Your Views: Thoughtless bureaucrats need oversight

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To the editor:

The city is putting up new parking direction signs in Old Town. Have you seen the new one on Queen Street? If not, that is possibly because they put it behind a tree. Not behind the leaves, but behind a four-foot tree trunk.

Well, it’s only behind a tree if you are stopped at the stop sign. If you are midway down the block and at the elevation of a London double-decker bus it’s OK. So, this is what the traffic geniuses at city hall want. People at their maximum speed in mid-block to look up and away from traffic and pedestrians.

Of course, I was surprised to find the 3-by-5-foot sign towering 15 feet above street level in front of my house on a 100 percent residential block. So were my neighbors. To date no neighbor recalls being told of this billboard’s arrival by our thoughtless city bureaucrats.

Is this sign going to help direct people to parking? No. I would be in favor of that, but you will not notice this sign unless you live on the block. I notice it, because it partially obscures the views from windows in my house. This billboard reduces the value of every house on the block.

The sign on one side gives directions. On the other – it’s blank. Yep, a blank billboard is just what Old Town needed. I can’t decide whether to convert this monument to thoughtless bureaucracy to a basketball hoop or post my own ideas for where the city can go.

City council needs to exercise meaningful oversight of careless city bureaucrats.

-Dan Hazelwood, Alexandria

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1 COMMENT

  1. You think these just popped up overnight? No. This is Alexandria. The process started 10 years ago, involved countless meetings, community stakeholder groups, business groups, Planning Commission, BAR, City Council, yadda yadda. Not the result of “careless city bureaucrats.”