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.