Metro News: Bike and Pedestrian Bridge for Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood Metrorail station, Budget Woes, and More Emergency Response Exercises

silver spring metro
Photo by PoPville flickr user sciascia

This sounds like a great project but given all the money/budget issues I’m surprised they have the funds for it. From a WMATA press release:

Connection to trail expected to attract more people to bike, walk to station

The Board of Directors today, March 25, approved the negotiation and implementation of an easement agreement with the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) for construction of a bicycle and pedestrian bridge to improve access to the Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood Metrorail station.

According to Metro’s 2007 Rail Passenger survey, fewer people access the Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Metrorail station by foot or on bicycle than other stations along the Red Line that have more sidewalk connectivity to the surrounding areas. The bridge will provide a safer, more direct and faster connection to neighborhoods on the west side of the station, allowing many more riders to walk or bike there.

The project cost is estimated to be $4 million and is being paid for by the District of Columbia, which will operate and maintain the bridge. Due to be fabricated off-site later this year, the bridge is planned to open in fall 2011.

The bicycle and pedestrian bridge will provide access to the Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Metrorail station from the eight-mile Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) that connects from Silver Spring to Union Station along the west side of the rail tracks. The District expects more than 1 million people per year will use the MBT, and Metrorail stations along the trail will see improved access for bicyclists and pedestrians.

And speaking of WMATA’s budget – they are seeking the public’s input. You can see a list of upcoming meetings here or fill out an on-line survey here.

And in other Metro news they’ll be having more emergency response exercises March 28th and 29th. See the press release after the jump.

Drills to test regional response to Metro-related incidents

Metro and its regional partners will participate in two emergency response exercises involving simulated explosions on Metrorail and Metrobus March 28 and 29 to test and practice the multi-jurisdictional coordination and response needed to mitigate such incidents.

The first exercise takes place at 1 a.m., Sunday, March 28, and will simulate an explosion on a rail car in the tunnel between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom Metrorail stations. As part of the drill, emergency personnel will be responding to the incident to find a scene representative of hundreds of injured passengers and multiple fatalities. Metro operations, emergency management and police personnel will respond along with police, fire and emergency medical services personnel from Arlington County, the District of Columbia, City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The exercise is taking place after midnight when ridership is lighter and fewer passengers will be impacted by the emergency response activity. The Rosslyn Metrorail station will remain open throughout the drill, closing at its regular time shortly after 3 a.m. From 11 p.m. to closing, Blue Line trains will share one track between the Foggy Bottom-GWU and Arlington Cemetery Metrorail stations, and Orange Line trains will share one track between the Foggy Bottom-GWU and Court House Metrorail stations. Passengers using the Rosslyn Metrorail station and residents in the area should expect to see numerous police, fire and emergency response vehicles, first responders and volunteer “victims” near the station between 11 p.m. Saturday, March 27, and 5 a.m. Sunday, March 28.

A second exercise is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, March 29, at the RFK Stadium parking lot. This drill simulates an explosion on a Metrobus with multiple passengers injured, discovery of a second explosive found on a bus in a garage, and phone call stating that additional explosive devices have been placed on other buses. The Metro Transit Police Department explosives ordnance detection team will respond, along with the police, fire and emergency medical services personnel from the District of Columbia, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Residents in the area of RFK Stadium and the Stadium-Armory Metrorail station should expect to see numerous police, fire and emergency response vehicles, first responders and volunteer “victims,” and may hear a loud noise in the area between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

6 Comment

  • Prince – the pedestrian bridge between the trail and the RI Ave station is probably paid for mostly by federal funds and maybe some DDOT money, not from WMATA…so the dismal WMATA budget isn’t really much of an issue, I’m guessing.

  • This is great news, lot of the folks from the west side of the tracks that work/shop in the now-non Safeway shopping center and the high school kids there just cut through the trail, the train tracks, then go around a fence on a 2 foot wide ledge 20 feet above the RI Ave. northside sidewalk

  • I wish this would open this year. I live on the west side in Eckington and it’s a proverbial b*tch to walk to RI Ave station. I live four blocks away and I usually drive and park at the station because the walk is long and arduous-especially when it’s really hot or cold. Have any of you seen those steps that lead from RI to the sidewalk in front of the station? They’re steep. They really should have planned this station better so the elderly and incapicated could access this station easily.

  • gonna poop my pants!

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