July 7 Meeting Set for Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola

There will be a July 7 public information meeting about the possibility of running an aerial gondola over the Potomac River between Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Virginia, alongside Key Bridge, which joins D.C. to Virginia.

The Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola meeting is planned for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, July 7, at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre in Arlington. ZGF Architects is conducting the feasibility study for Arlington, the Georgetown Business Improvement District and other groups. The architectural firm will discuss the specific study as well as gondola-based transit systems already in operation. ZGF Architects worked on the preliminary concept for the Portland Aerial Tram.

Advocates of the aerial gondola concept “envision riders enjoying a hassle-free, four-minute ride that whisks them across the Potomac River as they savor the aerial and skyline views,” they say.

“Perhaps the most fantastical idea generated by the Georgetown 2028 planning process is a Georgetown-Rosslyn Aerial Gondola Lift connecting Georgetown to the Rosslyn Metro station,” writes a representative of the gondola group. “A gondola linking the two commercial districts and extending the Metro system with a high-speed transit connection could efficiently solve many transit issues for the commercial, residential, university, hospital and visitor constituencies.”

“Urban gondola systems have proven to be valuable transit connections in cities across the globe, and are often developed when waterways and slopes don’t allow for more familiar modes,” says Will Handsfield, transportation director for the Georgetown BID. “For Georgetown and Rosslyn, we believe a gondola system might provide a great many benefits by reducing car travel, inexpensively extending a Metro station, and linking Georgetown and Rosslyn’s respective residential and commercial communities.”

Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre is at 1611 North Kent Street in Arlington. Doors open at 6 p.m. The presentation begins 6:30 p.m., with an open house and Q&A at 7:30 p.m. Free parking is available after 6 p.m. in the building’s garage, accessible from Arlington Ridge Road, one block east of Kent Street. The theater is walkable from the Rosslyn Circulator or Metro stops. The 38B bus from M Street in Georgetown is also an efficient way to get to Rosslyn.

To register for the July 7 meeting, click here.

The Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola Executive Committee includes a coalition of the Rosslyn and Georgetown Business Improvement Districts; the D.C. and Arlington County governments; Georgetown University; and developers JBG Companies, Penzance and Gould Properties.

The gondola study has a five-month project schedule and a budget of approximately $190,000.

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