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Survey finds widespread support for expanded King Street pedestrian zone

Unit block of King Street pedestrian zone (image via City of Alexandria)

The City of Alexandria said a survey collecting feedback on the new expanded King Street pedestrian zone showed overwhelmingly positive.

After the 100 block of King Street was permanently converted into a pedestrian zone last year, the program was extended via pilot into the unit block of King Street — the one closest to the waterfront — and an adjacent stretch of road called The Strand.

The pilot started over Memorial Day weekend and was scheduled to shut down after Labor Day, but was extended into November.

In a release, the City of Alexandria said 78% of respondents rated the change as very positive and 12% as positive.

“Key findings from the survey show that the top three benefits respondents identified were: feeling safer as a pedestrian; a greater benefit to people using the public space; and more space to eat or shop outside,” the release said. The top three challenges respondents identified were: traffic backing up on Union Street; trash cans being fuller; and people riding bicycles in the pedestrian zone.”

The survey found that 89% of respondents would like to see the closure continue permanently. Extra public seating, more outdoor dining and public bathrooms were identified as the biggest needs moving forward.

“In terms of respondents from businesses, results were fairly similar,” the release said. “Of 25 respondents, 68% had a positive or very positive experience, and 76% would like to see the pedestrianization become permanent. Benefits, preferences and future desired changes were all very similar.”

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