Community reaction to creating a major road parallel to Beauregard Street as part of the Beauregard Small Area Plan remains mixed after city staff held meetings with local residents.
The Beauregard Rezoning Advisory Group discussed the parallel road and other transportation improvements Wednesday night at the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center. Group member Dave Cavanaugh said the proposed road, which runs by a series of residences, could have a chilling effect on the market for homes in the community.
Resident concerns about the parallel road also include lighting, close proximity to residences, noise, a view of a parking garage, pollution, privacy, impacts to property values, security and safety. Bud Jackson, an Adams neighborhood resident, said the parallel road would bring thousands of cars daily right under bedroom windows.
Jackson suggested moving the planned parallel road closer to Beauregard Street, where a secondary road is already planned. Many people in community do not know about the planned parallel road, and city officials didn’t contact affected homeowners before designing it, he said.
“The cake has been thrown into the oven before we had a chance to be consulted on the recipe,” he told the group.
Jeff Farner, deputy director of planning for the city of Alexandria, said the department has held two meetings with community members about the parallel road design. Resident Rebecca Hierholzer, who has voiced opposition to the road in the past, praised city officials for meeting with local residents.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” Hierholzer said.
Rich Baier, the city’s director of Transportation and Environmental Services, said the outline for the parallel road includes the following:
- A 45-foot setback between residences and the road in one section;
- The exploration of reassigning traffic to an internal street;
- A buffer of fencing, walls or lansdcaping;
- Parallel road design to minimize vehicle speeds, volume and noise;
- Relocation of the roadway further east while preserving 2 acres of open space;
- A development special use permit process to create flexibility with open space, garages and other elements; and,
- Truck loading access designed to minimize impacts on neighboring homes.
Sandra Marks, the city's division chief for transportation planning, briefed the group on transportation improvements within the plan area. They include a bus rapid transitway from Van Dorn Street through Sanger Avenue and onto Beauregard Street, the relocation of part of Sanger Avenue to the north and pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
Marks said the planned “ellipse” intersection at Beauregard Street and Seminary Road must be in place once the redevelopment reaches a certain threshold.