Better bike trails for the Beltway

With generous support from REI, The Trust for Public Land and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) are working to strengthen the DC-area bike trail system. Our urban planning experts are helping WABA quantify the potential benefits of three proposed trail extensions. Findings from the REI-funded study will help WABA advocate for the strategic development of a well-connected, well-designed trail network, which will enable safer bike trips to schools, parks, and offices; reduce carbon emissions; and create opportunities for hundreds of thousands of DC-area residents to get outside and exercise.

Metropolitan Branch Trail: The proposed extension of the Met Branch will connect eight miles of trail from Union Station in DC to the Silver Spring Transit Center in Montgomery County, Maryland. Once complete, this trail will open easy bike access to regional transit, local businesses, and many miles of existing trail.

Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail: Today, the WB&A is a ten-mile patchwork of bike trails and city streets winding through suburban neighborhoods between Odenton and Glenn Dale, Maryland.  A proposal to extend the trail from the suburbs into DC will make the WB&A into a “trail to somewhere,” forging a connection between the northeast suburbs and the growing DC bike trail network.

Arlington Boulevard Trail: More than 100,000 people live in neighborhoods along the Arlington Boulevard Trail corridor. Bike advocates are working on a plan to connect existing sections and build new ones, hoping to eventually create a 22-mile path from Fairfax City all the way to the National Mall. Armed with data from The Trust for Public Land’s connectivity analysis, WABA will be better able to prioritize construction along this corridor to maximize the benefits to the community and the environment.