Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

You may have heard that Washington DC christened a new baseball stadium on Sunday, one that appears to have been met with wide-eyed enthusiasm and appreciation by most of the 40,000 in attendance (although not by the Post architecture critic). And, after listening to months (if not years) of predictions of traffic meltdowns and catastrophes at the new site in "a formerly blighted part of the District," would you believe that car, rail, bus, and foot all seemed to work, so much so that newspaper columnists appear incredulous that fans weren't griping. The next test will be when crowds arrive for the first time at the end of rush hour, at a Monday night game on April 7.
I took some photos around the ballpark as I arrived and worked my way from top to bottom, but once I arrived at my seat far far away (you'll love the small red speck in one photo that is President Bush), I decided to put away my camera and heed a directive issued recently by a Mr. S. Kasten to "watch the damn game." So I fear I don't earn a passing grade for documenting this historic day on South Capitol Street, but after 4 1/2 years of detailing the birthing process in thousands of photographs and probably tens of thousands of words, I needed some time to take it all in and say "Whoa."
And then they won the damn game, on a walk-off homer by Ryan Zimmerman. That's how you christen a ballpark.
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Lawrence Frigg says: (3/31/08 7:53 AM)
The issue was never if the team could hold an opener on a weekend and manage to avoid frustrating the villagers to the point of torching the joint. On a one-off historic special occasion such as this, patience was going to rule the day even when lines three blocks long were at the CF gate minutes before the scheduled ceremonial first pitch, while logistical issues caused temporary shut downs and delays at the Navy Yard stop.

The issue is how the negative transportation and access factors will manifest for games played during the week, which includes vigliant maintenance of the flow of Nats Express shuttles and the continued security spread throughout the several city blocks where people will be parking and walking to Metro stops before and after games. Time will tell.


DT says: (3/31/08 1:08 PM)
Judging from the shots on the 55 M Street webcam, it doesn't look like it took very long to clear the Half Street entrance to the Metro station after the game--at 11:03, the street is packed, but by 11:16, it's practically empty.


BBC says: (3/31/08 6:58 PM)
I heard an interview with a fan that took the Capitol South metro and walked to the stadium. He had no problems at all. I am guessing that people smart enough to use Capitol South or Eastern Market on the April 7th game will still not have significant problems that day either. Kudos to JD, the first person I saw to advertise that Capitol South metro station. I think that anyone planning to use Navy Yard just before and/or just after the game has to expect some delays. Anyway, after this area gets built up in another year or two, there will be a lot more reasons to get there early and stick around a while after the game is over. Then, usage on the Navy Yard metro will spread out and congestion will ease up significantly. For now, fans could walk to Barracks Row and have a couple of beers before/after the game and avoid the stadium rush. They could also use the Eastern Market metro and further avoid metro conjestion.

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