Friday, November 11, 2016

Bridges Make Better Neighbors

It feels like a good time to talk about building a bridge.

Actually, the bridge is already there, but the improvements have been long in coming. Readers of this blog know I am a long-time fan of the Bridge Columbia initiative. Recently the County held a presentation on options to upgrade the Route 29 bridge.

From Oakland Mills Village:

Check out design options to improve the Pedestrian Bridge over Route 29 from Stevens Forest to Lake Kittamaquandi! Howard County's Office of Transportation has unveiled a project that will greatly improve the current bridge with a new design, security camera improvements, enhanced and increased lighting and architectural features to make the bridge an iconic crossing.

As of now, the bridge is still being considered for use solely by pedestrians and bicyclists. The original Bridge Columbia concept included public transit. I'd love to see that incorporated as well. I understand that the transit folks are still thinking about that. I think the success of Columbia, especially Downtown will depend on improved transit. I hope they find a way to fit this in to future plans, sooner rather than later.

The County is asking for public input on the proposed designs. Take a look here and let them know. Please send your comments on the option you support to Deadline for comments is November 14th. My choice is Alternate 2, Geodesic Tube with spiral. It feels extremely Columbia to me.

Speaking of which, is there room to put "Columbia" in big letters on the bridge, so people passing through know where they are? I know we leave a lot to the joy of discovery here, but I'd love to see us put our name on this.

A huge shout-out to the Bridge Columbia advocates who have kept the faith on this. It's gratifying to see the County moving forward and begin to believe something tangible will happen. We are finally going to turn something which has become creepy and unappealing into a valuable link for our community.

It's been a rough week. The best way I know to close it out is with a bridge.




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