Van Fleet: I was critical of the public process, not bike lanes

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Van Fleet: I was critical of the public process, not bike lanes
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By Townsend “Van” Van Fleet, Alexandria

I write in reference to Jonathon Krall’s October 16 letter to the editor in the Alexandria Times (“Give bike lanes a fair hearing”) that referred to my stated position that City Hall had already decided to add bike lanes along Prince and Cameron streets, thereby negating the need for further public input.

My comments actually concerned the lack of due process. Regardless of the outcome, there was a lack of input from the residents who attended the bicycle master plan meeting and the members of the ad hoc pedestrian and bicycle master plan advisory committee prior to this decision.

In his letter, Krall exhibits two errors in logic. First, he argues that I am against bike lanes. This is an ad hominem argument, since I have never made any statement to that effect.

Second, he maintains that I am subverting the public input process by attacking concepts that have not yet been publicly presented. This is yet another example of faulty logic, since the decision was made before any public outreach.

Krall insinuates that I am spreading rumors about the removal of parking spaces as part of the project, and that I wrote letters to city councilors based on those rumors.  This also is untrue, since I never mentioned parking spaces being taken away on Prince and Cameron streets, and I have never written city councilors about this issue.

Finally, I was not actively involved in the attempts to kill the proposed Royal Street bicycle freeway.

I support the rights of all to engage in a meaningful discourse about the issues surrounding our community. However, it is inherent for those involved with the issues to correctly address the positions of the various participants.

If someone resorts to chicanery or faulty logic to make a point, it would seem to me that their point is not well taken.

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