Pphoto by M.V.Jantzen on Flickr.

I thought it might be instructive to create a timeline for the Metropolitan Branch Trail, both past and present, to give an idea of how much has been done and how much there is left to do.

This is a pretty complicated project with many moving parts including DC, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, CSX, WMATA, PEPCO, Catholic University and other private land owners involved. A project like that takes a while to finish.

1988: The idea was conceived and pitched by Brookland resident and planner Patrick Hare.

1989: The first exploratory ride was held.

1997: The DC Department of Public Works completed an engineering feasibility study.

1998: Congress allocated $8.5 million in demonstration project money to fund the trail.

1999: WABA published the concept plan for the trail. A formal groundbreaking ceremony was held. The first section of the trail, a one mile long side-path along John McCormack Dr NE, was built.

2001: WABA published a study describing the necessary acquisitions needed for the trail.

2002: WMATA agreed to build a section of the trail as part of the New York Avenue Metro Station project. M-NCPPC completed a feasibility study and concept plan of the Maryland section of the trail.

2005 DDOT concept plan map. Click to enlarge.

2003: Bike lanes painted on 1st St NE from G St to K St.

2004: The New York Avenue Metro Station opened with 2000 feet of trail. A half mile of the trail was built, unpaved, in Takoma Park, MD along Takoma Avenue and Fenton Street. A bridge over the railroad tracks to Jessup Blair Park was built.

2005: DDOT completed a comprehensive concept plan.

2006: Takoma Park trail section is paved.

2008: Stairs from the New York Avenue Metro Station section to L Street NE, a sidepath section of the trail under the tracks along L Street NE and along a three-block portion of 2nd Street NE were completed.

2010: Prince Georges County Connector in Avondale, MD from the DC/MD line to 19th Avenue opened. A 1.5 mile section of the trail from New York Ave to Franklin Street opened.

Future plans:

2010: Fall: Completion of the Rhode Island Avenue Bridge design. Design begins of the trail from Michigan Avenue to 1st St, NE.

2011: Spring: Work begins on the Art Walk development and with it a one block section of the trail between Monroe Ave and the CUA Metro.

Spring or summer: Completion of the Silver Spring Transit Center. This includes the northern trailhead and a temporary section of the trail. The section will be finalized when the Purple line is built through the center.

Fall: Rhode Island Avenue Bridge to open.

2013: Completion of the Transportation Access Improvements for 1st Place and Galloway Street, NE. This will include a section of the Met Branch Trail to Riggs Road, and the Prince Georges County Connector to South Dakota Avenue.

2016: Completion of phase 1 of the Montgomery County Section, from the Silver Spring Transit Center to Georgia Avenue - including the bridge over Georgia Avenue.

2019: Completion of phase 2 of the Montgomery County Section, from Georgia Avenue to Montgomery College.

On indefinite hold: Prince Georges County Connector from 19th Ave to Chillum Road.


  • Construction of the section from Michigan Avenue to Fort Totten.
  • Design and construction of the 1st St, NE to DC-MD line section.
  • Design and construction of the PG County Connector from South Dakota Avenue to the DC/MD line.
  • Ramp built from 1st St NE to trail above L Street. This is dependent on construction beginning on a building to replace the parking lot at the NE corner of 1st and L.

Crossposted at The Washcycle.