To the Editor:
With upcoming plans to reconfigure the bus and parking area of the King Street Metrorail lot, this end of Olde Towne will be very difficult to enter into our city. This project is slated to take approximately two years starting in 2017. There are also plans for a new, large hotel at the corner of Harvard and King streets which is also planned to be a two-year project. These will happen during the same period of time.
The metered parking will be removed from the Metrorail lot, and parking along King and Harvard will also be disrupted. Has anyone thought about where the current vehicles that park in these areas will park over these two years? Has anyone considered the disruption? What is going on in our city? Are we so hung up on taking in revenue that we have forgotten about the people that actually live and work here? Where does the traffic board and City Council expect everyone to park? Go out of their way to find parking lots? Put up more signs giving detours through our streets?
We already have overflow from people coming from other places, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Arlington and elsewhere coming to our city parking along our streets, our residential streets. To have the whole area around the Metrorail lot being blocked by construction equipment, then to also have this end of King Street blocked by more construction equipment, how will this affect our businesses? How will this affect our residents?
Cameron Street and Harvard Street already feel the overflow. The new hotel is not even planning to provide parking for their employees. There are many commuters that travel by car to get to the King Street Metro to get to work. What accommodations will be made to cater to these people?
I know there are a lot of people that think we will have more walkers and more bicycles, but the fact is we still have a lot of people that commute by car. How can one block the whole entryway into Olde Towne with two construction projects occurring at the same time? Is no one actually paying attention here?
Maybe in two years it will be better, maybe by then just like with the one tracking of Metro, people will have taken other modes of transportation, other routes that do not go through Olde Towne, maybe they won’t come back.
There needs to be better planning here. We don’t need another large hotel, we have an existing building on the lot where the proposed hotel will be. Gut the building, do as minimal as possible to disrupt our neighborhood, keep the building, turn it back into an apartment building like it originally was. Keep parking available. You want people in our city, you want revenue. Don’t make this so hard.