Your Views: Waterfront congestion is a travesty

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(Photo Credit: R. Kennedy for ACVA)
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To the editor:

Moving through the intersection of King and Union Streets on a weekend, or more specifically on a holiday, is hazardous. The cars, pedestrians, motor coaches, trolleys, bicycles, joggers and skate boarders are all in competition to cross the street, with no one trying to rationally sort this mess out.

Never do I see a policeman intervening with the traffic. This was again highlighted on Presidents Day when I personally was caught up in this calamity.

I have often said that this situation does not need a police officer, per se, but a parking enforcement officer, or one of the school crossing officers could bring some sort of sanity to what is uncontrolled chaos.

This small intersection is a magnet for whoever comes to Old Town and is without a doubt the busiest thoroughfare in the entire city, yet no one in our city government takes responsibility for it when all it takes is one person to solve the problem. Additionally, it is amazing that no one has been seriously injured in attempting to cross this intersection on a busy day.

When city council passed the Waterfront Plan, they alluded to it as a “world class waterfront,” which is a misnomer and a travesty: No one traversing this intersection is going to praise our waterfront.

If we truly want citizens and guests to extol our uniqueness, history and walkability, then we must create order out of chaos at this, the most visible intersection in the city on weekends and holidays. To do any less is to admit indifference and acceptance of the status quo.

-Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet, Alexandria

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