Planning for the Klingle Valley Trail is moving along, but there are still few details about some of the issues that most affect potential users.
DDOT and Greenhorne & O’Mara are conducting this study to build a trail along Klingle Valley from the intersection with Porter Street and Rock Creek Parkway over to the western Woodley Road. In 2007, at the urging of many residents, the DC Council voted (1, 2) to build a trail instead of a road through the valley.
WABA would like the trail lit, but presenters at the meeting said that this is a “design decision” outside the EIS. That doesn’t stop potential riders from wanting to talk about the subject. Lighting along the trail would make it much more accessible for walkers and cyclists at night, such as using the trail to commute.
It also would add to the environmental footprint, unless DDOT could put solar panels somewhere not blocked by too many trees to power the lights. If the valley had become a a road instead, the project certainly would include streetlights in the project, and those lights would have been far brighter than anything that might go on a trail.
Attendees also asked about the possibility of stairs between Connecticut Avenue and the trail below. DDOT representatives said that this wasn’t part of the project, but they’d love for the local businesses or a residential building to create an elevator large enough for bicycles, which would also accommodate persons with disabilities.
Other considerations in the trail design include whether to make it 10 or 12 feet wide, and whether to use a permeable pavement for better stormwater management. The old road washed away because of rainfall in the valley, making the hydrology especially important here.