To the editor:
The “safe routes to school” project on Commonwealth Avenue is a major missed opportunity by the city. Aside from the embarrassing look of the final product, these miniature speed bumps make it nearly impossible for service industry vehicles to make the new sharp turns on the side streets, indicated by the number of tire marks in the paint and those objects already seeing damage.
In the winter months, these areas are inaccessible for both road and sidewalk plows, forcing the city to spend additional hours to shovel for safer routes. Furthermore, these objects will be hit by the plows which the city must spend additional funds to repair and/or replace.
The asphalt speed humps are incredibly low and do not slow any traffic. Drivers avoid these by swerving into the bike lanes or parking areas, seen throughout Alexandria, which does not align with either Vision Zero or the safe routes to school narrative.
The missed opportunity comes as city residents continue to face flooding. Infusing the funds from the stormwater tax/fee to this project could have allowed extending the sidewalks and medians to add additional softscape in the right of ways to help mitigate some flood waters. In addition, this strategy would have made this project look more intentional, aesthetically pleasing and practical.
It’s unclear how or if this will be remedied, as we continue to see speeding cars and expect to see speed bump debris on the roads. Residents should not be forced to carry the burden of funding another poorly executed project.
-Wade Kratzer, Alexandria