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Monday, June 4, 2012

Nice park NoMa, but where's the bike ramp?

Recently NoMa BID has released renderings for a park that they would like to build in the middle of L Street NE and they have also been circulating a petition asking for 18 million dollars from the city to help them add parks to NoMa.  First let me say that I love the NoMa BID- their movie nights, concerts, flowers and keeping the area clean.  However,  I have a couple of concerns.  The BID was created to accomplish all these things and you can tell how great the NoMa area is because of it.  Ward 5 does not have any BIDs and could really use that money to do many of the same improvements to Rhode Island Ave NE.  Also, when looking at the renderings for the park in the middle of L Street I do not see the new ramp that DDOT is working on that will go from the Met Branch Trail to L Street.  That ramp is needed as the stairs that are currently there are not adequate for biking traffic and were only meant to be temporary until a ramp was built.  With the new cycletracks coming to NoMa and the work on the Met Branch Trail connections up to Union Station it is very important that we ensure this ramp is built.  I am in favor of NoMa parks I just want to ensure that they do not interfere with the Met Branch Trail infrastructure.  Being able to enter and exit the Met Branch Trail on both M and L Street via ramp will greatly improve the riding experience from all directions, as well as, help relieve congestion as the trail grows in popularity.

Please check out the renderings of the proposed park here and let NoMa know they need to include the ramp to the Met Branch Trail!!


  1. So, when and how can a BID come to Rhode Island Avenue? Will Councilman McDuffie propose and seek approval for this from the city council? It's not too late to get this in the budget. And, the connecting bridge between RIARow and the Met Branch Trail should be a McDuffie priority.

  2. BIDs are created by businesses in an area imposing an extra tax on themselves, so it would be unlikely to happen on RIA. What McDuffie should push for is creating a Great Streets program for RIA similar to H Street program and streetscape improvements! That we can and should push him to do as soon as possible. A post about the ped bridge is coming soon!

  3. I was at the meeting last Tuesday about the reconstruction of 1st Street NE (with the inclusion of a cycletrack), and the NoMa BID and DDOT brought up the fact that they are currently planning on a reconstruction of the L Street end of the trail so that it won't end as stairs anymore.

    The drawings you've seen are really, really rough, so that's probably part of why a depiction of the ramp didn't make it in there.

  4. While I was not at that meeting and the drawing may be rough it shows the park extending under the bridge and the wide sidewalks taken away that are currently there. Those wide sidewalks were placed there to allow for the bike ramp to be built. I know that NoMa BID and DDOT did talk about the inclusion of the ramp, but it appears that it has not been worked into this design. If they are working on making sure it is included great, but I think we need to pay close attention and make sure it is there!!!

  5. Thanks @IMGoph, you are correct. It is true: the rendering of the 'park' on L Street you have seen is not 'designed' -- it is still in the conceptual stage, an idea of what we would like to create. But we would need to secure funding first, then work with city officials and the surrounding property owners on details. However, the BID has already started working with DDOT and with surrounding property owners on the future of the MBT bike ramp, and there have already been a number of discussions about possible alignments.

  6. Thanks Rachel - I am glad to hear that this design is not anything more than a concept. I will hold you guys and DDOT to working together to make sure anything that happens at that location includes bike infrustructure. Im pretty sure DDOT already has the funding for the ramp.