The Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola Feasibility Study
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. EDT
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This session examines the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola Feasibility Study which was completed in November 2016. The idea of an aerial gondola to provide access and connectivity for the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, to the Washington MetroRail System was initiated during the Georgetown Business Improvement District-led 2028 planning effort. The consideration of aerial gondolas was a desire to “think big” and to examine international cities where gondolas have been effectively implemented to provide transit service for underserved communities.
Following completion of the 2028 Plan, a public-private Executive Committee (including District of Columbia and Arlington, VA governments, Georgetown University, two BIDS – Georgetown and Rossyln, VA, and three private developers), was established to develop the feasibility study with a multi-disciplinary team led by ZGF Architects, and including engineering, transportation, regulatory planning and economic subconsultants. The study aimed to answer these questions: Can a gondola contribute to a more effective and resilient multi-modal transit system?; Can it serve commuters, residents and tourists?; Can it support economic development?; Can it be designed to support and enhance the public realm?; Can it be approved by over 22 Federal, District and State agencies?; What will it cost and how might it be funded?; and finally, is it a good idea to meet a transit need?
The study was initiated with a high-level public education process to gather community input and overcome preconceived notions that aerial gondolas are toys. The findings of the study, which will be presented in a highly graphic format, will describe how the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola is technically feasible, responds to transit needs, and can support economic development with high-quality design as a cost effective and sustainable investment.
Will Handsfield, AICP
Katie Spencer, KSpencer@aiadc.com