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Plans to Create Pedestrian Block of King Street Start to Take Shape

(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) Alexandria’s plans to convert one block of King Street into a pedestrian-only zone are starting to come together.

The plan would close King Street between Lee Street and Union Street on weekends, according to a report presented to the Waterfront Commission Tuesday morning.

The street is primarily home to restaurants, like Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant and Bar and Bugsy’s Pizza Restaurant. There are four retail locations on the block, but two of them, Lou Lou Boutiques and The Lucky Knot, are on the corner and accessible from driveable streets.

The conceptual design shows bollards at either end of the street, with a pedestrian zone and dining areas set up along the street. Staff said barriers would be a requirement to making the pedestrian area safe. Paint on the street would help delineate pedestrian zones. Loading areas for the businesses will be located along alleys on either side of King Street.

The plan has created some concerns, with the staff report saying businesses were primarily concerned about how deliveries would be made. Other concerns included valet parking, mobility for seniors and persons with disabilities, and safety.

The King Street Trolly could be diverted to Cameron Street and Prince Street and loop around Strand Street, the plan suggests.

The plan will next go to the Transportation Commission tonight, with an update to the City Council in January. It’s scheduled for review at the City Council in February.

Photo via City of Alexandria

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