It’s never fun to find your car has been towed (especially when you tried to follow the process); nevertheless, it sometimes must be done out of necessity in order to keep order in our transportation areas. We all get that, even me.

It’s also no fun to get a $180 charge for a tow that was max three miles and took 45 minutes tops for the tow-truck driver to handle. But again, most of us get it, even me.

But it’s not acceptable to go to spring a vehicle out of transpo jail, only to find that your city has licensed a towing business housed in a disgusting, filthy trailer worthy of a post-nuclear dystopian movie, and a car yard with so much rusty junk and trash that acquiring tetanus while walking to your car seems like a distinct possibility.

It’s also not acceptable when a towing yard owner, at suggestions he clean up his business, laughs and says he makes a fortune towing and has a big, nice house, but his business doesn’t need to look good. Sorry, but when your towing license depends on the public goodwill, you better start treating the public well, even if by nature your business often rankles people. In fact, you better start treating people better, especially for that reason. That starts with presenting a clean, well-designed shop. Otherwise, close it up or you’ll soon have the public close it up for you.

A-1 Towing hellhole

The towing company I am referring to here is A-1 Towing and Recovery, and the city is Alexandria, Virginia. A-1 (apparently the “A” stands you-know-what) has been operating for many years from the same filthy hovel, using license to tow granted by Alexandria and Fairfax County, Virginia. A-1 is located at  5609 Vine St. It is the worst offender of civic pride in a section of city that seems to have been forgotten, despite being in a region with some of the most expensive real estate in the United States.  When a part of your town looks like a bombed-out block in Baghdad circa 2004, there’s a problem.

We all know that cities have non-residential areas that could be called scenically-challenged. But we’re not talking about a fairly sterile office park here, or a heavy industry area (although there are good examples of even those areas made to look attractive). We’re talking about an area with types of businesses that should be no messier than an average florist shop. Why is the area so dirty in general, and why in particular is A-1 the absolute worst? And why hasn’t either the city of Alexandria or Virginia’s district representative done a thing about this? Shall we not rightly conclude that this is symbolic of poor representation, declining standards, and low civic-mindedness?

Some big cities are notorious for their blight. This is considered a bad thing among concerned citizens. It is not acceptable in so-called ghettos and barrios (terms used in the United States by those who have given up on making a better life), and it’s definitely not acceptable in expensive, affluent cities like Alexandria, Virginia.

If you feel the same about A-1 Towing or grimy, uncivic businesses or property owners in general, please express your concerns to your local politicians. A-1 Towing is located in the areas represented by the following politicians (click the image or name):









Mayor of Alexandria Allison Silberberg

Virginia’s 8th District U.S. Representative Don Beyer

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