- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ten years on and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge is finally complete. The cost: enormous. Yet, growth continues in Washington, spurred largely by the presence of the federal government. Currently, an estimated 250,000 automobiles a day traverse the Wilson bridge, one of only a handful of bridges crossing the Potomac River. Gridlock remains ever-present.

Washington owes its location to our one and only natural superhighway, the Potomac. It provided our forebears with an effective means to travel well inland and establish the vibrant and vital port towns of Georgetown and Alexandria.

There was a time when ferry service played a vital role on the Potomac. Today, only one ferry continues to provide traffic service across the Potomac, and it is located more than 30 miles north of here.

One cannot expect another bridge to be built across the Potomac any time soon. And where would it go? The federal government, however, has considerable assets along the rivers’ shores that could become points for ferry landings for flotillas of small, efficient and time-saving vessels providing service for the thousands of people who struggle to cross the river every day.

Creative river taxi service can be achieved with a bit of vision, coordination, determination and commitment. Isn’t it about time for such an initiative?

WILLIAM WALTERS

Fort Washington, Md.