Alexandria considering ferry commuting to help ease traffic congestion in DC area

- What if you could commute to work on a boat to avoid gridlock on the roads? The city of Alexandria is considering the possibility.

Traffic in the D.C. area is a problem that is getting worse by the day.

"We suffer from the worse congestion in the nation,” said John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

It is even standing room only at times on the Metro as an alternative instead of sitting in a stopped car.

"And it’s gotten worse in spite of spending almost $25 billion in transportation projects in the Washington metro area in the last decade alone,” Townsend said.

The terrible traffic is one reason the Alexandria City Council is listening to ideas about ferry commuting in a proposal from the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

One proposed launching spot is at the end of King Street in Old Town Alexandria where water taxis are already bringing people to and from National Harbor and Georgetown.

Alexandria is open to the idea of using the Potomac River to get commuters from one side to the other. But what they are not open to is adding congestion to an already crowded area by bring commuters down to Old Town Alexandria to get on a ferry.

The other proposed launching spot is under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

"We have fairly significant concerns with any proposal that would propose Old Town Alexandria to become a parking lot for the federal government,” said Yon Lambert, Alexandria’s Director of Transportation and Environmental Services.

Feelings are mixed for potential ferry riders.

"I would say it would be a good idea,” said one Alexandria resident. “They do it in New York and a lot of other cities so why wouldn't it work here?"

“It doesn't sound like a great idea to me,” said another resident. “Congestions, safety reasons -- I think it takes away from ambience around here."

Alexandria City Council members will meet on Tuesday.

"City council is going to talk a bit about the proposal that the Northern Virginia Regional Commission has put forward,” said Lambert. “It’s fair to say that members of the council and the public have serious concerns about the proposal now, but it is something that the council wants to make sure that we are keeping an eye on."

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