Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Dangerous Pilot Program

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Dangerous Pilot Program

We are all very aware that Alexandria is a world-renowned historic city. Founded in 1749, its unique history and architecture make it one of America’s finest cities of its type. Many of its founders, including George Washington, visited and dined frequently in Alexandria.

In fact, three of our first four presidents were Virginians, and spent much of their free time in Alexandria. Many 18th and 19th century residences are still standing, and add to this community‘s historic ambiance. However, the street grid structure in the Old and Historic District originates in 1749. These narrow streets and short blocks make for a very walkable Old Town, where many of the residences, shops, restaurants flank those short and narrow streets and sidewalks. But they are overly congested in some spots.

Unfortunately, the City Council decided to run a pilot program for scooters, even though traffic problems in Old Town already existed amongst the confluence of pedestrians, automobiles, buses and bicycles; none of whom obey any of our traffic laws. Thus, the advent of the scooter has only added to the difficulty of navigating one of America’s most walkable, historic cities. There is absolutely no doubt that scooters should be banned from the Old and Historic District, as they are nothing more than incipient serious accidents, and traffic enforcement is minimal. Getting knocked down by a scooter going 25 miles per hour (rolling through a stop sign, no less) could result in an innocent pedestrian hitting their head on the pavement at about the same speed. Another scenario is to watch a toddler or pet injured from a collision with one of these rolling disasters. In the case of scooters in Old Town, a NIMBY [“not in my back yard”] is more than appropriate, if it will save a life or limb.

Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet