The project, first proposed in 2010, gained momentum following Amazon’s announcement of Amazon building HQ2 in Crystal City.
“This project explores the possibility of providing a context-sensitive multimodal connection between Crystal City and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) for use by people walking, biking, and using micromobility devices.”
Alternative 7D would result in additional use of pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the vicinity of 2011 Crystal Drive, as an additional 455 daily pedestrians and 799 daily bicyclists above No-Build conditions are expected at this location. By providing a new direct pedestrian and bicycle connection to DCA, Alternative 7D would have a beneficial impact on pedestrian and bicycle connectivity in Crystal City. In connecting to the Crystal City VRE Station, Alternative 7D would make use of the public access easements associated with that Project to provide public access for pedestrians and bicyclists. Alternative 7D would have no permanent physical impacts to pedestrian and bicycle facilities in Crystal City.
Alternative 9D would result in additional use of pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the vicinity of 2231 Crystal Drive, as an additional 455 daily pedestrians and 799 daily bicyclists above No-Build conditions are expected. Public access easements would need to be provided to ensure public access to CC2DCA from Crystal Drive. By providing a new direct pedestrian and bicycle connection to DCA, Alternative 9D would have a beneficial impact on pedestrian and bicycle connectivity in Crystal City. Alternative 9D would have no permanent physical impacts to pedestrian and bicycle facilities in Crystal City. During construction of the CC2DCA elements linking the Amtrak platform to the Crystal Drive level, construction at 2231 Crystal Drive may disrupt pedestrian circulation along the private sidewalks of the southern section of the Crystal Park development.
Each plan would have construction-period impacts that could result in trail detours and closures as well as possible realignment. Traffic calming for the connection between MVT and CC2DCA are also anticipated.
The Programmatic Agreement to mitigate the impacts to NPS land include a Vegetation Protection Plan to reduce loss of mature trees as well as a Vegetation Restoration Plan that requires restorative planting of trees and bushes to replace any that must be removed, including annual removal of invasive plants for 5 years after completion of the bridge. The Programmatic Agreement also requires Arlington County to provide funding for additional historical interpretive signage in the Parkway.
Download the reports
The CC2DCA environmental assessment documents can be downloaded from the following links:
The City of Alexandria is seeking feedback on a project to improve mobility on E. Abingdon Drive for non-motorized traffic. A bike lane here would provide a safer and more intuitive user experience for Mount Vernon Trail users.
The city proposes converting the existing right lane of E. Abingdon Drive to a two-way, buffered cycletrack between the Mount Vernon Trail Alternate south of Slaters Lane to the off-street alignment beyond the Metrobus stop. The proposed bike lane is approximately 600 feet long. The sidewalk will remain in place.
Abingdon Drive functions a service road for the George Washington Memorial Parkway for approximately ½ mile in Old Town North.
Currently, trail users are advised to use the narrow 4 foot wide sidewalk. On one side, is two lanes of automobile traffic, on the other is a row of cedar trees. Two trail users can not comfortably pass each other in such a narrow space. While northbound cyclists can legally use the street, southbound cyclists would be going against traffic.
North of Slaters Lane and beyond a Metrobus stop, the Mount Vernon Trail Alternate transitions to its own alignment and meets up with the “river route” of the Mount Vernon Trail.
The city has two proposals for the bike lane:
Merge lane – The right lane of E. Abingdon Drive merges north of Bashford Lane.
Lane drop – The right lane of E. Abingdon Drive becomes at right-turn only lane at Bashford Lane.
Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail endorses option 2 because it maximizes early separation between the cycletrack and the travel lane.
Although not mentioned in the Project Objective, Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail would like the city of Alexandria to address the old railroad tracks that cross East Abingdon Drive (and the GW Parkway). The tracks have been out of service since the closure of Robinson Terminal and currently have failing asphalt patches over rotted railroad ties. The track is also non-perpindicular to the road creating a greater risk of catching a bike tire and causing a crash.
Help improve the Mount Vernon Trail by letting the city of Alexandria know that you support Option 2 of the East Abingdon Drive Bike Lane Project.
This project is needed and will provide a safer and more comfortable trail experience.
Option 2 is preferred because it maximizes early separation between cars and trail users.
The city should make repairs to the degraded road surface at the railroad crossing and utilize rubber inserts in the rail gap to reduce the risk of bike crashes due to the slanted angle of the track crossing. Alternatively, the city should work with Norfolk Southern to remove this unused track.
While we can’t prevent graffiti, we can combat it with graffiti removal techniques that don’t involve painting over the graffiti. This past year the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail have experimented with different graffiti removal methods. If the graffiti is on a metal surface, we use Krud Kutter Graffiti remover with a hard bristle hand scrub brush. If the graffiti is really stuck on, we also use a hard bristle brush attachment on the end of a drill to loosen up the paint. After applying the spray and scrubbing, the graffiti typically comes off with a paper towel.
For larger graffiti on porous surfaces we use Graffiti Solutions Elephant Snot. The graffiti is first treated for 30 minutes with Elephant Snot graffiti removal. Elephant snot is highly viscous and sticks to the graffiti to dissolve and loosen the paint. Due to a lack of water resources we use a RYOBI 40V EZ Clean Power Cleaner with buckets of river water to wash off the graffiti remover.
If you hate graffiti as much as we do, send us an email at email@example.com. We are currently recruiting volunteers to be part of a graffiti removal team. We will do a quick training session on removing graffiti and provide you with supplies for removing small sections of graffiti. If we find graffiti on the trail we will notify the graffiti removal team and those who are interested can remove it when they have free time. This is a great opportunity for those who can’t volunteer on Saturdays but still want to give back to the trail.
The Mount Vernon Trail is now featured on Atlas Obscura which is a website that catalogs unusual and obscure travel destinations. The article highlights a tree on the MVT that was planted in 1932 to celebrate the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth in 1732. The tree was planted as part of a larger effort by the American Tree Association to create “Ten million monuments to a great man!”. Check out the tree the next time you are on the Mount Vernon Trail. It is located slightly north of Collingwood Road. You can also view it here on Google street view.
Did you know, there are 34 numbered bridges on the Mount Vernon Trail? These bridges vary in length and size. However, they were desperately in need of a stencil numbering refresh. In the month of July we successfully re-stenciled every bridge on the Mount Vernon Trail. This process was very time consuming (and hot), but the difference is noticeable. Having fresh numbering not only improves the look of the bridges but also allows for trail users to better identify their location on the trail. As part of the stenciling process we created a map with photos of all the bridges and their locations on the Mount Vernon Trail. https://mountvernontrail.org/bridges
We are sharing the note from our partner at the George Washington Memorial Parkway on efforts to clean up significant storm damage that occurred on Saturday. Our volunteers removed several fallen trees from Bridge 31 near TR Island and will continue to assist with cleanup of multiple downed branches. Visit mountvernontrail.org/events if you’d like to help. Bridge 15 near Collingwood had a large tree fall on it yesterday and is currently not usable.
Photo shared via Facebook by Suzanne Marie.
Thank you for your support of George Washington Memorial Parkway and contacting us to report damage resulting from the storm on July 29, 2023. We have experience impacts at numerous locations throughout the park causing power outages, damage to buildings, and closing of roadways until the tree hazards could be mitigated. We will have opened all lanes of the north Parkway to include the reversible lane for commuters by the evening rush hour on Wednesday August 2. Spout Run and one northbound lane were opened on Tuesday. The park tree crew had assistance from National Capital Parks East as well as three contract tree crews. The number of crews helped with the reopening and are only available for a short period of time. Yesterday, crews removed over 250 hazardous trees, resulting in 100 dump-truck and 15 chipper-truck loads, and more than 500 tons of wood and debris. Cleanup continues at Glen Echo which suffered building damage, trees down, and power outage. Montgomery County has been a huge help and great partner in this effort. Arlington House is currently closed. It will open in conjunction with Arlington National Cemetery when they are ready to reopen. Other locations that we have identified needing cleanup include the Potomac Heritage trail, Mount Vernon trail, Arlington House, Fort Hunt, and Theodore Roosevelt Island. Areas initially cleared may also need additional work to remove debris. Within the Park we have noted hundreds of trees that have fallen or are damaged. Our intentions are to address hazard tree abatement, removal, and clean up caused by the storm, but it will not be a quick process. The Park is prioritizing work in the following order open roadways, mitigate hazards to the driving public, repair and remove trees that have impacted buildings, mitigate hazards on and over trails, clearing areas that are occupied and heavily used by the public, repairs to damaged wayfinding and interpretive signs, damage to vegetation associated with special landscapes, and then clean-up of debris on the ground. We are adding this information to our workorder system to assist with those prioritizes. Other constraints include available staff, use of contracted services, and ongoing operation and maintenance of the park. Anyone can report a storm damage impact that has occurred within the park at GWMP_Superintendent@nps.gov. In responding to any concern, it is our intention that we demonstrate our commitment to providing a quality visitor experience and protect our cultural and natural resources. Not including the storm related workorders, we have over 500 work orders with about a 60% closure rate. The maintenance team works seven days a week to best address the various needs throughout all our locations. The park portfolio includes the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Clara Barton National Historical Site, Mount Vernon Trail, Clara Barton Parkway, Great Falls Park, Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, and all the monuments/memorials within the parkway itself.
ABOUT THE BOARD: The Board of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail (FoMVT) is an actively engaged Board led by Board Chair Judd Isbell. Currently at six members, the Board seeks to add several individuals throughout 2023. The Board meets every second Sunday of the month lasting one hour which members may attend by video or phone. Board members are asked to participate in at least one program annually. In addition, a Board member may potentially be removed if they have unexplained absences from more than 25% of the full Board and Board committee meetings in a year. For more information about the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail please see our website at https://mountvernontrail.org/
ROLE OF THE BOARD TREASURER: As an officer of FoMVT, the treasurer provides the highest level of financial oversight. Responsibilities may vary over time due to the current size of the organization, but include these specific components:
Ensure expenses are accurately coded in the financial system, Quickbooks.
Maintain knowledge of FoMVT’s current financial commitments, along with its goals and objectives.
Draft, maintain, and periodically review the current financial policies and procedures.
Understand financial accounting for nonprofit organizations.
Serve as chair of the finance committee.
Manage, with the finance committee, the board’s review of and action related to the board’s financial responsibilities.
Work with the FoMVT Board Chair to ensure that appropriate financial reports are made available to the board on a timely basis.
Establish and present the annual budget to the board for approval.
Background in accounting, preferably including experience in the nonprofit sector
Knowledge of or ability to learn Quickbooks
Familiarity with finance rules governing non-profit organizations located in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Attention to detail and ability to organize information
Ability to work in a collaborative manner, while working independently and managing your own workload.
Appreciates nature and the outdoors.
Residence in the DMV area is preferred.
The board meets on the second Sunday of each month at 10:00 am ET.
Expected time commitment of approximately 4 hours per month
FoMVT programs are generally conducted in person with various volunteer activities and programming, and occur most weekends.
Individual work occurs on a rolling basis and the Treasurer is required to do so with little or no guidance.
We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, neurodiverse people, and multi-lingual and multi-cultural individuals, as well as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
In May, the Arlington County Board approved the proposed location for a new pedestrian bridge connection National Landing to National Airport that includes a direct connection to the Mount Vernon Trail. The bridge will span between the VRE station in National Landing over multiple rail tracks and the George Washington Memorial Parkway to connect to the northern section of the airport.
The preferred alignment of the bridge was the result of multiple public and stakeholder meetings that narrowed 16 potential alignments down to the preferred alignment adopted by Arlington County. The County also approved $4 million in funding to begin preliminary engineering work.
The exact alignment of the connection to the Mount Vernon Trail remains to be determined with one option placing the connection mostly on land owned by the airport and another option placing the connection primarily on land owned by NPS.
The next step in the project is to conduct a NEPA review as the project impacts federal land. To see full details of the project and keep up to date, visit Arlington County’s CC2DCA project website.
Have you ever wanted to know more about invasive species in the Washington DC area? For example, why is bush honeysuckle an invasive species? How to tell the difference between native grape and porcelain berry? Then we highly recommend you register to attend a 2-day Weed Warrior training (5 hours total) offered by the National Park Service. This virtual and in-person course covers the basics of invasion ecology, removal techniques, species identification, theory behind the Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) framework, and field safety.
In 2022 we had five Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail volunteers complete the course and become Weed Warrior certified. Volunteer event leader Cameron Taylor said “taking this course made me more knowledgeable in identifying the difference between native and invasive species on the Mount Vernon Trail. I also learned proper technique for removing English ivy which I have now used while volunteering.”
Fairfax County celebrated the opening of the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail with a ribbon cutting on May 12th. The project constructed a 10 foot wide trail that is approximately 1.2 miles long including construction of a bridge over Dogue Creek. Trail construction included improvements to pedestrian crossings of the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway including installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons.
The new trail provides several benefits. It filled a trail gap between U.S. 1 and an existing trail to the Mount Vernon Estates and Mount Vernon Trail. It also filled a gap in the national East Coast Greenway as well as the regional Potomac Heritage Trail. Additionally, it provides connections to George Washington’s Grist Mill, Grist Mill Park (and Dog Park) and Washington Mill Elementary School.