Letter: GW Memorial Parkway Metro?

Letter: GW Memorial Parkway Metro?

To the Editor:

Although officially it is referred to as the Potomac Yard Metro, if the option to move the tracks closer to the GW Memorial Parkway is used, it creates a construction zone on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and furthermore creates a right-in right-out for the trucks and mechanical equipment to use. In effect, that part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway becomes a designated truck route and construction zone for a metro station serving the Potomac Yard.

The Alexandria City Council promised public hearings and citizen participation. However, there is an upcoming meeting that has practically not been advertised at all. For those interested, here is the meeting information. “Potomac Yard Metrorail Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - Public Meeting April 19, 2012 at Cora Kelly Rec Center from 7-9 p.m. Three Build Alternatives Will Be Presented For Public Comment.”

The City of Alexandria claims that it is not pushing the George Washington Memorial Parkway option, but their actions to date speak volumes. The George Washington Memorial Parkway is a ceremonial highway, as described by the Macmillan Commission Report of 1902: “These drives had certain definitions: Parkways or ways through or between parks; distinguished from highways or ordinary streets by the dominant purpose of recreation rather than movement; restricted to pleasure vehicles, and arranged with regard for scenery, topography and similar features rather than for directness.”

(see following for complete history http://www.oldtowncivic.org/Pages/News/Other%20News/2009-2010/gw_parkway.pdf)

So why are we breaking every agreement we have made with the Federal Government regarding the disposition of the George Washington Memorial Parkway? It seems that a city designated as the First President's hometown is headed towards a path that further erodes the bucolic ambiance of a parkway that was dedicated to his memory.

Poul Hertel