A perfect example of overstretching our infrastructure occurred over the weekend when the annual Arts Festival invaded our turf. Anyone who came into Old Town on Saturday saw the largest traffic and parking disaster in years, or least since last years Arts Festival. If the festival were just for local artists it might be manageable. In fact the event should be only for our local artists. However, by closing down King Street from Union to Washington and blocking traffic on all the intervening cross streets, major traffic jams occurred on Washington and Union Streets. At one time during the day it took twenty-five minutes to drive on Union Street from Pendleton to Wolfe, a total of eight blocks. So much for vigilant traffic control.
In addition, the ability to park was almost non existent as every space including all those in the residential housing areas were occupied by tourists. That’s right; residents could not even park in their own neighborhoods. Essentially, Old Town’s infrastructure is just not conducive to sponsoring large events like the Arts Festival. Why not move it to Del Ray or the West End where there is less community density.
Until all the parking and traffic issues, flooding issues, bulkhead repairs, under grounding of overhead wires and a number of other critical infrastructure issues are completely resolved; no new programs resulting in any further taxing of our decaying infrastructure should be approved. Let’s spend our dollars wisely. Every member of the Council should sign up for this initiative.
Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet