Memo from Alexandria City Manager

Concerned PY has received a memo from the City Manager’s Office – they’ve asked us to share it with our readers as well, which we are happy to do in the interest of transparency – you can read it here.

There is only so much we can do as private citizens to shed light on the process that led to this decision.  And though we will certainly continue to push there, we also call on the city to help us in that effort by releasing more records.  You can start by reviewing and reconsidering the 704 pages of FOIA documents responsive to our initial request that were withheld in the name of a confidential procurement process that both the city and WMATA seem to be saying no longer needs to be confidential (or at least won’t for much longer).

Readers can view our full letter to the city regarding the inadequacy of its initial FOIA response here and we hope the city will see fit to respond to both that letter and the additional FOIA requests we have submitted this week quickly, completely, and without further costs to us.

More importantly though, we call on the city to start showing us real steps toward fixing the outcome.

Here’s how to start…
1. Release real maps and analysis of the one mezzanine station as scoped in the RFP amendment issued in July 2017.  Include walking distances, ridership estimates, economic/development impact, etc. for the station you agreed to in the dark last summer.  Explain why that station would be the wrong outcome for Alexandria and make the case for your commitment to fixing it.
2. Explain to the public the process for adding back meaningful south access to the station.  Once we understand the scope, costs, and feasibility – what is the process to design, procure, and (most importantly) fund it?
3. Lay out the principles the city will follow going forward on this issue.  We would suggest:
  • Addition of “meaningful south access” as one of the success principles guiding the metro project as a whole (the way both east and west access are included today)
  • A commitment to south access that (1) opens along with the rest of the station and (2) maintains a sense of entry to the neighborhood
  • A commitment to no more executive sessions regarding the Potomac Yard Metro project and real citizen transparency, openness, and dialogue at every remaining step.
In short – we think the best way for the city to begin healing the wounds it has created here is to take concrete, immediate, transparent steps to show you are committed to introducing sunshine to this process (both backward and forward) and to fighting for the right result for the city of Alexandria and its citizens.
Please keep us in the loop as you do this – we will happily continue sharing that type of news with our readers and community.
–Concerned PY


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