Your View: Band-Aid fixes have just made Pitt Street worse

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By Hugh M. Van Horn, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
My wife and I have resided on South Pitt Street in Old Town for almost 20 years. Over the past decade, we have seen the condition of the street in front of our house steadily deteriorate. The city has addressed this with one half- hearted measure after another.

One attempted fix was to cover the street with a tar and gravel mixture, which we were told would pack down to create a hard and durable surface. Of course, this didn’t work.

Passing cars disturbed the gravel mixture, both “decorating” the lower sides of vehicles and creating loose gravel deposits along the curbs. During the winter, the combination of pretreatment and plowing the street created potholes
.
City employees installed temporary patches during warmer weather, but of course this didn’t fix the problem either. The same thing happened the next winter, and the next, and so on.

This winter, even though we have not yet had much snow, the potholes have grown deeper again. The latest act in
this farce happened on January 10, while the outside temperature was 27 degrees. A city crew with two trucks stopped right in front of our house.

One crew shoveled an asphalt mixture from the back of the first truck into some of the potholes and tamped it down. The crew from the second truck took some shovelfuls of sand and sprinkled it on the asphalt. In less than 10 minutes they were done, and the trucks moved on down the street.

I would not find this miserable excuse for street maintenance so irritating if I had not also seen city road crews hard at work this past summer reducing the number of car lanes on upper King Street, installing new median dividers, and creating new bicycle lanes, with everything smoothly and professionally paved.

Is this really the picture we want to present to future homeowners and taxpayers in Alexandria? In my personal opinion, this is a clear example of wrong-headed priorities in the decision-making going on at City Hall.

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