To the editor:
I imagine that you have received dozens of letters about the scooters in Old Town, but I thought I’d add my voice to the clamor.
I have lived in Alexandria for six years. As a renter, I’ve lived in the heart of Old Town on Queen Street, on the hill by the Masonic Temple and in the Belleview neighborhood. I love Alexandria – its history, charm, people and accessibility make the ridiculous rent prices mostly worth it.
Over the past few months, however, scooters have become a problem. They’re cluttering up corners – often laying on their side or partially in the roadway. They block sidewalks for pedestrians and ruin the old-timey aesthetic that Alexandria has loved, and cashed in on, for centuries. Riders are often reckless, or simply careless, careening or wobbling through intersections without stopping.
I can’t say if riders are willfully reckless or simply scared. I’m guessing that, just like drivers, there’s a mix of truly awful riders and genuinely nervous – and therefore unpredictable and dangerous – newbies. Regardless of the reason, though, I’ve been cut off at intersections just enough to go to the trouble of writing you a letter.
I don’t know if the fix is better education such as mandatory scooter lessons, harsher penalties such as expanding parking enforcement staff to include scooters or just getting rid of them all together. I don’t claim to have the answer. Regardless of the fix, though, Alexandria does have a problem.
-Caitlin Buchheit, Alexandria