To the editor:
The condition of Old Town is deteriorating. With lots of empty storefronts, you’d think those in city hall would have concluded that posting two-hour parking limits for many blocks around the commercial district was not a good idea. I live nearby and frequently come into Old Town to shop, walk, dine and just spend time.
Nothing discourages lingering more than worrying about parking. And much of that on-street parking depends on the use of an app to pay for it, which I flatly refuse to use. If those same people who made this decision would read the privacy terms associated with putting these apps on your personal device – access to your contacts list, your photos, etc. – they might understand that some people don’t want their privacy invaded just for the privilege of parking their car so they can go spend money in the commercial district.
But the worst is the invasion of electric scooters, which have just taken over. They are everywhere – littering the sidewalks, the grass, parks, intersections or wherever else riders feels like dropping them. I regularly see scooter riders heading into groups of pedestrians, expecting the seas to part and allow them through.
As for the argument that scooters are an eco-friendly transportation alternative – not really. The great majority of riders I see are young, able-bodied males using them as toys. I’ve never seen one person on a scooter that looked unable to walk.
It’s bad enough one can’t go into the District without this omnipresent scourge, but now, they’ve taken over Old Town. The companies providing these devices should be made liable for where they are placed; Bike Share has managed to figure this out and provides a valuable service. How something that literally creates a public nuisance, and at times a danger, could be unregulated and welcomed with open arms by city government is beyond me.
I know there have been many protracted fights over the direction of Old Town in recent years. Modernization is understandable, but it’s gone way out of whack.
-K. Stershic, Alexandria