Letter: Limit on Density?

To the Editor:

When density came up during the mayoral debate, only Macdonald came close to the penultimate question: when is Alexandria dense enough?

Our current mayor, defending his record, failed to declare when optimum density will be reached; that is, the point where quality of life and human, structural and vehicular congestion meet. Lacking a density end-point makes clear our current mayor hasn’t given any thought to it. Had he done so, he would have long ago broached the topic for community discussion, found a consensus and used it to justify his conduct

Let’s face it, with a finite amount of space traversed by a fixed number of roads, unchecked, endless density in Alexandria will BRAC it to the point residents will have to schedule specific times to drive their cars to the grocery store, much less to reach the waterfront. And widening Duke, or any other street, is a non-starter. More road capacity only attracts more vehicles.

It's more than a leadership gaff not to challenge current residents to define optimum density. Failing to do so ordains the city to change from what it is to something no one will recognize. If we have more of our current mayor, it’ll be no more the Fun Side of the Potomac; think Calcutta on the Potomac.

Jim Roberts