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New gate will make trail safer for cyclists

Sunday - 6/23/2013, 5:44pm  ET

Jamie Forzato, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Over the years, there has been at least one serious accident and many near misses at the Water Street entrance to the Capital Crescent Trail.

Drivers who are not familiar with the area have been parking - or even driving - right on the trail. Some GPS units tell lost drivers to travel on the Capital Crescent Trail in search of the Beltway. All this makes for very dangerous conditions for bicyclists.

Now, however, a bicycle-friendly, five-and-a-half-foot gate has been installed at the Water Street entrance to the Capital Crescent Trail, blocking cars from accessing the trail.

"We decided that we needed to take action before someone else got hurt," says Kevin Brandt, superintendent of the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

Brandt calls the trail "a huge commuter route for people who bike into the District from as far out as Bethesda and beyond," and adds that the area where cars have been parking, which he describes as "really a mud pit," will be turned back into a grassy area suitable for walking.

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