A rendering of the gondola. Georgetown BID.
The Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola is one step closer to maybe one day becoming reality.
The city budget that the DC Council will likely approve on Wednesday includes a small line item putting $35,000 toward a feasibility study that will examine whether or not an aerial gondola connecting Georgetown to Northern Virginia makes sense for the area. The gondola idea is part of the Georgetown BID’s 2028 initiative, which includes 75 action items the neighborhood would like to see implemented over the next 15 years.
The group has already raised $130,000 for the feasibility study from private donors and wants to raise a total of $200,000 to move forward. It’s hoping Arlington will chip in the last $35,000. If the funding goes through, the Georgetown BID’s Joe Sternlieb said the study will very likely begin by the end of the year.
Sternlieb told UrbanTurf the inclusion of the study funding was largely thanks to Councilmember Mary Cheh, who chairs the council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment. He said he was wary of celebrating before the budget has been voted on, signed by the mayor and made it past Congress.
UrbanTurf’s streetcar-inspired rendering of the gondola, by Capital Pixel
“I try not to get too excited about these things, but we’re very optimistic and very grateful to Councilmember Cheh,” Sternlieb said. “We’re very hopeful that we’ll get the support from Arlington County as well.”
Sternlieb hopes that some investment from DC and Arlington, no matter how small, will lead to more serious consideration of the study once it’s finished. He said he doesn’t want it to sit on a shelf.
“We’re trying to build a coalition of people who are interested in the study and see whether this is something that would make sense. We want to know: Is this a better or worse way to move people around?” he said. “If it’s more efficient and less expensive, and we can build it quicker and move more people less expensively, then we can move forward with a plan to build it. Maybe it’ll show the opposite, that it’s a dumb idea — and that way we’ll say, ‘Well, we spent our money, and now we know.’”
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/gondola_study_moves_forward_with_inclusion_in_councils_budget/9932
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