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The National Capital Trail, when completed, could be more than 60 miles long.

The National Capital Trail, when completed, could be more than 60 miles long.

National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board

Regional Transportation Board Endorses Completion of National Capital Trail

The region’s transportation planning board on Wednesday endorsed two key pedestrian and bike projects as part of the long-term vision for the Capital region.

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board said voted in favor of the completion of the National Capital Trail, and also gave a nod to efforts to make high-capacity transit stations more accessible.

The TPB said the projects fit with the region’s “Visualize 2045” long-range transportation plan.

Completing the National Capital Trail

The National Capital Trail would, if completed, span more than 60 miles around the District and along the Potomac River near Alexandria. It has been dubbed by some as the “Bicycle Beltway.” Currently, about 21 miles—mostly a stretch in Maryland along Bolling Air Force Base—is unconstructed. Another three miles require upgrades.

The National Park Service in 2016 released a plan advocating for the completion of the trail that would include several different loops ranging in size from 10 to 45 miles.

Improving Transit Access

The TPB said there is a disparity in pedestrian and bicycle access at transit stations throughout the region. It endorsed efforts identify ways to build better first- and last-mile connections to stations. In 2015, it identified access improvements at 25 stations. A year later, Metro outlined access improvements at all 91 of its stations. The TPB’s vote supports any efforts by regional leaders to gain funding for these projects, and they will now be more likely to be included in the aspirational portions of the Visualize 2045 plan.

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