Saturday’s public hearing is an example of the city heeding the wishes of residents on an issue important to them.
After city staff proposed limiting street parking to two hours in parts of Old Town where it’s currently three hours, there was an uproar from residents of those streets. In addition, advocates for The Little Theatre of Alexandria rightly stated that play-goers who drive would get parking tickets because their productions often last longer than two hours.
Listening to the public input, staff has since removed the elimination of three hour spots from its list of proposed changes.
Perhaps ironically, we actually think residents in the far southeast quadrant of Old Town may come to rue their pushback on this issue. When the three restaurants at Robinson Landing are completed, we think patrons of those establishments will gladly seek out three-hour street parking. Residents are likely to be squeezed more than they would be with two-hour parking.
But if that winds up being the case, then residents can petition at that time to change the parking on their streets. The point is that changes to a particular residential street should generally be inhabitant- not staff-driven.
City staff deserve credit for listening to residents and heeding their concerns.