Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Assign Police To Intersections

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Assign Police To Intersections

I would like to applaud Dan Koslov for his letter to the editor [“Fix Blocked Intersections,” Nov. 23] where he vividly amplified what I have been saying for almost 20 years. That is, there needs to be some corrective action taken during our peak traffic hours to stop the flagrant disregard of many who regularly park in the “box” thereby inhibiting all traffic to proceed in an efficient and safe manner.

In my first attempt to run for City Council in 2000, I made the improvement of traffic my most important initiative. Specifically I proposed that uniformed police officers be stationed at the key traffic bottlenecks throughout the city to direct traffic during the peak traffic hours. I didn’t win the election, however David Speck who did win guided that same initiative through council and it became the “law of the land” for about a year when mysteriously it was discontinued. Why a successful initiative to make our streets safer was done away with is to this day an unanswerable question.

Every day when I leave work and proceed down Prince Street I come to a “screeching” stop at Henry Street regardless of whether or not I have a green light in my favor, as cars moving south on Route 1 are sitting in the “box” blocking my path. To a lesser extent I experience the same dilemma when I attempt to cross Washington Street. Police directing traffic are definitely needed at these two critical intersections. In New York City these parking-in-the-“box” violators would pay a heavy fine.

For years I have marveled at the efficiency of the Capitol Hill and Baltimore Police as their uniformed police officers effectively expedite traffic during the peak traffic hours. “Lo and Behold” last week as I was returning home through the District of Columbia, at about 5 p.m., down Connecticut Avenue I was pleasantly surprised when I crossed “K Street.” There were three, not one, three uniformed police officers directing traffic at that intersection. Why is it everyone else gets it right except Alexandria? Maybe directing traffic isn’t as “sexy” as chasing crooks however it should not be beneath the dignity of our police force to do so.

Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet