To the editor:
My cap’s off to City Manager Mark Jinks for shedding additional light on how the decision was made to eliminate travel lanes on Seminary Road in his article in the Feb. 13 Alexandria Times, “Key facts about Seminary Road.” The more daylight the better. But let’s not lose sight of the larger picture:
• Maintaining Alexandria’s special sense of community requires an honest and transparent process when major policy decisions are considered – especially when, as was the case with Seminary Road, those changes are so vociferously opposed by those directly impacted, including by all but one of our community’s civic associations.
• The vision underlying the city’s aggressive move to constrict traffic on Seminary Road and explore co-located housing at elementary schools would transform our city. This controversial vision calls for discouraging use of private vehicles in an attempt to compel residents to use public transportation and creating density in residential neighborhoods to spur sufficient critical mass to support public transportation.
• There is no mandate for this vision to be imposed on our community. I do not recall any members of our city council campaigning on making driving more difficult nor on stuffing residential housing onto or adjacent to our elementary schools.
For now, Seminary Road should be restored, and co-location proposals placed on hold, so the decision as to whether Alexandria should adopt a vision calling for road diets and co-location can be debated in the next election and left to voters to decide. Only then will we be able to maintain the sense of community that defines our city and makes Alexandria such a special place in which to live.
-Darryl Nirenberg, Alexandria