Sunday, July 9, 2023

Time Capsule

Ten years ago.

View from the Bridge, Village Green/Town² July 5, 2013

One year ago.

CA’s Internet Sensation,  Village Green/Town²,  January 23, 2022

Same bridge. Different incarnations. Different seasons.

Known as the US 29 Pedestrian Footbridge, the span was once the focus of a grassroots community campaign called Bridge Columbia. Some very good people worked on the initiative. In its full glory it would have been usable not only by pedestrians and bicyclists but also by public transit. 

The public transit piece was the bit they couldn’t sell to the people with the money who make decisions. In the end the bridge was improved and beautified and it has greatly increased community use. That’s a win. It makes downtown so much closer to Oakland Mills, and vice-versa. 

The first records I have about Bridge Columbia begin in 2012. The actual initiative may predate that. According to the Go Howard website, the “new and improved” bridge was completed in November of 2018.

Bridge Columbia, Go Howard 

Things take time. And they don’t always turn out exactly as you want them/exactly as proposed. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes it’s not so good. If we see a finished product it is easy to think that it simply sprang into being exactly as we see it. 

In my (limited) experience here in Columbia/HoCo, that is highly unlikely if not impossible. There is a process. Through that process things may change. There are political considerations and financial ones. There is plenty of community input. Just because your particular input does not win the day does not mean the entire process was a sham. 

I really, really wanted to see transit be a part of this bridge. That’s not how it ended up. That doesn’t mean I should curse the entire project and/or question its integrity. The people who championed new ideas for this bridge - - and persisted when it seemed as though no one found their idea to be “sexy” or of merit - - brought about valuable change that continues to benefit our community today. 

Whether it’s a bridge, or a park, or a library - - things take time. 

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