Views – Disagreements over NPAs Jones Point Park plans

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After reading Our View, I wasnt certain if you attended the NPS June 27 meeting.

The NPS presentation on June 27 was only a listening session…there were NO questions allowed. The inability to engage in a serious, substantive discussion was extremely disappointing given the limited time for public comment on this new proposal.

Some of the issues that should have been openly discussed and that need to be considered in any final plan:

1. New traffic congestion and hazards through an elementary school zone over neighborhood streets when a new ingress/egress flow has been established from/to the GW Parkway. Of the 200 comments filed in October 2005, 133 raised the issue of traffic impact.

2. Paved parking expansion North of the bridge when there is a new, out-in-the-open and away-from-the bridge parking at the end of South Street(Hunting Creek) for roughly 100 vehicles. NPS has proposed over 120 additional secured parking spaces for special events under the bridge.

3. More loss of wetlands rather than complete restoration and removal of impermeable paved surfaces north of the bridge to buffer the wetlands. The new bridge footprint has already encroached on the limited wetlands and forested areas in JPP. ANY expansion north of the bridge comes with significant impact on vegetation and woodlands.

4. Loss of mature trees and vegetation that serve as additional buffer to the substantial new noise pollution.

5. A post 9/11 security plan for a dead-end, secluded parking area that cant be reached by the Park Police from the GW Parkway.

6. There are currently two playing fields south of the bridge. The NPS offer to provide funds for renovation of another field (in the Duke/Eisenhower corridor) with the new generation artificial surface is a responsible proposal. The City Council should accept this offer.

7. There is ample room for improvements to be constructed within the footprint of the bridge.

Alternate Plan 4A fails the tests of reasonable, responsible and environmentally acceptable.

Randy Randol lives in Alexandria

After  reading Our View (July 5, 2007,} regarding the National Park Service Alternative 4A for Jones Point Park, I would offer my view as one who lives adjacent to the Park and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. 

First, no one dismisses out of hand the fact that natural resources are being destroyed by the proposed soccer fields.

Secondly, no one dismisses out of hand that the NPS, purportedly committed to the protection of park land, is being pressured to provide active recreational fields that are the responsibility of the city.not the National Park Service.

Thirdly, no one dismisses out of hand the fact that this alternative, fueled by the citys greed to receive mitigation monies intended to pay back those of us who have lived through the years of construction, instead are used being used to destroy the resources that we value.

Fourthly, no one dismisses out of hand the fact that the lush forest of Jones Point Park acts as a natural buffer against the unexpected and ever present truck and traffic noise that has literally been brought into our homes from the new bridgebuilt twice as high and three times as large as the one in the past.

Fifthly, no one dismisses out of hand the fact that the wetlands serve not only an enormously critical ecological function, but also protect those of us who really live here, from the threat of flood.

To imply that we, again, who make our homes here, would simply dismiss out of hand the impact of all this, is simply not accurate. Many taxpaying Alexandria residents are deeply opposed to this proposed plan. Many more, who value the National Parks in this country, are equally opposed to this plan. Neither dismissive nor impartial, we clearly care about the environment within which we are privileged to live and take serious issue with efforts to destroy it.

Those of us who attended the meeting, who live by the bridge and Jones Point Park would appreciate your view to consider our view and what impacts us on a real and daily basis.

Brenda Doherty lives in Alexandria.

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