I still have a day or two left on the Bridge Columbia concept. Let me tell you more about why I think this is a project that ought to move forward. And it's not for a reason that is openly considered very often.
BTW, anyone wanting factage about Bridge Columbia is here. I read their white paper and while it's a nice piece of work, I certainly see the rallying material therein that both supporters and critics of this proposal are using to get all whipped up.
There are two Columbias. But unlike what many suggest, it's not east and west. It's inner and outer. On the former you have Long Reach, Owen Brown, Oakland Mills, Town Center, and Wilde Lake. In the latter you include Dorsey's Search, Hickory Ridge, Kings Contrivance, Harper's Choice, and River Hill. Could be said that KC and HC could be included with inner as well.
The inner villages are by and large beset with the challenges of decreasing activity at village centers, increased subsidized housing, more crime, and more issues with regard to the aging population. The outer villages contain these challenegs too, but not so much.
Doesn't it make sense then, to as we consider the revitalization, renewal, and restoration of Columbia, that we do it from the inside out? Of course the downtown master plan is a great step to that. The construction of Blandair Park another step.
And that brings us to the bridge. At a more basic level than all the talk about what the bridge could represent and symbolize, is what it is: a connection to unite all of what we will probably know colloquially as "downtown Columbia". Where people in Oakland Mills could walk or shuttle across to hear a concert, see a movie at the lakefront, have dinner, or go to something in the arts compound at the Inner Arbor. Where people living in Town Center can ride their bikes over to Blandair Park and take advantage of the smaller nature of Oakland Mills's village center. because the food court at the Mall ain't always for everybody.
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. And the nuts that are found aren't the sort of nuts that are useful. So let's stop worrying about whether or not there's funds in the village budget for new drapes and let's think just a little more expansively. Not crazy expansively. Just a little.
Sometimes with all these grandiose ideas the simpler things get lost. Just bringing the simpler things to you on a Sunday morning.