Alexandria Virginia looks to pedestrianize the foot of King Street abutting the waterfront (public meeting tomorrow)
In the vein of some recent pieces suggesting that we can begin the process of creating pedestrian districts in US cities by starting small, with a block or two, depending on the circumstances:
-- "More about making 17th Street between P and R a pedestrian space on weekends" 2019
-- "Making "Downtown Silver Spring" a true open air shopping district by adding department stores" 2018
-- Items #1 and #2 under Silver Spring, in "Revisiting the Purple Line (series) and a more complete program of complementary improvements to the transit network," 2019
-- "Sadly, DC won't show so well during the Baseball All-Star Game," 2018
-- "Urban design considerations for the area around Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium in advance of the 2018 All-Star Game, 2017
I was surprised to learn that Alexandria, Virginia is moving forward on a similar idea, for the 100 block of King Street, which abuts their waterfront district ("King Street Pedestrian Zone Moves Forward" and "Survey: Most Residents Approve of King Street Pedestrian Zone," Alexandria Living).
Current conditions, 100 block of King Street.
A public open house is scheduled for tomorrow:
-- 2 – 4 p.m. at 201 N. Union St., Suite 110 Alexandria, VA 22314 in the ALX Community space.
-- King Street Place project webpage
-- Letter to businesses and property owners
As an indication of how long it takes to move innovation forward, this concept was first laid out in 2012, and there were four weekend pilot tests in 2016.
King Street Pedestrian Plaza Concept Plan: Rendering
Then again, Alexandria's planning for its waterfront has been controversial and ongoing too. Related initiatives have been the city's wayfinding program, which is centered on King Street between the waterfront and the King Street Metrorail station, and general improvements along the waterfront.
It's block oriented wayfinding program is the best of any community in the DC area.