Georgetown gondola project rendering

Georgetown gondola project rendering. Photo courtesy gondolaproject.com

Looks as if you can move Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt from “undecided” to “opposed” when it comes to the proposed overhead transit system spanning the Potomac River and linking Rosslyn with the District of Columbia.

“Now is not the time to spend upwards of $90 million on a Disney-like gondola to Georgetown while current modes of public transit need significant new investment,” Vihstadt, the only independent on the County Board, said during the body’s Jan. 3 organizational meeting.

County Board members last year agreed to throw in some cash to study the proposal. Perhaps not surprisingly, a consultant tasked with evaluating its feasibility came back in late 2016 with a recommendation that it was viable.

In his remarks, Vihstadt said Arlington needed to “be prepared to tighten its belt” due to slower economic growth and the prospect of federal-government downsizing, along with the prospect of millions needed to help right the flailing Metro system.

Vihstadt was swept into office in 2014 on a wave of voter discontent about so-called vanity projects supported by the all-Democratic County Board. Among them: The Columbia Pike streetcar (abandoned), “million-dollar bus stops” (downscaled), the Artisphere arts center (shuttered) and the Long Bridge Park aquatics center (delayed).

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