Letter: Ignore flawed study; Route 29 transit bridge is good idea

In regard to your Sept. 20 story on the feasibility of a new bike/pedestrian/transit bridge over Route 29, we believe that the Howard Hughes Corp. study of the bridge cited in your story is fundamentally flawed.

Friends of Bridge Columbia reviewed the study in April 2012, and have documented its shortcomings. For example, the study considered only existing transit routes, when the presence of a new bridge would certainly call for a comprehensive restructuring of the routes to take advantage of it, potentially adding ridership and saving operating costs for the existing bus system.

Most importantly, the study ignored the potential economic development benefits for both Oakland Mills and Town Center. We were therefore pleased when the executive and County Council agreed to fund a more comprehensive study of the concept in the 2013 Capital Budget.

The county's new study must take into account all relevant issues, including today's renewed interest in active transit, especially by young people and seniors. Everyone talks about Columbia needing an inclusive and sustainable transportation system. Bridge Columbia is a practical opportunity to actually do something about it.

Fred Gottemoeller

Friends of Bridge Columbia

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