Letter to the Editor: City staff monopolizes scarce on-street parking


To the editor:

On any given morning, if I park my car next to the Dolci Gelati coffee shop on the 100 block of N. Fairfax Street, most of the parking spaces are guaranteed to be filled with city vehicles. It appears that the city staff wants ready access to their vehicles – to the detriment of the general public – rather than parking in their designated parking area under city hall. I have monitored this situation over a long period of time, and it hasn’t gotten any better.

This can only be topped off by an even more tragic situation up at the King Street Metro parking lot, where the demise of 66 parking spaces will be given way to a bus queuing operation. There will still be metered parking spaces on the east side of Diagonal Road. However, Metro trucks have already started to utilize those spaces – even those marked specifically for the handicapped – of which I have a photograph.

Although it is no secret that parking in Old Town is at a premium, parking reductions are freely and routinely granted for every new development. However, with those projected losses coupled with other parking reductions, the city has yet to offer any innovative parking solutions. City council should consider parking to be a strategic objective which is not to be waivered away, but to be dealt with for the good of business and the citizens. Step up to the plate Alexandria.

-Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet, Alexandria



  1. This story again. Point is, letter writer still parks next to coffee shop destination. There is no “detriment.” Most city vehicles are not stored at City Hall, but other locations such as Union Station and others. This means that employees often do not go to City Hall, bringing the horrors of traffic to the fragile psyche of OT residents. To the extend that there are city vehicles parked on the street adjacent to City Hall, it is typically brief and in the early hours. Pooled vehicles parked under market square appear of the type not assigned for daily use by a specific employee. There is a time consuming checkin & out process for those. Next week’s letter: Old Town Continually Invaded by Tour Buses, followed the next week by The Death and Menace Brought to Our Historic Treasured Port City by Bicyclists.