What the foot of King Street really needs is another boat launch

What the foot of King Street really needs is another boat launch

By Dino Drudi, Alexandria
(File Photo)

To the editor:

I had the opportunity to participate in a waterfront plan exercise at a recent Old Town Civic Association meeting.

I am not impressed with the skating rink and water squirt idea at the foot of King Street. There’s a whole river filled with water in front of everybody; the last thing that folks need is little jets squirting water. Similarly, a skating rink adds little to a prime focal point.

Instead, I would like to suggest that the location be made into a public boat launch right beside the Old Dominion Boat Club building. Consider the following advantages:

• Club leadership convincingly complained that a boating organization without a boat launch isn’t a boat club. So now it would have one beside it, on its land and leased long-term to the city, which also would allow the general public to launch boats.

• The straight shot down King Street (with only a backup turnaround in the unit block) would obviate many tight turns and free up Wales Alley for City Hall’s intended use as an outdoor dining space for Virtue Feed & Grain.

• The boat launch surface could have features allowing it to be used as active open space when boats are not being launched, creating a captive audience to Alexandria’s living maritime heritage, which would have to make way when a boat arrives.

• Arrangements could be made with nearby garages to house motor vehicles while folks are boating, so a temporary tie-up dock would need to be associated with the boat launch.

This is a real compromise, which would create the most winners and the fewest losers in the various matters of contention about the waterfront plan.