Connect Brookland and Edgewood

Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie

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Train tracks cut a wide gap between Edgewood and Brookland. There are two bridges that connect the neighborhoods, one at Franklin Street NE and one at Monroe Street NE but this leaves a wide gap in the neighborhood. To encourage neighbors and visitors to walk and bike between the two growing neighborhoods, why not build a bike and pedestrian bridge over the tracks?

Building pedestrian bridges across the CSX tracks was a recommendation of the 2009 Brookland Small Area Plan. The Plan recommended placing them at Kearny and Hamlin Streets, perhaps because there was existing public space at these intersections to allow access to the train tracks. The report suggested they would be built by 2015.

In 2015, as part of the Brookland-Edgewood Livability Study, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) recommended conducting a feasibility study and identifying funding sources for a bridge over the CSX and Metro tracks between 8th Street and 10th Street NE at Hamlin Street NE. As the study itself notes, “currently there are only two primary east-west crossings are available for pedestrians and cyclists, Franklin and Monroe Streets.”

A bridge at Hamlin Street will stitch together two growing neighborhoods separated by the Metro and CSX tracks that run between 8th and 10th streets. This change will create a safer route to school for Edgewood students who are in-boundary for Noyes Elementary school. It will also promote the vitality of the historic 12th Street retail corridor by providing new customers from Edgewood.

Similarly, this change would provide increased access to the arts and retail along 8th Street to the residents of Brookland, and would improve access to the community programming and Arts Park at Dance Place. Finally, a pedestrian and bicyclist bridge would improve access to the 8th Street extension of the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

In January of 2018, ANC5E unanimously passed a Comprehensive Transportation Resolution supporting the funding of this project. In 2018, the DC Council to include funding for the bridge in the FY2019 DDOT budget and 340 people signed this petition.

In 2019, we're asking that the Council include $25,000 in the FY2020 budget for a feasibility study to enable the project to get started. I've drafted legislative text here that could be included in the budget.

If you think residents who live on 8th and 10th streets shouldn’t have a 20-minute walk to visit one another, please sign my petition. Building connections over the train tracks, highways, or other physical barriers that separate our city improve our joint quality of life are worth the investment.

Petition by
Edward Garnett
Washington, District of Columbia

To: Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie
From: [Your Name]

Councilmember McDuffie,

We the undersigned support a new pedestrian connection between Brookland and Edgewood at Hamlin Street NE. Please support the inclusion of a feasibility study for the Hamlin Street Pedestrian Bridge in the FY2020 District Department of Transportation budget.

Thank you for your leadership in advancing the Rhode Island Avenue metro pedestrian bridge and for considering this budget request. We believe connecting our two communities is worth the investment.