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April 09, 2012

Please Wash the Muddy Mon-Whorf Trail

Excellent article in today's Post-Gazette by the consistently great John Schmitz, Muddy Mon Wharf trail 'out of sight, out of mind'. Some of the comments are also worth reading.

The Mon-Wharf Trail, named after the Mon Wharf Parking Lot that occupies this awkward bit of waterfront that the Monongahela River periodically overwhelms, is a crucial link in the Washington DC to Pittsburgh Great Allegheny Passage. Here is an artist's depiction of what it's going to look like:

Current status is:
  • The Mon-Wharf Trail is complete
  • On the south-east side, the switchback ramp is shovel-ready and fund-raising; there's a stairway people are using in the meanwhile
  • On the north-west side, there's an ersatz concrete path leading to Point State Park that's temporarily blocked by construction within the park

It's a great trail segment, it's a key part of the riverfront trail network that's all-but-complete into DC; it's on the cusp of greatness. And as the P-G article indicates, it seems like they've stopped maintaining it.

The trail was built with sustainability in mind; the design is flood-tolerant, as long as somebody comes out to use the provided systems to wash the silt/mud away after the river returns to normal levels.

As Spring begins, and we're seeing early travelers beginning to ride DC-Pittsburgh, it's really negligent to leave this key bit of trail in a dilapidated condition for want of a wash-down, and I really appreciate the P-G for shining some light on this.

I will take this opportunity to restate my modest proposal to rename this connector trail in honor of either Tom Murphy, Linda Boxx, or linguist Benjamin Whorf (by naming it, inevitably, the Mon-Whorf Trail).


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