To the editor:
It’s the obvious, yet uncomfortable culprit no one talks about. However, its footprints appear in several articles of the Sept. 3 issue of this newspaper by planners and even outsiders whose real stake in our communities seems to be profit over people.
From 2010-2018 Alexandria’s population grew by 18.42%. The City of Alexandria comprises only 14.9 square miles. That’s more than 11,000 people per square mile. The consequences? Increased traffic congestion, fierce and expensive parking competition, overcrowded schools and a cost of living that continues to skyrocket.
Who suffers most from overcrowding? The more than half of renter residents, the increasingly impoverished working class, 53.3%. Instead of addressing the root cause, city planners want to feed the beast rather than put it on a diet.
Their “solutions” are filled with the kind of “smart growth” ideas we see offered in nearly all densely populated cities these days: keep building to accommodate even more people rather than seek reasonable solutions to arrive at a stable population that balances the needs of residents with economic and ecological interests.
Build living quarters on top of school buildings? Who is the first city planner, politician or developer volunteering to give up their oversized homes and sculpted lawns to do so? How much more open space or habitat will be lost?
Population growth in Alexandria is eroding quality of life for its residents because of a grow or die mentality fed to us by greedy developers. Grow endlessly in finite space? Get real and do the math.
-Christy Shaw, Alexandria