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Transportation Commission OKs Plans for King Street Metro Redesign

The Alexandria Transportation Commission held a public hearing Wednesday night about a redesigned King Street station. Some residents criticized the plan.

The Alexandria Transportation Commission voted in favor of a modified version of the city’s plan for a redesigned King Street Metro station following a public hearing Wednesday night.

The city’s plan envisioned a new station design at a cost of $6.95 million, combining $4.75 million in grants and $2.2 million from the Alexandria Transportation Improvement Program. The commission voted to add shelters at the Kiss-and-Ride area and dynamic message boards for buses to the city’s preferred plan.

The commission rejected constructing the project in six phases instead of two to minimize the impact to station operations and installing a brick sidewalk on Diagonal Road as opposed to concrete.

The King Street Metro is in the process of undergoing other changes as well. In November, the to King St-Old Town beginning with the June 2012 maps.

Alexandria residents speaking at the hearing criticized various aspects of the project. Poul Hertel of Old Town called the plan an “abject failure” designed for buses, cars and taxis rather than pedestrians.

“From a pedestrian perspective, I think we should be doing better,” Hertel said.

Commissioner Justin Wilson said although the plan was not perfect from a pedestrian perspective, it was an improvement over the current station layout. “We have vastly minimized the amount of which the human is a pinball here,” he said.

A 25-year-old by a van at the King Street Metro in 2010 while crossing the parking lot.

Rosemont resident Katy Cannady called the King Street station the city’s most important gateway and said she was appalled the city had planned to eliminate dynamic message boards for buses from the project.

“This was just a mistake,” she said. “It just needs to go away. We don’t need to be economizing here.”

Alexandria resident Don Bush criticized the commission for not making the latest plans available to the public before the hearing. Bush also said he was concerned where Kiss-and-Ride drivers would park while they waited to pick up transit users. He also criticized the project’s escalating costs.

Abi Lerner, deputy director or the city’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, said the commission about the project. “This is not a new concept, and this is something we have had extensive public participation in (during) the last year and a half,” he said.

Lerner said city staff planned to bring the project before City Council on March 27.

Boyd Walker March 09, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Justin, I really appreciate the savings and that you have been working on the plan for 6 years. Like a lot of other proposals, I don't think most of the communnity or neighbors, including me, knew anything about the plan till recently. We worked on the waterfront plan for 30 years, and Beauregard may take a couple more, but since these are decisions that detrmine what happnes for the next 30 years it is better to get it right.
Boyd Walker March 09, 2012 at 08:37 PM
L- I was instrumentalin pushing for the path from the Braddock Metro to the back of George Washington School, where my daughter went a couple years ago. There was significant coonstruction going on at the school a the time. I did urge the city to put in additional lighting on the path, but to no avail, but I believe it is well used. It was first suggested that we wait for the path the Potomac Yard Developer put in, but I pushed for a path for the current kids and metro users. There is supposed to be an additional path right along the railroad tracks, so maybe we can fastrack that.
L March 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Thanks, Boyd. We use that path daily and have really appreciated having it there - especially when it's rainy. Additional lights and a tunnel under the railroad to get to the Braddock station would make the commute even better.
Rob Krupicka March 09, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I am happy to hear you advocated for this. Since I had multiple meetings with the developer, staff and the then DRCA president Justin Wilson on this project and also worked with many neighbors that live near the path to get this done, I can't say I recall ever hearing from you on this, Boyd. I think you may be stretching the definition of "instrumental" a bit. A lot of people worked on this.
Rob Krupicka March 09, 2012 at 10:00 PM
L --- totally agree about the tunnel. That is an important part of the Braddock Road plan.

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