Alexandria Council Votes to Permanently Close Old Town Block to Vehicles

The 100 block of King Street will stay a pedestrian promenade

The Alexandria City Council voted to permanently Saturday close a block of King Street to car traffic, converting it to a pedestrian promenade in Old Town.

The council unanimously voted on the change to the 100 block of King Street between Union and Lee streets.

The city of Alexandria will consider whether to close part of King Street to vehicles and create a pedestrian-only block. News4’s Justin Finch reports on what could change.

The section of King Street was initially closed in May 2020 as people and businesses tried to find new ways to use outdoor space amid the pandemic.

Since then, restaurants have taken the opportunity to expand with outdoor dining "streeteries."

“The temporary closure has been, in my opinion and the opinion of some other business owners, a huge success,” Cyrus Coleman, owner of The Wharf restaurant, said. “This is the moment we can work together.”

Community responses to the temporary closure were positive, and 92% of residents and visitors surveyed wanted it to continue, according to a presentation from the city.

Charlotte Hall, managing director of Old Town Business, told the council that the organization backed the move.

She called for better traffic control at Union and King —saying she had been wearing a police-issued vest and directing traffic herself.

The council and some community members at Saturday's meeting agreed that continuing planning and coordination are necessary.

The ordinance approved by the council said the city would replace some street signs, install new barricades, improve seating and make other changes. It didn’t specify how much it would cost.

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