|Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail|
Sign up for our
News about the Trail
Planning Board gets some bad news about
A sunny day favored us as bicyclists, walkers, and runners stopped by the CCCT table at River Road to pick up bicycle bells and pedestrian whistles. Bells and whistles were free, including installation on the bike! A dropbox photo album of the event is online here.
CCCT holds "Bells and Whistles" events several times a year to promote safe and courteous trail behavior. Our next regularly scheduled event is in April, but a short notice event may be held in winter if an unseasonably warm weekend is forecast. Check our website www.cctrail.org for a notice if you are heading out on the trail on a warm winter weekend and want to greet us.
Oct. 29, 2013
It was a pleasure to meet and greet so many Capital Crescent Trail users last August 17 when the Coalition held one of our periodic Bells and Whistles/Bike Rodeo events!
A sunny day greeted bicyclists, walkers, and runners on the Saturday morning as they logged their miles, connected with family and friends, and stopped by the CCCT table to pick up their free bicycle bells and pedestrian whistles. Bells and whistles were free, including installation on the bike! Kids learned safe bicycling skills on a fun and challenging course set up by the staff of the Community Services Unit of the Maryland - National Capital Park Police. For more about the rodeo, and a rodeo photo album, see our Rodeo Report.
Oct. 29, 2013
CSXT has sent a letter dated Sept. 3, 2013 to MTA Purple Line Project Manager Mike Madden in response to MTA's request to use CSXT right-of-way for extending the CCT into Silver Spring with the Purple Line. CSXT has agreed to make an exception to its policy against allowing trails within its right-of-way, but with the condition that the Trail must maintain an offset of 50' from any live track.
Mike Madden has indicated that MTA can meet the CSXT offset condition. The planned alignment can be modified in the Talbot Avenue area to avoid using CSXT right-of-way, by changing the bridge the trail will use over the CSXT tracks. The trail alignment can be shifted a few feet east within the CSXT right-of-way between Lyttonsville Road and the 16th Street Bridge, to increase the offset. The trail alignment can continue to use Third Avenue right-of-way south from the 16th Street Bridge as planned.
CCCT continues to neither support nor oppose the Purple Line, provided that if the Purple Line is built the CCT must be rebuilt to a high standard in the Georgetown Branch corridor and must be extended into Silver Spring with the Purple Line in the CSXT corridor.
Oct. 29, 2013
The Maryland Transit Administration released the Purple Line Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for review on Sept. 6, 2013, available online at www.purplelinemd.com. The six-week public comment period ended on Oct. 21.
Several major trail design issues surfaced in the FEIS that caused CCCT to ask whether the MCDOT/MTA design team is using the resources needed to properly design a multi-use trail of high regional importance like the CCT. These include:
CCCT concluded in its FEIS comments:
"MCDOT and MTA must act well together as a CCT design team if we are going to realize the potential of the CCT. If the Purple Line proceeds to final design, the design team should include designers who have professional training and experience specific to multi-use trail design, and who have the responsibility to design the CCT to meet or exceed current trail design guidelines and best practices."See the complete CCCT response at CCCT FEIS Comments.
Sept. 4, 2013
We reported last April at Changing plans for the Bethesda Tunnel that an effort was underway at M-NCPPC to induce the property owner to redevelop the Apex Building. The Post reported in August that the effort is starting to work: Pharmacist' group shows new interest in Purple Line. M-NCPPC is now holding a series of three open houses to show what a new Purple Line Station might look like if the Apex Building were redeveloped. County planners are showing two options for a new CCT tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue for consideration. The first open house was held on Sept. 3. All the presentation material is now available for review at Bethesda Purple Line Station
Both of the trail tunnel options presented would be IN ADDITION to the alternative surface trail route now being planned and described at Changing plans for the Bethesda Tunnel. We find that both have strong advantages and drawbacks. Both would give trail users a safe grade-separated crossing of Wisconsin Avenue. Option 1 would be a shorter tunnel with a straight sight line for good perceived safety, but would be only about 13' wide and would have a steep (approx. 8%) grade at the east portal. It would also have an at-grade crossing of 47th Street. The Option 2 tunnel would be longer with a curve, but can be wider, would have a more gentle grade and would not cross 47th Street at-grade.
CCCT is planning to submit written comments on the tunnel design options, and is currently holding a slight preference for Option 2.
M-NCPPC will be holding two more open houses, on Saturday Sept. 7 and Monday Sept. 9. We encourage trail users to look at the presentation materials presented at the M-NCPPC website Bethesda Purple Line Station, attend an open house to learn more, and submit comments to the county planners at a meeting or through their website. You may express a preference for either tunnel option - but please let planners know how important it is that a CCT tunnel be completed in addition to the surface route.
June 23, 2013
The National Park Service has modified the Georgetown Trailhead to address a serious problem of motor vehicle incursions upon the Trail. A new gate, 5 1/2 feet wide, has been installed. We have recieved this update from the NPS:
The bicycle-friendly gate has been installed at the Water Street entrance to the Capital Crescent Trail. Cyclists should use caution when entering or exiting the trail at this location. Additional signage and striping has been installed to warn all visitors approaching the gate.
UPDATE: ABC Channel 7 has a video report at Capital Crescent Trail gated to prohibit cars.
The gate is shown in these two views:
The NPS has issued a press release to explain the need and rationale for the gate and other changes at the Georgetown Trailhead, at NPS News Release. From the NPS release:
"In recent months we have become concerned for the safety of Capital Crescent Trail visitors at the end of the trail on Water Street in Georgetown as one serious injury and an increasing number of near-miss accidents between bicyclists and cars have been reported," confirmed Park Superintendent Kevin Brandt. "Before another serious injury occurs we will take actions to minimize the risk posed to park visitors using the trail for recreation."
Plans to enhance visitor safety and improve the aesthetics of this historic area include filling in all ruts and depressions in the drive-through arch of the Alexandria Aqueduct to create a smooth and level surface. Installation of a bicycle-friendly gate at the Georgetown side of the aqueduct will prevent vehicles from driving upstream and replace the single bollard located 200 feet upstream that had previously served this purpose but that was knocked over frequently by errant cars. Signage and striping to warn visitors as they approach the gate and direct them towards the 5 1/5 feet-wide opening will be installed. Additional signs will be posted that alert visitors to the fact that they are leaving a non-motorized trail and entering a public road.
The annual CCCT general membership meeting and picnic will be at the Elm Street Park in Bethesda on Monday June 10, 6:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
All CCCT members and supporters are welcome to come to enjoy a casual evening in the park and to meet our CCCT Board and other trail advocates. We will have free food and drink, and children are welcome. We will have a brief business meeting to give a summary of our activities and goals, and to elect our board for the next year. This will be a good opportunity to share your ideas and concerns for the CCT with the Coalition Board Members.
The Elm Street Park is between Willow Lane and Elm Street, just one block east of Wisconsin Avenue. It is adjacent to the Interim CCT/Georgetown Branch Trail, with direct trail access from the east end of the Bethesda Tunnel. There is a public surface parking lot adjacent to the south side of the park on Willow Lane, behind the Montgomery Farm Women's Co-op Market at 7155 Wisconsin Avenue.
May 26, 2013
See our report NPS Boathouse Feasibility Study for a summary of the issues and CCCT's response.
April 29, 2013
It has been just over a year since we passed on the bad news that the Trail would not remain in the Bethesda Tunnel with the Purple Line light-rail, because it was judged that building both together in the tunnel under the Apex Building would have too much cost and too much risk of destabilizing the building. Instead the CCT is now planned to follow a route along Bethesda streets and to cross Wisconsin Avenue at-grade. See our summary of that decision at Council weighs options for the Bethesda Tunnel.
Several ideas for alternative CCT and pedestrian routes across Wisconsin Ave. have advanced over the last year to try to compensate for the expected loss of the Bethesda Tunnel route: 1) a new plan for a sidewalk through the tunnel; 2) the plan for an alternative CCT surface route along Bethesda Avenue; and 3) a new proposal to tear down the Apex Building and build a new, separate tunnel for the CCT.
For more on the current status of these alternative routes, see our full report HERE.
WHAT: Bells and Whistles and Bike Rodeo on the CCT
WHEN: April 20th from 11:00 to 2:00pm Saturday, April 20
WHERE: Washington Episcopal School Parking lot next to the CCT at River Road.
HOW: CCCT volunteers and Montgomery County Park Police installed bells on bikes and handed out whistles to runners and roller-bladers. Park Police conducted a "Bike Rodeo"
WHY: SAFETY - Bells and whistles warn others and increase awareness of trail users presence. Bike Rodeo participants learn the proper way to wear a helmet, perform hand signals, how to ride safely and have fun riding through a cone course.
For more information: Greg@cctrail.org
A beautiful ode to the Capital Crescent Trail has been written by regular trail user Lenny Bernstein and published in the Washington Post Wellness Section on Feb. 26, 2013: In praise of a reliable workout buddy. From the article:
"...I've walked, run and biked every inch of the CCT hundreds of times over the years - in the dark and at dawn, in 95-degree summers and 10-degree winters, alone and with groups of more than 100. I know the location of every water fountain, pothole, access point and secluded emergency pit stop. I plan my workouts around them. We all do.
Yet the trail is also a major commuter artery, a rush-hour bike highway whose traffic increases every year. That dual purpose makes the CCT a rare and valuable asset among the nation's 1,768 rail trails, which cover more than 20,000 miles."
CCCT Chair Ron Tripp and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy spokesman Jake Lynch also offer their insights on the history and value of the CCT. From Jake Lynch:
"When you try to estimate ... what a trail like this is worth, ...that sort of value is priceless. You can't put a price on it."
This article is a good read for everyone, whether new to the trail or a long time trail veteran.
Safety is NO ACCIDENT - Courtesy is Contagious