red Line platform, adequate bike parking at the station, and elimination of the ventilation tower and tail tracks that will otherwise mar Woodmont Plaza in the heart of Bethesda. David Lublin outlines the many benefits to the whole Bethesda community of a better Purple Line station in his Seventh State blog: Mediocre Bethesda Terminus.
The risk of losing a trail tunnel crossing of Wisconsin Ave. makes building the best possible alternative at-grade trail crossing even more important. That crossing is proposed to have a full width, protected trail down the north side of Bethesda Ave., cross Wisconsin Ave. in a reconfigured crosswalk, and continue along Willow Lane and 47th Street as a protected trail to reconnect with the CCT in Elm Street Park.
Proposed surface and tunnel routes for the CCT
(Source - M-NCPPC Public Hearing Draft Plan)
CCCT continues to participate in the advisory group that MCDOT has established to develop the alternative surface route design. MCDOT will be presenting the proposed design at a public workshop this fall.
Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail (CCCT), Montgomery Parks, and the Montgomery Parks Foundation honored trail advocate John Dugger with a special plaque September 12. Parks installed the plaque on the trail just south of the rest area by the Washington Aqueduct. John, as board member and past chair of CCCT was one of the leading voices for turning the abandoned B&O rail line from Georgetown to Silver Spring into a multi-use trail for walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. Today, the trail is the most heavily used in the greater Washington region.
Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery County Parks,
accepts the plaque with the Dugger Family.
Bicyclist Henri Bartholomot, also recognized on the plaque, helped Dugger secure federal funds to develop the trail and was personally involved in acquiring and developing extra right-of-way that makes up the 11-mile Capital Crescent Trail. After Dugger's retirement as naval officer and specialist in international law, he led the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail for much of the 90's. He was at the forefront of the push to remove the rails and open the section of trail from Elm Park in Chevy Chase to Silver Spring.
It's been almost 30 years since CSX abandoned the Georgetown Branch rail line and almost 20 years that residents and neighbors have enjoyed the Capital Crescent Trail. For most of the last three decades, the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail shaped public opinion and gained county support and federal funding to make the trail a reality.
Dugger, who recently turned 90, wasn't able to make it to the ceremony. Julie Dugger, sent the proceedings using Face Time so Dugger could watch live from home. Paul Schmitz, who led the initiative to honor Mr. Dugger, and Greg Drury, board member, welcomed public officials, trail volunteers, the Dugger Family and friends to the dedication.
Councilmember Nancy Floreen and CCCT Board Member Paul Schmitz
with the Dugger family and dedication guests at the plaque.
Henri Bartholomot shared the rich history of CCCT activities culminating in gaining Montgomery County support and Federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) funding in the early 1990's. Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and Council member Nancy Floreen, a former member of the Planning Board, shared memories of some Bethesda neighborhoods' concern on seeing the former railroad bed turned into a trail. Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Country Parks, accepted the plaque and expressed appreciation for the commitment of volunteers to create and preserve the trail for all to enjoy.
The annual CCCT general membership meeting and picnic will be at the Elm Street Park in Bethesda on Monday June 9, 2014 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
County Council commits $95M to finish the CCT.
On May 15, 2014 the Montgomery County Council approved a six year Capital Budget that programmed $95M to rebuild the CCT and extend it into downtown Silver Spring alongside the Purple Line light rail. This is the current cost estimate from MTA for the trail portion of the joint Purple Line/Capital Crescent Trail project. Under the agreement between the county and MTA, the county will be responsible for funding the trail costs. This approved Capital Budget shows the county is fully commited to building the CCT with the Purple Line as promised.
MTA is expected to release the Request for Proposals (RFP) within a few weeks. Four teams have been qualified to bid to build and operate the Purple Line under a Public-Private Partnership (P3) with the state. Construction could begin as early as 2015 if matching federal funding is received under the FTA "New Starts" Program.
Aerial Map of planned CCT at Rock Creek -
See the MTA website www.purplelinemd.com/en/maps-graphics
for the aerial maps from Bethesda to Silver Spring, in larger scale.
The details of the CCT design will be determined as the selected Purple Line contractor team completes the final design. But the major features have been set as requirements under the RFP, consistent with the preliminary design approved in the federal Record of Decision. The major features of the planned CCT between Bethesda and Silver Spring are described in the MTA website at www.purplelinemd.com. Those features include a 12' wide trail, paved, continuous into downtown Silver Spring, with bridges or underpasses at Connecticut Avenue, Jones Bridge Road, and Colesville Road. Crossings of Bethesda Avenue and 16th Street depend respectively upon how the Apex Building and CSX right-of-way issues are resolved within the next few months.
Pilot Snow Removal Program to begin next year.
Councilmember Roger Berliner announced that a pilot snow removal program has been created for the CCT in a March 27, 2014 press release. The program should be ready by next winter.
CCCT Chair Ron Tripp described the importance of this program: "The Capital Crescent Trail serves a rapidly growing number of bicycle commuters each day through out the year. Each of these riders represents one less car on the roads, or one less seat occupied on Metro. Clearing the trail after significant snowfalls will allow bike commuters to maintain their regular commutes. The Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail applauds all efforts to keep the trail open year round."
Thanks to Councilmember Berliner and outgoing Parks Dept. Director Mary Bradford for creating this important program.
CSXT reversal may force changes to planned CCT "final mile" into downtown Silver Spring
CCCT presented testimony to the Mont. Co. Planning Board on 20 March 2014 at the Purple Line/CCT mandatory referral to emphasize our major design and construction issues for rebuilding the CCT alongside the Purple Line between Bethesda and Silver Spring. The CCCT testimony is available online here.
MCDOT announced at the same hearing that CSXT has apparently reversed its position, and will no longer grant right-of-way for the Trail in the 'final mile' into downtown Silver Spring. The blog www.silverspringtrails.org reported on the meaning of this new position, and the most attractive alternate CCT alignment. That blog post is copied below. CCCT will be working with MCDOT and MTA to try to get the best outcome for the trail in the 'final mile' into downtown Silver Spring, and hopes to report more here soon on how this is being resolved.
Apex owners still debating move, hope for a new Bethesda Tunnel is still alive.
Bethesda Now reported on April 2, 2014 that the owners of the Apex building are still considering redevelopment of their building site, see Pharmacists Group Still Debating Apex Building Redevelopment. We reported here last November (below) that time was running out. That is true more than ever now, but it is encouraging to learn that the building owners are considering this very seriously. We will likely know the outcome within a few months.
More news is available in our Crescent Newsletter, available online at our Newsletter webpage.
Safety is NO ACCIDENT - Courtesy is Contagious