Tuesday, August 23, 2016

NPS Releases Paved Trail Plan/Study

National Park Service recently released the final Paved Trail Study that outlines a vision for a future paved trail network in the Metro DC area. "The main outcomes of this study are a vision for the trail network, a set of achievable goals, 121 capital and programmatic recommendations, and a framework for prioritizing regional funding of trail–related projects in the future."

One of the most dangerous crossing of GW Parkway was mentioned in the section on At-Grade Crossings: "In addition, popular trail access points from nearby neighborhoods that require crossing the Parkway should also be studied. For example, Fairfax County has approved a study to evaluate pedestrian and bicycle crossing of the Parkway at Belle View Boulevard. Roadway and trail safety enhancements could include improved sightlines, speed limit reductions in key areas, creating shorter trail crossing distances by narrowing or reducing lanes, introducing pavement markings, and improved crossing signage."

The primary recommendation in Fairfax County was development of the Fort Hunt Trail, in three parts:

1. From GWMP along Vernon View Drive to Fort Hunt Road: Develop on-road trail facility from Mount Vernon Trail crossing GWMP, routed along Vernon View Drive to Fort Hunt Road.

2. From Fort Hunt Road/Fort Hunt Park to Belle Haven Golf Course: Develop on-road trail facility from Fort Hunt Road/Fort Hunt Park along Fort Hunt Road to Belle Haven Road.

3. Belle Haven Road between Fort Hunt Road and GWMP: Develop on-road connector along Belle Haven Road to Belle Haven Park and Mount Vernon Trail

From the National Park Service:
National Park Service News Release
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, jenny_anzelmo-sarles@nps.gov, 202-619-7177

National Park Service envisions an interconnected paved trail system in the Washington Metro Area 
Paved Trail Study is finalized

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Park Service (NPS) released its final Paved Trail Study, setting a vision for future planning and coordination in the NPS National Capital Region paved trail network. The study identifies achievable goals, provides 121 capital and programmatic recommendations and prioritizes opportunities to expand multi-use trails in D.C. area national parks as funding becomes available.

Today, there are nearly 100 miles of paved trails in D.C. area national parks. The extensive network is helping to define the region as a pioneer in multi-modal transportation infrastructure. The plan established the concept of a National Capital Trail consisting of four loops, which offer between 18 and 45 miles of diverse trail experiences and link national parks and other destinations. The NPS will use criteria in the plan to prioritize projects and align limited resources for maximum regional benefit.

The paved trail network in the national capital region is one of the most complex in the nation, and no single park or agency can carry full responsibility for maintaining or enhancing the entire network. Partnerships are an essential element for success.

The NPS strives to lead the region in providing exceptional trail experiences, seamlessly linking diverse places of natural and historic significance while providing safe and enjoyable places for people to walk, run, bike, commute and have fun with friends and family.

To develop the study, the NPS conducted a comprehensive examination of its regional trail network and of federal regulations and policies that guide trail planning. Stakeholder outreach and local government trail plans and priorities, including major trail gaps and areas for potential partnership and collaboration, also informed the study.

Download the Paved Trails Study: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/NCRtrailplan_final
Map of Corridors of Regional Significance. See the report for a better image.

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