To the Editor:
In a lengthy letter published in your May 24 issue, Townsend A. Van Fleet presents arguments against the Bike Share program planned for Alexandria. Among his various objections, a central theme is that Bike Share will somehow exacerbate “traffic problems in the Old and Historic District.” This seems a rather curious point of view. Van Fleet makes much of what he terms Alexandria’s “narrow streets already crowded with pedestrians, tour buses, metro buses, dash buses, delivery trucks, trolleys, garbage trucks, skate boarders, joggers, and cyclists.” What is remarkable about this impressively comprehensive list (“garbage trucks” to “pedestrians”) is that it omits the word “automobiles.” It may be helpful to reflect for a moment on the fact that a primary objective of the Bike Share program is to reduce the number of automobiles on our city streets. As I am sure most fellow residents recognize, cars remain the principal source of congestion on the streets of Old Town. While I appreciate Mr. Van Fleet’s frustration at being impeded in his driving by the growing number of pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists on our city streets, programs like Bike Share that aim to reduce downtown traffic can only enhance Alexandria’s reputation as an exceptionally friendly and livable community.
David E. James