Your View: Alexandria is pushing back against Old Town commuter ferry stop

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By Mayor Allison Silberberg, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
In response to your June 30 editorial regarding commuter ferry service (“Old Town commuter ferry idea needs permanent mothballing”), I would like to reiterate the City of Alexandria’s serious concerns about the proposal to lo- cate a commuter ferry stop in Old Town.

While the city supports using the Potomac River as a regional transportation corridor, we have expressed clear and consistent opposition to this proposed stop in Old Town. After reviewing the ferry study conducted by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, we are deeply concerned about the impact that the proposed commuter ferry stop would have on our residents and businesses.

Based on current parking capacity in Old Town, attempts to integrate a commuter ferry stop here would cause considerable challenges to the existing infrastructure and add vehicular trips to an area with limited parking.

Old Town should not serve as a parking lot for Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling or other federal facilities to be located at the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital site.

In April, city staff and I had a meeting and a good conversation with regional and federal officials, and we have repeatedly made the city’s position clear to the U.S. Department of Defense and reminded representatives that the city controls its own piers.

We have encouraged officials to consider ferry stops at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport or the Pentagon to transport their workers across the river to D.C. Both of those ferry stops would have Potomac River access. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share our perspective.

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