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.