Alexandria and Norton, the two cities on opposite sides of the commonwealth, are grappling with road diets. However, the details of how to implement the idea are different. The two sister cities will be dieting together as part of a new effort launched by Governor Ralph Northam called the Local Government Exchange Program. The idea is to bridge cultural and geographic divides by having the communities develop delegations to visit partner communities.
According to the Alexandria Gazette Packet, “Road diets have become popular for local governments across the country, and the sister cities of Alexandria and Norton are both dealing with the issue in their own way. Alexandria has implemented three road diets, one on King Street, another on Van Dorn Street and a very controversial one on Seminary Road. Opponents of the Seminary road diet have organized a Facebook page to share their grievances and Wilson is a regular participant in the ongoing discussions there. For Norton, the idea is still in the planning stages. Their City Council is hearing presentations about how it would work and why it may be a good idea for the city’s main drag through the central business district. The motivation for the road diet is basically the same in Norton and Alexandria as it is everywhere else.”
As per Alexandria Gazette Packet, “The delegations from both communities are already plotting out which government facilities they want to see and, of course, which restaurants they want to visit. Downtown Norton has a clutch of international restaurants, and he’s happy to make suggestions about which menu items should be considered. Leaders in both communities say they haven’t given much thought or even visited the other.”