For Immediate Release Contacts: John Undeland, WWB Project
June 6, 2009 571/237-2690 (cell)
Johanna Jones, WWB Project
703/329-0300 or 703/930-7286 (cell)
Craig Kellstrom, M-NCPPC
Pedals and Pedestrians – New Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail and
Potomac River Waterfront Community Park Opens On National Trails Day
Path from Washington Street Deck to U.S. Route 1 Also Opens
On the Potomac River shoreline, MD – Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia became even closer
neighbors today with the dedication of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail and the Potomac River Waterfront
Community Park. A host of dignitaries were joined by bikers, runners and walkers in celebrating the new region-
connecting bridge trail on National Trails Day.
The inaugural two-wheeled trip across the bridge was led by Alexandria Mayor William Euille; Prince George’s
County Executive Jack Johnson; other federal, state and local officials as well as cyclists from around the region.
In lieu of a traditional ribbon cutting, the group of “First Riders” officially dedicated the trail by breaking through
a “finish-line tape” stretched across the trail’s entrance to Maryland.
A brief ceremony followed on the just-completed Maryland deckover, which links the bridge trail to National
Harbor and other parts of Prince George’s County. The ceremony was keynoted by remarks from leaders of the
Virginia, Maryland and District Departments of Transportation; the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning
Commission; U.S. Representatives Jim Moran and Donna Edwards; Deputy U.S. Transportation Secretary John
Porcari and Eric Gilliland of the Washington Area Bicycle Association (see highlighted excerpts on next page).
In addition to the bridge trail, a new bike-pedestrian connection from U.S. Route 1 to the Washington Street deck
in Virginia also opened today. Another trail is scheduled to open in Summer 2010, which will connect the east
side of Telegraph Road at Huntington Avenue with Eisenhower Avenue and the Holmes Run Trail.
The 12-foot wide, 1.1-mile long multi-use bridge trail includes three “bump-out” areas where users can take a
break and enjoy informational displays detailing the area’s history as well as use telescopes to view the striking
vistas. A five-foot tall barrier separates the trail from vehicular traffic on the Capital Beltway. Minor additional
construction on Maryland’s deckover and the path to National Harbor will continue through September but will
not impede cyclist or pedestrian use of the facility.
The bridge trail provides a much-anticipated connection between Alexandria and Prince George’s County. In
Maryland, the trail links to the Potomac Waterfront Community Park, National Harbor, the Potomac Heritage
Trail and Bolling Air Force Base. In Virginia, it feeds into the Washington Street deck, which, in turn, connects
to Mount Vernon, Alexandria-Arlington-DC, the Washington and Old Dominion Trail and the trail to U.S. Route
Samuel J. Parker, Jr., Chairman, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (which will oversee
and manage the new park): “The dedication of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail and Potomac River Waterfront
Community Park on National Trails Day is a great example how trails and parks can unite neighboring
communities and open doors to natural history.”
Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, Acting Maryland Secretary of Transportation: “Governor Martin O’Malley’s Smart
Green and Growing initiative is developing a Strategic Trails Plan to link more than 800 miles of Maryland trails
and to create connections to trails in our bordering states. Thanks to a great regional partnership, the Wilson
Bridge Bike Path now provides a crucial link connecting Maryland to Virginia and the District of Columbia, and
offers a healthy alternative transportation choice to get residents to recreation and jobs across the Potomac.”
Pierce Homer, Virginia Secretary of Transportation: “The new trail on the Wilson Bridge will bring Maryland,
Virginia and the District of Columbia closer together, today and in the years to come. It will add to Virginia’s
premier trails network, including the Virginia Capital Trail connecting Richmond and Williamsburg, the National
Park Service Mount Vernon Trail connecting Mount Vernon to the Washington Monument, as well as scenic rural
trails such as the Creeper Trail and the brand new High Bridge Trail. These are significant investments that
enrich our lives and help grow our tourism economy.”
Gabe Klein, District of Columbia Director of Transportation: “Opening the new bridge trail is a huge victory for
Washington area cyclists, runners and walkers because it connects us to so many other trails and destinations. In
much the same way, we are making connections throughout the District, including the Metropolitan Branch Trail,
the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and improvements over bridges such as the Frederick Douglass and the 11th Street
that will bring together District and regional neighborhoods.”
Rules Specific to the New Bridge Trail:
The trail is subject to laws/rules applying to other M-NCPPC facilities. Rules specific to the new trail include:
Hours of operation: 5:30 a.m. to midnight.
Speed limit is 10 miles per hour.
The trail is a multi-use facility for cyclists, runners and walkers. Users must be considerate of others traveling
at different speeds. Slower traffic should stay to the right. Cyclists must alert other trail users before passing.
Trail users who stop must move to the side of the path to avoid impeding other trail traffic.
A dashed yellow line separates directional traffic.
The bridge drawspan may open periodically. Cyclists and pedestrians need to be pay attention to the lights,
bells and signs near the bridge drawspan. The drawspan will not open until all traffic is a safe distance away.
In an emergency, users should call 9-1-1. The closest and most appropriate responder from Maryland or
Virginia will be dispatched. The Park Police Emergency Telephone Number is (301) 459-3232.
The bridge trail and Maryland deckover are in close proximity to moving traffic. It is illegal to throw debris
or obstruct traffic in any way.
Pets are allowed but must be on leashes and have proper licensing.
Bicycle helmet laws will be enforced.
Parking is available in designated areas only. No parking after dark.
The Wilson Bridge Project is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, the Virginia Department of
Transportation, the Maryland State Highway Administration and the District Department of Transportation.