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Bridging the (Political) Gap 7.31.12
Bridging the (Political) Gap
Some termed "historic" last week's meeting of Maryland and Virginia local officials to discuss adding express bus lanes to the American Legion Bridge and its Beltway approaches. Perhaps, but it's also a sad commentary that MD-VA discussions of improved Potomac River crossings are rare, primarily due to Maryland's unwillingness to even talk about new river crossings.

Since the American Legion Bridge opened in 1962 (at a whopping cost of $2.8 million - with a "m") daily traffic has increased from 47,000 to more than 230,000. By 2040 it will approach 300,000. (For more information, click here.)

Adding express bus lanes to the Bridge (and MD and VA Beltways) makes sense, but it does not solve the problem.

Given current and projected volumes and that the  American Legion Bridge is the region's most heavily traveled Potomac River crossing, the need for two additional bridges planned 50 years ago to give more travelers more "choices" is more obvious than ever.

Future local (and state) officials meetings must focus on building new up-river options to address travel demand between outside the Beltway communities where Council of Governments data shows most population and job growth will occur.
Bridging the MD-VA Political Divide,
Is Key to 
Improving Regional Multi-Modal Mobility