Since 2013, there have been plans to create a gondola system, connecting Rosslyn, Virginia with Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. After learning that the gondola system is feasible from a study in November 2016, the Arlington County Board recently reconsidered whether or not they would partially fund the project. The answer: no, thanks.
A letter written by Jay Fisette, chairman of the Arlington County Board, reads:
“The Rosslyn-Georgetown gondola is not a project included in our recently approved Capital Improvement Plan. Given our identified and pressing transportation needs, along with some ongoing concerns about the long-term value of the gondola, the Board is not in favor of any further funding of the gondola project.”
Part of the reason why the Board denied support is because Arlington already has a number of transportation projects they are focusing on. These projects include new bicycle facilities and pedestrian facilities for Rosslyn, Virginia.
Despite the letter, Joe Sternlieb, President of the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID), told The Washington Post, “People on this side of the river will continue to have conversations for the next year or so, and if a coalition of regional leaders decide to go forward, we’ll try to re-engage Arlington at that point. By no means is this a death knell.”
The project is estimated to cost between $80 million and $90 million with annual operating costs hovering around $3.25 million. It would serve at least 6,500 passengers each day with around 24 cabins, each able to hold around 12 people. It would take approximately four minutes to cross the Potomac River using the proposed transit option.
To conduct the feasibility study for the project, the Georgetown BID contributed $90,000 to the study. The Arlington County Board also contributed $35,000, despite skepticism from several board members.
To read the full letter from the Arlington County Board, see below.
• Rosslyn-Georgetown Gondola Study [Arlington County]
• Arlington says ‘no thanks’ to Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola [The Washington Post]
• Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola is feasible, says study [Curbed DC]