A step in the right direction for Long Bridge!

The current proposal (red line) crosses the Potomac River and George Washington Parkway, but not I-395. Done right, the Long Bridge Trail would cross both highways, connecting Crystal City to Maine Ave., and L’Enfant Plaza (green line).

Opportunities for great leaps in transportation options here in the Washington region don’t happen everyday. So, that’s why we are so excited about the Long Bridge Project.

A little background:

The Long Bridge, the railroad bridge that spans the Potomac River south of the 14th St. Bridge, is getting an upgrade from two tracks to four. Currently, there is no way to get across the bridge on a bike or by walking. However, as part of the proposed bridge upgrade, we asked people to take action in January to tell DDOT that any upgrades to this crucial Potomac crossing should include options for biking and walking.

Of the 1639 comments DDOT received on the Long Bridge project, 1605 were regarding bicycle and pedestrian access — that’s just amazing. You couldn’t have been more clear: any upgrades to this crucial Potomac crossing must include options for biking and walking.

That says a lot about the need for this critical pedestrian and bicycle connections between the Commonwealth and the District. Our voices have been heard, but we still have more work to do!

In a report released in mid-June, DDOT noted the tremendous amount of public support as one of the reasons that a biking and walking trail will continue to be included in the alternatives moving forward.

And as great as that is (and it is great!), the plan still falls short. We need a trail bridge running the entire length of the bridge (from Long Bridge Park to L’Enfant Plaza). And while the team at DDOT will study western connections, to Long Bridge Park and the Mount Vernon Trail, the report says nothing of improving the east side of the bridge. So, the trail bridge would end at Ohio Drive, on Hains Point, leaving trail users many barriers to getting to the Wharf and further downtown.

Any option that does not contain a safe connection on the East side of the bridge is not just bad design — it’s dangerous and someone will be hurt by this engineering omission.

Here’s where you can help. Will you email info@longbridgeproject.com and thank them for including the trail connection to Long Bridge Park in Arlington in further studies, but also, can you make sure to demand that the project also include the eastern extension to L’Enfant Plaza?

If you’d like to read the full Environmental Impact Assessment Alternatives Development Report for the Long Bridge Project, you can find it here.

We’vre got more work to do, but this is a great mini-win along the way and, with a project of this magnitude, we’ve got to celebrate the fine work YOU do every day to make your voices heard.

PS….If you like the work that we’re doing, support our advocacy work by joining or renewing your membership.