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Archive for December 2nd, 2011

Rock Creek Trail Environmental Assessment Released

The National Park Service (NPS), along with DDOT and FHWA have released their environmental assessment for the Rock Creek Trail.

The preferred alternative includes:

  • Resurfacing and widening the trail (Alternative 3)
  • Creating an 8 ft. spur trail to Peirce Mill (Option B)
  • Resurfacing the Rose Park Trail at 6 ft. width (Option B)

The full document is available HERE, and a public hearing will be held December 14 from 6pm to 8pm at the Columbia Heights Education Campus at 3101 16th Street, NW. (When you’ve finished commenting, you can join us at Big Bear Cafe to celebrate this step toward a much-improved trail.)

Full announcement below:

PUBLIC NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY AND PUBLIC HEARING:

ROCK CREEK PARK MULTI-USE TRAIL REHABILITATION

The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) would like to announce the availability of the Rock Creek Park Multi-Use Trail Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA analyzes a range of alternatives for the rehabilitation of this multi-use trail located within Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. The rehabilitation would cover the section of the trail from Broad Branch Road, NW to P Street, NW, including an existing social trail from Broad Branch to Peirce Mill. The project also would include part of the Rose Park trail from M Street to P Street, NW, and the Piney Branch Parkway trail from Beach Drive to Arkansas Avenue, NW.

As provided for by regulations guiding the implementation of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (NHPA), the EA also provides documentation to comply with Section 106 of that act in support of a Finding of No Adverse Effect on cultural resources (36 CFR 800.8(c)). The District of Columbia State Historic Preservation Office (DCSHPO) concurred with this determination on October 19, 2011. Consulting parties wishing to comment on the finding of no adverse effect may do so by commenting on the EA.

EA NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY

WHEN: The EA will available for public review on December 2, 2011.

WHERE: The EA will be available to review in its entirety at the NPS’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website:

(http://parkplanning.nps.gov/RockCreekTrail Rehab) and the following District locations:

District Department of Transportation, Infrastructure Project Management Administration: 55 M Street SE, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20003

National Capital Planning Commission Library: 401 9th Street, NW – North Lobby, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library: 901 G Street, NW, Washington, DC  20001

Cleveland Park Branch Library: 3310 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC  20008

Mount Pleasant Interim Library: 3162 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010

Tenley-Friendship Library: 4450 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20016

Rock Creek Park Headquarters: 3545 Williamsburg Lane, NW, Washington, DC 20008-1207

Rock Creek Park Nature Center: 5200 Glover Road NW, Washington, DC 20015

Rock Creek Park Peirce Barn: 2401 Tilden Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008

Only written comments can be accepted. You may submit comments electronically at NPS’s PEPC website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/RockCreekTrailRehab) or by mail at the following address:

Austina Casey, Project Manager

District Department of Transportation

Infrastructure Project Management Administration

Attn: Rock Creek Trail EA

55 M Street SE, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20003

Comments must be received no later than January 13, 2011.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

In cooperation with the FHWA, DDOT and NPS will be hosting a public hearing to provide interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed action and the EA.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Open House: 6:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Presentation and Comments: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Columbia Heights Educational Campus, Auditorium

3101 16th Street, NW

Washington, DC  20010

Registrations to provide comments will be accepted on a first come, first served basis starting at 6:00 p.m. The first twenty (20) individuals to register are guaranteed the opportunity to comment. Comments are limited to two (2) minutes.

DDOT is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its projects, programs, and services on the basis of race, color, national origin, or gender, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or on the basis of disability as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If you need special accommodations or language assistance services (translation or interpretation) please contact Austina Casey at  (202) 673-6813 or by email at austina.casey@dc.gov at least four days in advance of the meeting. These services will be provided free of charge.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TO COLUMBIA HEIGHTS EDUCATIONAL CAMPUS: The Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC) is located one block from the Columbia Heights Metro Station on the Green Line. The Campus is adjacent to the Headquarters of the DC Parks and Recreation and the Capital City Charter School. The CHEC is located on the corner of 16th and Irving Streets, NW.

For more information visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/RockCreekTrailRehab

Safe Routes to School Moving Forward in Fairfax County Public Schools!

IWTSD 026The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) regional network is ending the year with several major successes in Fairfax County. After convening a special SRTS working group within Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Transportation and Safety division in June, FCPS has agreed to several initiatives that will highlight SRTS activities and increase the numbers of students walking or biking to school everyday.

FCPS will add SRTS specific language to their “Golden Wellness Award” scorecard, which is used to determine how closely the individual schools are implementing the FCPS Health and Wellness Policy. This sought after award will now include specific recommended activities, like Walking Wednesdays, Bike Trains, Walking School Buses, participation in International Walk to School Day (IWTSD) as well as Bike to School Day. In addition, delivery of bicycle and pedestrian safety education at the individual school will be a required element in order to win the award. The schools system’s 95210 A Day (9 hours of sleep, 5 fruits and vegetables, less than 2 hours of screen time, at least 1 hour of exercise and 0 sugary drinks) will be updated to include walking or bicycling to school as a suggested activity to get to the 1 hour daily activity goal.

FCPS has also agreed to create and host a SRTS focused webpage with resources for school administrators, parents, community champions and children who would like to see more SRTS activities at their school. This site will include policy, curriculum standards and sample lesson plans, state and local contacts, grant application resources, sample newsletter articles and resources for planning walking and bicycling events. FCPS will also prepare scripts and create videos specifically geared to youth bicycling and safe pedestrian practices for the Fairfax County public access television channels as well as the internal FCPS channels.

An annual survey of schools will be continued (modeled after the first one in May 2011) in order to adequately account for how every student is transported to and from school. Counts will be made of bus riders, walkers, kiss and ride users as well as data collected comparing those numbers to the assigned mode. The survey in May proved invaluable, allowing us to create a list of the top ten schools where with a little encouragement, FCPS could see an increase in the numbers of students walking or bicycling to school, thereby alleviating the extreme traffic jams due to the kiss and ride queues. Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) is contemplating creating a “Green Transit” award for the top schools in Fairfax Co who increase their assigned mode numbers, whether it is by bus transportation or walking or bicycling. A survey of the 27 schools who participated in IWTSD will also be completed to determine their strategies, success and participation rate.

FCPS officials also committed to working in tandem with Fairfax County transportation planners to submit an application for a SRTS non-infrastructure grant in the spring and also agreed to begin the process of determining which school locations would most benefit from an infrastructure grant, when the application is revised and those grant opportunities announced.

The FCPS SRTS Working Group will continue to meet quarterly throughout 2012 to update partners on progress, monitor initiatives and strategize for system wide events, including Bike to School Day (in conjunction with Bike to Work Day) in May and International Walk to School Day in October.

Author’s Note:  This article inadvertently left out those on our Fairfax County SRTS Task Force who have worked tremendously hard to achieve this progress in the County.  Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB), Trails for Youth as well as Wolf Trap Elementary parent, Jeff Anderson and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Transportation Advisory Committee member Jenifer Joy Madden were central to this effort.

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