To the editor:
The City of Alexandria, WMATA and Coalition for Smarter Growth, among others, are risking public safety in their push to build the Potomac Yard Metro Station Alternative B on top of wetlands in a flood plain of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
This recklessly sited proposal will destroy functioning forested floodplain and wetlands, significantly increase impervious surface runoff and degrade adjoining freshwater tidal wetlands by using them for stormwater management. This will greatly exacerbate dangerous flooding along the parkway and pose serious threats to public safety. None of these significant impacts can be effectively mitigated, especially with the loss of natural floodplain values.
Alternative B is by far the most environmentally damaging choice of all the practicable alternatives considered and is the only one that needlessly situates the project in wetlands and a flood plain. In contrast, there are several good practicable alternatives that meet the project purpose and do not significantly impact the environment: bus, VRE, Alternative A and B-CSX.
However, the city stubbornly favors only Alternative B because building it on city and federal parkland maximizes development opportunities at nearby Potomac Yard. Why give up one foot of developable land in a post-industrial site when one can re-purpose “unused” wetlands and parkland instead?
-Hal Hardaway, C. Dara, Jimm Roberts, Alexandria