Your Views: In support of Old Town’s redevelopment

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Your Views: In support of Old Town’s redevelopment
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To the editor:

Regarding the June 10 Alexandria Times editorial, “A post-mortem on the election,” I take exception with the statement: “For many older, long-term residents, this election feels like a funeral.” Really? Having lived in the southeast quadrant a block from the river for 51 years, I guess I fit that category and it sure doesn’t feel like a funeral to me.

In particular, I am thrilled with the development of the waterfront and the vibrancy of Old Town, which happened only because of visionary, competent leaders – who did it not by having to levy more property taxes on homeowners – but by making wise deals with developers. It feels like a rebirth, not a funeral.

My wife and I regularly walk along the waterfront. It has been a life saver during COVID-19. We love not having to detour around warehouses, decrepit buildings and parking lots. We have access to the river from Jones Point to the power plant and soon will have it all the way to Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Perhaps you should reread the Washington Post editorial of May 31, 2018, “Justin Wilson for Alexandria Mayor,” or the OpEd of Dec. 2, 2011 by the candidate who suggested regarding the waterfront that “Some aspects of the plan are well thought out, such as extending the path for walking and biking. But the largescale development at the crux of the plan badly needs rethinking.”

Whoever developed the notion since the late 60s that “we’re here, it’s quaint and historic so let’s stop time right now” has no sense of Alexandria’s history as a bustling port. I didn’t move to a suburb with lots of grass or a museum, but to an urban, beautiful, dynamic, historic city that has transitioned well, as it must, as part of the 21st century Washington metropolitan area.

As an “older, long-term resident” I would advise the paper editors to relax, go out and enjoy the 100 block of King Street, the waterfront, the restaurants, the people, the boats, the picnickers on the many grassy areas, the joy of children, the diversity, the activity, the fun. The only problem I see is that bicyclists apparently can’t read signs and think our walking paths also are bike paths!

-John Mullen, Alexandria

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