Bridge Columbia In The News
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THE BALTIMORE SUN - August 18, 2015
"'The Oakland Mills Community Association and Bridge Columbia advocates know that I support Bridge Columbia,' [Kittleman] wrote to Ball Aug. 7. 'My staff and I have been
working in a collaborative manner with the community on a path forward for the bridge.'"
THE BALTIMORE SUN - July 30, 2015
"We want to promote transit usage by shortening trips between east and west Columbia.
The purpose of the bridge is not to bring cars into Downtown Columbia, but to provide an alternative means of getting people to various destinations and reducing traffic congestion
and the need for parking facilities."
THE BALTIMORE SUN - July 14, 2015
"Plus, Bartolo said, the $15 million required for the bridge would add up through the
collection of several funds.
'Between state and federal and maybe the county, it's not like $15 million from one
agency,' he said. 'There are sustainability funds, air pollution funds, bicycle funds; all these
things can take a slice of it, so it's not any one agency putting all that money into it.'"
THE BALTIMORE SUN - July 9, 2015
"'We did not hear anything during the roundtable to suggest that funding is not
available,' the letter read, signed by Friends of Bridge Columbia Representative Frederick
Gottemoeller, Oakland Mills Board of Directors and co-chairs Ginny Thomas and Bill
McCormack, Jr. 'While there is competition for funding, there are multiple sources of
funding and state transportation officials expressed interest in helping us.'"
THE BALTIMORE SUN - June 15, 2015
"Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman will host a roundtable discussion next week
about the pedestrian bridge that connects downtown Columbia to the village of Oakland
Mills, his office announced Monday."
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THE BALTIMORE SUN - April 1, 2015
[Howard County Executive] "Kittleman said he supports building the bridge.
'The biggest point I think we need to make is, in order for the village here to be revitalized, we have to have access," he said. "Nobody comes to Oakland Mills Village Center unless they're going to Oakland Mills Village Center. You don't just drive by it.'"
THE BALTIMORE SUN - September 12, 2014
"It's a move seen by many in the community as a key to increasing Columbia's connectivity
and walkability, specifically increasing access to Columbia's Town Center, which is in the
midst of a massive redevelopment.
'We believe this connection is a critical element of this entire area,' Powell said. 'Connectivty is an important element, and this bridge is central to that connectivity.'"
THE 53 (Local Blog) - March 30, 2014
"It expands the concept of downtown Columbia, putting thousands of homes within a 10-
minute safe walk of the Columbia Lakefront. I guarantee you that if the Brooklyn Bridge
weren't so damn beautiful, not as many people would use it. Can anyone think of
proposing marriage to anyone on the current bridge over US29?"
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THE BALTIMORE SUN - October 17, 2013
"The excitement of the new Bridge Columbia is in its multiple functions and destinations on foot, bikes and sitting on the bus. It will also enable people with disabilities to join with
others in the come and go between Town Center, Wilde Lake and places such as Howard
Community College and Howard County Hospital on one side of Route 29; and destinations
in Oakland Mills including its village center and as far as Blandair Park on the other side."
THE BUSINESS MONTHLY - October 1, 2013
"Advocates say the need for the improved connection is recognizable and becoming clearer
as the county inches closer to major Town Center redevelopment as envisioned by
PlanHoward 2030, which will guide future growth in the county."
VILLAGE GREEN/TOWN² (Local Blog) - October 1, 2013
"But we must care. The effort to identify and nurture common interests between villages
begins anew with every discussion of Bridge Columbia, one on one, neighbor to neighbor.
Whether over cocktails, or coffee, on Facebook, or at a County Council hearing, we have the
chance to listen, learn, and speak our minds with sincerity."
THE 53 (Local Blog) - September 29, 2013
"And if you get people from Town Center and Oakland Mills socializing in each other's
space, and it's all fun, then that brings with it community and shared purpose. because
leaders in both areas would have to realize that some of both villages' amenities are
shared. Which is not what we have in Columbia today. We have 10 little hamlets, all
squirrels looking for a nut."
THE 53 (Local Blog) - September 27, 2013
"If it were built over the next 3-5 years, what useful community purpose could it serve,
now? Off the top of my head, I offer these possibilities...
As a Howard Transit connector bypassing Little Patuxent Parkway and Broken Land Parkway
As part of a walking trail between Blandair Regional Park and the lakefront
As part of a course for road races and triathlons involving Lake Kittamaqundi as a swim venue
As part of a nature trail
In cross-marketing promotions between businesses in Town Center and Oakland Mills"
THE BALTIMORE SUN - September 25, 2013
"'The reality is that we have two Columbias divided by Route 29,' Gottemoeller said at a
presentation last week in front of Transportation Advocates of Howard County, a volunteer
group that supports transit-oriented endeavors.
Gottemoeller said the new plan focuses more on the role the bridge will play for bus
transportation, which he said the feasibility study, commissioned by Howard Hughes Corp.,
VILLAGE GREEN/TOWN² (Local Blog) - July 5, 2013
"We need to help our community leaders understand how this bridge will serve not just the
areas directly on either side, but will be a valuable link in ongoing plans to connect
residents from Blandair Park to Howard Community College and Howard County General
Hospital. Columbia has many beautiful pathways which are lovely for recreational use.
Bridge Columbia takes this one step further by providing a pathway to get people where
they need to go: to work, to shop, to study. The Bridge will improve area transit times, save
fuel, and create a safe and appealing route for bicycle and pedestrian traffic."
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THE BALTIMORE SUN - October 2, 2012
"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."
THE BALTIMORE SUN - September 18, 2012
"Alex Hekimian, the Oakland Mills representative on the Columbia Association Board, said
he there is a demand for a transit connection across Route 29.
'I think there are people in Columbia who would question the presumption that there's not
the demand for that kind of bridge,' he said. 'That bridge, by being there, would create
new demand that may not necessarily be there now.'"
THE BALTIMORE SUN - April 23, 2012
"A group of residents has been lobbying Howard County to beautify and widen the
structure to accommodate public transportation and unite Columbia's older villages in the
east with a downtown that is slated to a undergo extensive, high-density redevelopment.
The advocacy group, called Bridge Columbia, wants the county to make the bridge three
times as wide as it is now, with two lanes for public transit only."
THE 53 (Local Blog) - April 23, 2012
"I support the crossing over 29. I think that in principle, a more community-focused
crossing to connect east and west Columbia (as opposed to, say, the MD 175 overpass)
would be a fine amenity for Columbia. It would help make the Oakland Mills Village Center
more accessible and provide a link to a "Columbia Greenway" that could connect Howard
County General Hospital and Howard Community College to Blandair Regional Park. Also,
unlike the MD 32 and MD 175 overpasses, it would be nice if this bridge did look a little
VILLAGE GREEN/TOWN² (Local Blog) - April 10, 2012
"When do we get to dream big for our community? When do we take a chance on
something that will not only transform how we get around, but will bring beauty as well?
The inspiring architecture of this beautifully-designed bridge will make it an iconic structure
over Route 29 which says a lot about us as a community."
THE BALTIMORE SUN - March 16, 2012
"After all but one of the Bridge Columbia supporters testified, [Howard County
Executive] Ulman shared his thoughts on the proposal.
'I'm in complete 100 percent agreement on a number of things,' he said. 'One is the
condition of the current bridge, couldn't agree more.'
Ulman said he also agrees the proposed bridge would provide an 'iconic look,' foster
bikeability and walkability from downtown to Oakland Mills and 'have a positive spillover
effect in other villages.'"
THE 53 (Local Blog) - January 14, 2012
"The case that they build for the bridge on their website is very compelling. The bridge
could be used not only by pedestrians and bicycles, but for transit and emergency vehicles.
The right of the way for the bridge has existed in the plan for Columbia from the building
of the city. The bridge is presented as a green connector that could ultimately form an east-
west spine of Columbia that would promote walkability."
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TALES OF TWO CITIES (Local Blog) - November 27, 2009
"The local press and blogs have been all over the story about Bridge Columbia, the grassroots effort to create a “transit” bridge connecting Town Center and Columbia points west to the Village of Oakland Mills and Columbia points east... Of course this is a good idea long overdue... Bridge Columbia is not just about a bridge either. Its really about intelligent transit planning to weave a redeveloped Town Center into the very fabric of Columbia... I think it’s important to understand that Fred [Gottemoeller] and the two others behind this effort [John Slater, Dave Bittner]really “get” Columbia."