Why can’t we solve the problem of cars blocking traffic at some of our key intersections during the peak traffic hours in the morning and evenings? This dilemma really begs a very simple response, yet after 17 years of my railing about this, little to nothing has been done by our council to solve the problem. When I ran for council in 2000 I proposed an initiative to stop cars from parking in the box by having uniformed police officers direct and expedite traffic at critical junctures during those peak traffic periods. Ironically, even though I did not win a seat on council my initiative was adopted by the council and was effective for a short period of time. However, all of a sudden though the initiative was terminated and regrettably has never been reinstituted. Every day as I leave my office near the King Street Metro and go east on Prince, I am invariably stopped at Henry Street (Route 1 South) for sometimes long periods of time by cars blocking traffic, despite the fact that that intersection has a traffic signal to control the traffic. I might add that the same scenario to a lesser extent takes place as I approach Washington Street.
Other venues such as Baltimore and Capitol Hill have uniformed officers that perform this task daily and as a result traffic moves efficiently through all of the key intersections. Large fines are levied against any of the parking-in-the-box law-breakers. Isn’t it time that the council direct our police department to emulate this practice by having Alexandria police officers stationed daily at a number of key traffic intersections in order to keep the traffic moving? Why does it take essentially 20 years to solve a simple problem in Alexandria?
Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet