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.