As I write this, Alexandria's about to take a modest step toward re-opening. Our elected officials have been leaders in the rational approach to containing the deadly COVID-19 virus and protecting Alexandria's citizens and visitors.
Old Town Alexandria restaurants will be allowed to open by placing tables in front of their restaurant and on the parking space directly in front of their restaurant. In other areas of Alexandria, closing off a portion of a parking lot may allow restaurants a sufficient number of potential customers for this to be of value. Along King Street and Mount Vernon Avenue, to maintain appropriate social distancing, each restaurant will only be able to open a few tables at best. This increment is insufficient to keep these restaurants in business.
Alexandria needs to close King Street from the Potomac River to the King Street Metro Station and Mount Vernon Avenue from Luray Avenue to Reed Avenue from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to allow restaurants on these corridors to survive the pandemic. The traffic on King Street and on Mount Vernon Avenue is currently a trickle compared to what it was before the pandemic. Once the pandemic is no longer a threat, whenever that might be, we could go back to the prior conditions. We'd go back to thriving restaurant corridors, rather than our prime corridors boarded over, the site of former restaurants.