Since 2013, Town Center (now referred to as "Downtown") has experienced a period of rapid growth -- without any significant additional means of efficiently getting around Columbia.  Access to Downtown from US29 remains limited to the interchanges with Broken Land Parkway and Route 175.  All of these routes experience serious congestion -- especially during commuting hours and around events at Merriweather Post Pavilion.  The problem of getting in, out of, and around Columbia has made the news, as reported three years ago in the Baltimore Business Journal. "Overall, Columbia is now the 27th most-congested city in the country, where drivers spend 32 hours a year crawling along or at a standstill during their commutes."  Since then, efforts to decrease downtown automobile traffic by encouraging "walking, biking, car-sharing and telecommuting" appear to be having little to no success. Hopefully plans to make much-needed improvements to the existing transit system will soon include building the downtown portion of the Columbia Transitway. 

An excellent article in Urban Land in 2018,  describes the challenges of urbanizing Columbia's Downtown area, with the increase in high density office and residential properties and insuffient accommodation for automobile traffic and parking. Observe the caption under the photo referring to the fact that "the strong east-west axis never materialized".  

© 2016 by Friends of Bridge Columbia