Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Old Town Alexandria Traffic

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Old Town Alexandria Traffic

Although we are gradually returning to normal, I regret to say that some “normal” things are still not acceptable, since the Alexandria City Council and the Police Department continue to ignore enforcing traffic and bicycle laws. However, Alexandria residents are totally fed up with this situation. While we understand that Alexandria is a popular city for tourists, literally hundreds of bicyclists roll through stop signs without slowing down. To make matters worse, some riders are very insolent, and offer rude digital gestures when they are challenged.

Union Street is a particular problem; it has nine T intersections that are being treated like uncontrolled intersections by bicyclists rather than sign controlled intersections. At any time of the day, it is likely that no bikes will stop or slow down as they pass through any of these stop signs. I asked the Chief of Police for his assistance in the matter, and was advised that the sector commanders would be taking care of the problem. Although I am a great believer in the “chain of command,” this approach has not met with success to date. I have notified the police department in the past about this issue and nothing has changed. Furthermore, the police department had a bicycle detail dedicated to this area, but it has been disbanded for some unknown reason quite some time ago. Hopefully, this can be turned around by the responsible authorities, since bicycle accidents can be as deadly as automobile accidents. Unless action is taken immediately, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed speeding through one of our stop signs, or colliding with pedestrians. Since I do not want to be in the unenviable position of saying “I told you so,” the City needs to enforce the traffic laws on record.

Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet