News: December 2007


We actually got an early start on our 2008 goals, having set them at our September board meeting. In fact, we’re well on our way to accomplishing some of them already! Here’s where we’ll continue focusing our energies to improve Old Town North in the year ahead:

(1) Identify and clean up areas that are prone to litter problems; (2) Proceed with Phase II and III improvements to Montgomery Park (path to Fairfax Street and dog run improvements, respectively); (3) Sponsor fall and spring events (Paws in the Park and Taste of Old Town North) to raise additional funds for Montgomery Park improvements; (4) Work with City officials and planning groups to improve our streetscapes; and (5) Monitor developments and represent our community in the Braddock Road, Washington Street, and National Harbor projects.

We’ll need your support to accomplish these goals, so please get involved by attending our meetings or sending your feedback to


On the brisk Saturday morning of November 10, a small but hearty team of volunteers took to the streets of Old Town North to gather trash and make notes of needed improvements. Two hours and ten bags of trash later, the group had compiled a list of nearly 50 concerns covering everything from beautification and land use to litter and safety issues. The list is being prioritized and sent to the City for follow up. In the meantime, we are asking area corporations and businesses to address the trash and beautification issues on and near their properties. A debt of gratitude to our volunteers for their time and to the City for providing gloves and plastic bags for the litter pick-up.


Who needs a crowded mall and a department store Santa? Holiday shopping is much more festive—not to mention easier—in the charming and unique shops of Old Town. And shopping here guarantees your retail dollars will help keep our local businesses thriving and giving back to our community.

Now, thanks to a partnership between the City and the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association (ACVA), here’s one more reason to shop—and dine and celebrate — right here in historic Old Town this holiday season: On this special Web site you can select and print money-saving discount coupons and special offers from Alexandria’s shops and restaurants. Or pick up your free dining and retail coupon books at the Ramsay House Visitors Center located at 221 King Street in Old Town. Happy Shopping!


In October, OTNCP contacted the City’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES) regarding questions our e-mail subscribers have raised about a number of Old Town North projects and issues. In a letter dated November 15, T&ES Director Richard Baier responded, as summarized here:

  • Madison and Montgomery Street reconstruction project: Selection of a design firm is underway, and construction is expected to begin in fall of 2009 to rebuild St. Asaph Street between Madison and Montgomery Streets; Montgomery Street between St. Asaph and Pitt Streets; and portions of Pitt and Royal Streets between Madison and Montgomery.
  • Crosswalks at busy intersections: T&ES officials will be contacting us to schedule a “field review” of our heavily traveled intersections and discuss options to address our pedestrian safety concerns. We will announce the date and time in an upcoming newsletter or e-News Update so that all interested residents can participate.
  • Odor from the Blue Plains sewage treatment plant: Since the Blue Plains facility is not located in Virginia, the City has limited ability to impact its operations but has conveyed our concerns to the plant manager. Blue Plains encourages residents to call its Odor Hotline number to register complaints: 202-787-2630. Since you will be asked to leave a recorded message, we advise asking Blue Plains for a follow-up call to learn how they are addressing your complaint.
  • Trucks hauling fly ash to the Mirant plant: The travel route for all trucks entering or leaving Mirant is designed to limit exposure to our neighborhoods as much as possible. Trucks enter from Route 1 onto Madison and turn on Royal Street; trucks leave from Royal Street and turn on Montgomery to go back to Route 1. Deliveries are restricted to the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. time slot, and trucks are washed and covered before they leave the Mirant property. Please let us know if you observe otherwise.
  • >Undergrounding utility lines: T&ES’ response to this was very brief and disappointing: “There will be no phases that will underground wires north of Oronoco Street.”
  • Directional signage for visitors: Signs to route visitors to key Old Town destinations will be a primary component of the City’s “Wayfinding Signage Program,” now in development. Old Town North will be included in the stakeholder involvement and feedback process, scheduled to begin in late January.
  • Completion of sidewalk to the Metro: A new sidewalk along the north side of the 700 block of Montgomery Street is included in the development proposal for this block.


A big thank you to our four- and two-legged friends who turned out for our first ever Paws in the Park fundraising event for Montgomery Park — and to Crowne Plaza for their generous support and the use of their tents. We hope to make this an annual event for pets and their owners, and we welcome your comments or suggestions to help plan next year’s fundraiser.


As reported in our last newsletter, many of the new trees planted in Montgomery Park earlier this year fell victim to the drought. With our focus on maintaining and improving this neighborhood park, we have asked the City’s Recreation and Parks staff to replace the dead trees, still under warranty. They have agreed to plant new trees at no cost.


Did you know that OTNCP receives annual funding from the City to keep Montgomery Park clean? When you visit the park, please help us out by using the trash receptacles and picking up after your pets. Showing pride in our community helps ensure the City will continue to support us in this effort.


  • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2—Watch for new traffic patters taking effect on Monroe Avenue Bridge. The first new span is now open!
  • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 8:00 a.m.—Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association Funside Forum at the Westin Hotel, 400 Courthouse Square. RSVP 703-838-4200, ext. 203
  • THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 6:00 p.m.—Planning Commission workshop on transportation at Council Chambers in City Hall, 301 King Street
  • THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 7:30 p.m.—OTNCP Board Meeting at MRE Properties, 300 Montgomery Street, 2nd Floor


To receive periodic updates of community events and this quarterly newsletter via e-mail, please send your e-mail address to


E-mail your feedback to or mail your comments to: OTNCP, c/o Montgomery Center, 300 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314