Every afternoon, Route 1 traffic is generally backed up at Henry Street, which is a one way road that going south. Drivers who do not complete the turn will remain in the intersection, which does not allow those of us going east on Prince Street to proceed in an orderly and timely manner. During this time period, this event is replayed at a number of other intersections, greatly impeding the flow of traffic.
During my first run for City Council in 2000, one of my major initiatives was to put uniformed police to direct traffic on the main thoroughfares, which resulted in no one impeding the flow of traffic during peak morning and evening traffic hours. Although I did not win that election, my idea took hold, since the City Council adopted this suggestion. For several years, the Alexandria police force was very diligent in directing traffic, and preventing cars from blocking intersections. However, somewhere along the way this critical service ceased, so we are facing the same problem 15 years later.
Other communities have proactive traffic regulation during peak traffic hours. Nearby examples are DC (notably, Capitol Hill) and Baltimore, whose police forces are actively engaged to ensure that traffic flow is maintained, and that no one blocks traffic.
The decline of Metro and the densification of Alexandria are rapidly altering commuter patterns. There has a never been a better time to make a difference than now.
Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet