As a resident of Alexandria living near the Old Town, I can say from experience that nothing has been more difficult and time consuming than finding parking spaces near my home. Rather than adding ease and convenience, owning or operating a car in this area is becoming genuinely burdensome. The problem of parking lot and parking space scarcity is compounded by construction, development waivers, and even bike lanes, which collectively make the neighborhood a practical anti-car area, at times even inaccessible to vehicles.
The Old Town is not Manhattan; it is still at its heart an old, traditional neighborhood, a place where people live and others visit during the weekend to enjoy a good time. It is unrealistic and unsustainable to expect those that frequent or live here to purchase a bike or scooter just to be able to reliably visit the neighborhood. This is not, after all, some designated car-free zone, but in practice it might as well be due to the lack of parking lots and parking spaces.
Personally, I have consciously put off or cancelled Old Town plans several times because the parking crisis made visiting a business or meeting up with friends impossible with my own vehicle..
I believe our city planners should consider building a public parking deck or similar facility somewhere in the neighborhood in order to alleviate the impossibly high demand on our limited parking situation.
I’m not alone in these conclusions - conversations with nearly every one of my neighbors yield the same complaints and calls for a solution. We need action on this, and we need it now.