I challenge our County Council and its leadership to help ease a major traffic headache in our region by supporting the construction of a second Potomac crossing.
There is no shortage of reasons given by Montgomery County leaders as to why they don’t want to build a second crossing, but every one of them is nonsensical and a vain attempt to thumb their noses at the people of Montgomery County. The most common reason cited is that a bridge would encroach on the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve. This argument is incredibly flawed primarily because any proposed crossing now being considered calls for construction well below the current Agricultural Reserve, thus any impact would be minimal to none. Additionally, proposed crossing routes expand on already developed areas and their further impact would again be minimal.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) supports the idea but says there’s no funding. Montgomery County leaders who pontificate and explain why we don’t need a second crossing clearly do not travel Interstate 270 or over the American Legion Bridge. And while they may not have much of a reason to do so, a significant population in the Washington area does. It’s easy for county leaders to say why we don’t need a second bridge, but until they start to regularly travel across the river, they won’t understand.
County leaders will regularly explain that we need to build jobs here in Montgomery County. That idea, while encouraging, is irrelevant to building a second bridge. There will be a need for truckers to get from Baltimore to Interstate 81 in Virginia. There will still be a need for business leaders in Frederick to get to Dulles International Airport. There will still be families traveling from Reston to their relatives in New York. All of these travelers will need to cross the Potomac River from Loudoun County to Montgomery County.
I encourage our Montgomery County leaders to explore a second Potomac crossing, an idea already favored by Loudoun County, and I encourage all frustrated commuters to prod Montgomery County officials to favor a second crossing.