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Trail Ranger Tuesdays: Measurable Progress

Trail Ranger Trailer Training

This entry is the part of a weekly series following WABA’s Trail Rangers.  The DC Trail Ranger Program is giving some needed attention to DC’s off-street paved trails and the people who use them with daily patrols, maintenance, and outreach.  Each week, you’ll find updates on conditions and improvements on the Met Branch, Anacostia Riverwalk, Marvin Gaye and Suitland Parkway trails.

Since rolling out the program last month, the Trail Ranger team has made steady progress in establishing a presence and improving trail conditions. Regular travelers on the Met Branch, Anacostia Riverwalk, or Marvin Gaye trails have likely received an eager greeting from a team of cyclists with yellow trailers in tow, but without following them around each day or stopping for a chat, it’s easy to wonder what they have been up to. We’d like to fill in some of the blanks and give a taste of last month’s achievements.

Every day, during morning and evening commutes, trail rangers roam D.C.’s trails in search of folks to assist and areas in need of some extra help. With a stash of bike tools and patch kits, trimmers and brooms, we’re equipped to handle most issues we come across. A flat tire or a low hanging branch in your face can be equally daunting obstacles at the end of a long day, so for each, Trail Rangers are here to help.

In the past month, we have covered over 370 miles on the 15 mile trail network and identified over 100 specific areas in need of further work. Along the way, we’ve helped with 3 emergency bike repairs, removed over 14 bags (or a volume of roughly 230 gallons) worth of garbage  from trail corridors and made big steps towards clearing back vegetation.  The results are cleaner trails and far fewer obstacles to weave around or duck under. Some improvements are hard to notice. We hope that the obvious work brings a smile or two in the coming weeks.

We could tell you more, but the before and after photos speak for themselves.

IMG_20130719_171942IMG_20130722_174856

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, west connection to Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge (map)

MGT bush beforeMGT bush after

Marvin Gaye Trail, corridor reclaimed (map)

ART wooded beforeART wooded after

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, headroom reclaimed (map)

MBT growth beforeMBT growth after

Metropolitan Branch Trail, overgrown trail cleared thanks to DDOT (map)

If trail cleanup or a trail ride interest you you, join us for our MBT Trail Day on Sun., Aug 17. It’s a terrific opportunity to get to know the Met Branch Trail, connect with a valuable community resource, and end the afternoon at NoMa’s Beer Fest.

4 comments
JacquesArsenault
JacquesArsenault

I was excited about the Trail Ranger program when I thought it was primarily to build visibility and safety on the trails -- but knowing that the rangers also offer "roadside assistance" and clear obstacles makes this an awesome addition to BikeDC.  

Next up, when will we see some Bike Lane Rangers? :)

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