7/19 saw a meeting of the Transportation Planning Board (TBP) of the regional Council of Governments. One of the 10 items being considered for study between now and December when the board will make decisions based on said studies is ----yes --- a re-re-re-study of the Potomac Bridge. Along with our partner Stewart Schwartz from Coalition for Smarter Growth, our own ED Caroline Taylor was there to provide testimony cautioning the board to not look at transportation in a vacuum - this project would impact land use, the Ag Reserve and particularly water resources - the federally designated Piedmont Sole Source Aquifer and the fact that the proposed connection point would be just upstream from the WSSC intake.
Board member and MoCo Councilmember Elrich attempted to float an amendment to remove the Bridge from the list of other reasonable projects the Board was voting to study - many of them transit oriented and proven to reduce gridlock. The amendment failed to get enough votes, the Bridge will be studied, for the 4th time. To be fair, a number of votes in favor of yet another bridge study are not in favor of the bridge being built.
The bottom line: The TBP has only until December to study and report on all of these 10 projects at which time they will vote to move ahead with some of them. We are concerned that there is not enough time to make this a comprehensive study, the kind of solid investigation that has shown time and again that this bridge will not objectively ease, and may even exacerbate current gridlock. See the map below for all the different routes that have been studied over the years.
To be clear: this project has been studied to death. The traffic modeling has repeatedly
We ask that County Executive Ike Leggett also make clear his support for transportation solutions and that this zombie outer beltway is not on the list. However, there is a real push both from well funded development interests and residents who have been duped to believe that this project will bring miraculous relief to their commute. Now is the time to make it clear that we want solutions not sprawl and loss of established communities, invaluable farmland, parks, historic and environmental resources.
We've heard from some in Virginia who see Montgomery's nationally recognized 93,000 acre reserve as a proper sacrifice for their needs, including bolstering ailing Dulles Airport. Join us in saying no.
(see media that needs your supportive comments)
Washington Post: Planners to weigh 2nd Potomac River crossing from Montgomery — again (please comment)
Bethesda Beat: Opposition Rising Against Plan To Study Second Potomac River Crossing in Montgomery County (please comment)
Loudon Now A New Potomac River Bridge? How About Two?
Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance: List of Priorities
Loudon County Board of Supervisors: Potomac Crossing Proceedings from June 29, 2017
WMAL: VA's Potomac Crossing Dream is a Bridge Too Farm for MoCo
MoCoAlliance: The Recurring Cry for the Outer Beltway and Bridge Crossing through the Reserve: 2017