View Full Version : A sweet surprise at the 14th St. Bridge and MVT

10-27-2011, 05:57 PM
After nearly being blown sideways in pouring rain on the bridge, a newly rounded asphalt-covered corner at the MVT was a wonderful surprise. Thank you dbb and whoever else wrote in about that! I think I'll send a thank you note to that office dbb suggested we write to.

10-27-2011, 07:25 PM
I was pretty pleased with the adjustments they made. While I am sure the new asphalt has some "creamy goodness", I'll leave the formal assessment to Dirt's refined sense of taste. They also cleaned up the speed bump just south of the Humpback Bridge.

Not wanting to damp the positive energy, they seemed to miss one of the three issues they promised - the depressed trail (pic from last week) where they drove across to make the detour of death (pic from Feb 2011) connecting the 14th St Bridge trail to the MVT.

I think I will ask about the final piece of the work in my thank you note. I have been communicating with FHWA at EFL.FHWA@dot.gov I am sure they would love to hear from others!

10-27-2011, 08:37 PM
Was pleased to see the corners. Still expect cyclists to be wearing a grove over the grass when the ground firms up.

That depression! Yeah - it is one way of telling whether a cyclist has done that trail before. If they havent, they hit that depression with a jolting surprise. Otherwise, its kinda a cool moogle :p

Is there a map for where that other trail is gonna go?

Now.... any chance we can get NPSGW to remove the jersey barriers from Roosevelt??

10-27-2011, 08:58 PM
The trail on the north side of the bridge appears to go to the marina and the south trail seems to track around the Boundary Channel (correct name?).

The Federal Highway Administration has information and a graphic at http://www.efl.fhwa.dot.gov/files/projects/traffic/gwmp-1a97/detail-illustration1.jpg

More project details at http://www.efl.fhwa.dot.gov/projects/traffic-humpback-bridge.aspx

10-27-2011, 09:39 PM
Good to hear. But they didn't smooth out the rough patch coming off of the 14th St. Bridge trail, over to MVT? That should be easy enough to do. That wouldn't take the crews long at all, since they already have the equipment and material on hand.

10-27-2011, 10:14 PM
Nope. No equipment was visible this evening, although the repair would have been a piece of cake as they did the other two pieces of work.

Chance of that happening will increase with encouragement. The contact for FHWA is EFL.FHWA@dot.gov

I would expect that operators are standing by! Keep those cards and letters coming in!

10-28-2011, 06:57 AM
I just sent them an email, about that section of the trail and also about the north end of the 14th St. Bridge trail. The hill between the bridge and the Jefferson Memorial is dangerous. The trail is too narrow for safe two-way bike/pedestrian traffic and there's a steep dropoff on the west side of the trail. It would be relatively easy for the relevant agency to widen that path by paving what is now a dirt path next to the trail, around the street lamp and down the hill.

I'm not sure if DOT is responsible for that part of the trail or NPS is. Hopefully DOT will forward my suggestion to NPS if it is NPS land.

10-28-2011, 08:21 AM
The trail on the north side of the bridge appears to go to the marina and the south trail seems to track around the Boundary Channel (correct name?).

I think the answer here is that it is good to be the <STRIKE>King</Strike> Pentagon. The soldier boys from the Pentagon regularly use these trails for their required physical training (great to see the desk jockeys trying to jog).

The trail on the north side does go to the marina, but more importantly, it connects to a pedestrian bridge that crosses over that spit of channel, over to Boundary Channel Drive. You can then bike over to a path along Washington Blvd and bike into the Columbia Pike neighborhood. This is actually amazingly convenient and a nice link.

The trail on the south side - staring at google maps with the "bicycling" option on - and the project map is extremely limited - looks like it will curve around the south side and connect to the bike route on the Boundary Channel Drive.

Again, all of this just creates more jogging paths for the soldier boys at the Pentagon. And what is good for the <STRIKE>King</Strike> Pentagon is probably good for us! :D

10-28-2011, 09:38 AM
I'll explore the south Humpback Train during my commute on Monday and report.

Here was the note I sent to the Federal Highway Administration last night:

"Thanks for the improvements at the intersection of the 14th Street Bridge bike trail and the Mount Vernon bike trail. The turn is now easier and will help all riders. Eliminating the "speed bump" just south of the Humpback Bridge is also appreciated.

Any prognosis on repairing the trail down from the 14th Street Bridge where the trail was compressed by construction equipment in making the detour last winter? Water pools in the depression and that will present a safety problem as we get nights below freezing.

Thanks for your help."

When I get a reply (they replied to the other two notes I sent), I'll share.

10-28-2011, 10:26 AM
There is no official trail around Boundary Channel yet. The underpass on the south side of the Humpback Bridge doesn't go anywhere. I think they built it in anticipation of a future trail. But the Pentagon needs to sign off on that. They seem reluctant to do so.

About the trail into the marina and Lady Bird Johnson Park: That's an odd place, at least when I rode there one day. In the late afternoon, most of the people in the park were solo men, all dressed quite shabbily, shuffling about with distressed looks on their faces. I'm not sure I would want to ride through there in the dark. It was kind of a bizarre scene.

10-31-2011, 07:38 PM
443 444

Rode the South Trail from the Humpback this afternoon. The trail extends to the south around the Pentagon Lagoon (that seems to be what the Columbia Island Marina calls the pond) about 0.2 miles and stops at the base of I 395. Kind of a bummer as the end of the trail appears to be about 1/6 mile (straight line) from the Boundary Channel Drive underpass under 395. From the underpass, it could be fairly easy to connect to the Long Bridge Park trail/path.

11-01-2011, 03:44 AM
About the trail into the marina and Lady Bird Johnson Park: That's an odd place, at least when I rode there one day. In the late afternoon, most of the people in the park were solo men, all dressed quite shabbily, shuffling about with distressed looks on their faces. I'm not sure I would want to ride through there in the dark. It was kind of a bizarre scene.

It's a well-known gay cruising spot (Google '"columbia island" gay').

Since it allows me to avoid crossing the GW Parkway, I've been taking the north side tunnel under the Humpback Bridge since it opened; whenever I am not heading up to the Custis Trail, on my p.m. commute -- several days a week. Other than yesterday, there have always been solo men hanging around -- well dressed, shabbily dressed, shirtless, etc. There are some in cars and often cars slowly driving to that end of the parking lot. (I hate cars slowly driving behind me, when they could easily pass, so this is the annoying part of this route.)

At night? I don't know about the evening, but at 3:00 a.m., it's deserted. I've taken it a half dozen times in the morning, heading the other way (Pentagon to MVT). You need a light. There are no lights on the bridge over the Boundary Channel or on the Pentagon side. Although the grove itself is lit, the path connecting it to the parking lot needs another light or two. There is one light at the north end of the parking lot, but that's it. The parking lot is unlit unlit you get near the boat slips, where there are some lights along that side of the parking lot. The restrooms and restaurant have some lights and there is a light mounted high, on a pole behind the restaurant, that does give enough light to get to the tunnel under the Humpback Bridge. Although the tunnel does have lights, I have never seen them working. Once on the river side of the tunnel, there are no lights on the tail to get you to the MVT. Currently, the lights on that portion of the MVT are out, too. (I saw this message before heading in this morning and took the route to check the lights.)

11-01-2011, 07:12 AM
Yikes! I've only ridden there that one time. I only saw the solo men in the LBJ park. One guy was talking on a cell phone. He seemed relatively balanced, but I think some of the other guys had to have been on drugs. One guy seemed to be going through an existential crisis. There was also a young woman walking around. She looked like a college student/intern. In the marina, I saw families. On the bridge across the Boundary Channel, a 20-something woman was walking her dog.

A connection from the south underpass of the Humpback Bridge to Boundary Channel Drive would be nice. I've never seen that much traffic on that road and it seems to be low speed. (However, I've never ridden there during rush hour.) Long Bridge Drive (officially still called Old Jefferson Davis Highway until next spring) is still in bad shape. Work crews have been paving 6th St., just to the south of the new park, but LBD is still a mess. The park officially opens this weekend. I don't know if the crews plan to pave LBD before then. If not, then I still wouldn't ride on that road with road bike tires.

It's possible that LBD won't be paved immediately. The old warehouses south of the park are set to be demolished in the coming weeks, to make way for the new Boeing regional HQ. So there will be heavy equipment rolling on that road for some time to come. If LBD is repaved now, the asphalt could get beat up right away.

11-10-2011, 08:54 AM
I finally stopped to photograph at the new little widgets of pavement that they put in. They are indeed luscious. They got a smooch from me. Nicely executed. Hopefully they hold up since they were not all paved at the same time.