Your View: Decongest Duke Street sensibly

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Your View: Decongest Duke Street sensibly
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To the editor:

After years of the equivalent of water torture by the social engineers among us, we’re on the cusp of effecting a Duke Street trifecta: exacerbating automobile congestion, increasing the multi-million dollar taxpayer burden to operate more city-owned buses and re-configuring Duke Street at great expense and inconvenience to accommodate dedicated bus and bike lanes.

Crafting this as an urgent problem baffles me. Foremost, because I can’t help but wonder if the number of people using Duke Street today are less than the number tra- versing it during the days when shoppers were making their way to the long gone, once massive Landmark shopping mall at all hours of the day and night.

Regardless, if the issue now is demand exceeding supply for seats on buses traveling up and down Duke Street, then the quickest, simplest and less expensive solution is for the city to assign more buses to service Duke Street – perhaps with smaller, less expensive buses that can navigate traffic jams that the bigger buses cannot.

It’s so obvious a solution that I can’t help wondering if this costly, disruptive project was prompted by public servants anxious to justify their purpose. Or maybe it’s being surreptitiously driven by the secret Bike Lane cabal. These few, unnamed people are incredibly powerful. At hefty taxpayer expense, they almost single handedly created bike lanes on Seminary and on King Street for seldom-seen bike riders and for the never seen ghost riders.

To whomever is driving the notion that Duke Street must be remade at great expense and inconvenience to accommodate dedicated bus lanes and another lane for bikes, both of which will instantly exacerbate automobile congestion, I urge you simply to add more, ideally smaller buses to Duke Street.

If that doesn’t sate demand for bus seats and reduce automobile traffic, then emulate the Virginia Highway Department by charging a fee to use Duke Street. Just as drivers are discouraged from using Virginia highways assessing fees, so too will a fee decongest Duke Street making it evermore enticing to take the bus and less hectic for those drivers opting to pay the fee.

-Jimm Roberts, Alexandria

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