Letter to the Editor: City should stop telling visitors to park on Old Town streets

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Letter to the Editor: City should stop telling visitors to park on Old Town streets
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Last week, Alexandria’s Traffic and Parking Board voted to expand payto-park to three additional blocks in Old Town’s southeast quadrant. This means anyone not living in Parking District #1 will have to pay to park on those streets even if they are Alexandrians.
This quite extreme and costly parking restriction has been driven by the increasing number of visitors to Old Town who park for free on residential streets.

Even though the city has stated on many occasions that it would like Old Town visitors to park in metered spaces or in city garages, I was shocked recently to find five webpages where visitors to Old Town are encouraged to park for free on residential streets.

Here are the links to these offending webpages, several of which are city-supported:

          • www.alexandriava.gov/ recreation/info/default.aspx?id=12490
          • www.visitalexandriava.com/ plan/parking
          • blog.visitalexandriava.com/ alexandria-va-parking
          • en.parkopedia.com/parking/ neighborhood/Old-Town-AlexandriaVA/?arriving=201710271500&leaving=201710271700
          • www.tripsavvy.com/parkingin old-town-alexandria-1039425

Webpages advertising free parking on residential streets are hypocritical given how difficult it is for residents to find parking spaces near their homes and the city’s oft-stated desire that visitors pay to park in Old Town. If the city and organizations promoting Old Town would stop advertising free parking on residential streets, residents might find more parking spaces close to their homes and not feel the need to request pay-to-park restrictions for their streets. Advertising free parking on Old Town streets must stop.

– Bert Ely, Alexandria

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