Past Advocacy for the Columbia Transitway
In the 1970's a portion of the transit right-of-way was used for construction of a 10 ft wide bridge providing a car-free link across US29 for pedestrians and bicyclists. Being poorly lighted and unattractive, the bridge was not widely used as it was considered by many to be unsafe. For several decades a group known as Bridge Columbia -- more recently Friends of Bridge Columbia (FOBC) -- waged a campaign to replace the bridge with one which would accommodate transit, thus improving its appeal and usefulness to all residents. The group's efforts resulted in a 2015 Downtown Columbia Bridge Feasibility Study detailing plans and possible designs for such a bridge. Although the existing bridge was significantly enhanced in 2017, no provision was made for transit and many residents are still not comfortable using it, especially at night. The photos below show the bridge circa 2014 and after enhancements were made in 2017.
As a result of FOBC's continuing campaign for a bridge that would accommodate transit the Bridge Columbia Transitway Feasibility Study was published in 2018. This comprehensive document was cited in Chapter 7: Future Transit Development of the 2018 Central Maryland Transit Development Plan which, on page 7-6, recommends the "Bridge Columbia East-West Transitway Concept" as "the corridor entirely within (Howard) county most likely to support high-frequency transit." These documents can be accessed from this website by clicking on the images below: