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The Post has a story this morning on the concerns of residents about how stadium traffic is going to impact the neighborhoods around the ballpark. "City officials and Nationals executives have been working on plans for new traffic patterns and parking for about 5,000 cars expected at most games. But neighborhood activists said few details about those plans have been made public. And what they have heard has made them more concerned as they watch the mammoth stadium rise above the skyline." Plans for free parking at RFK still have not been finalized, nor have announcements yet been made as to where season ticket holder parking lots will be: "Not knowing the parking sites has left neighbors concerned that they can't predict which streets will be most congested or whether they will be satisfied with the team's plans." Street parking will be limited to residents, as at RFK, though the final boundaries of the restricted areas have not been announced (an early draft of the parking zone, as well as links to the full the Draft Transportation Operations and Parking Plan, are on my Stadium Parking page.)
More posts: parking, Nationals Park

Voice of the Hill has posted an article on the status of parking and traffic plans for the new ballpark, which boils down to: team and city officials say it will be okay, neighborhood residents and activists say it won't. The team, as it always has, will be emphasizing Metro as the best way to get to the stadium, and is apparently working on plans for guiding people who drive to the games on the "right way" to get to the various parking lots that will be available. As for the infrastructure work: "Street and sidewalk work is on schedule, and the Navy Yard Metrorail station will be ready to use, but possibly unfinished, by opening day, said Ken Laden, the Transportation Department's associate director for transportation policy and planning. Laden also said the agency is working with Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells on new street-parking regulations that would discourage on-street parking during games."
According to the Voice there was a community meeting about baseball-related traffic concerns on Nov. 28, which I didn't see announced anywhere. But apparently there's another one scheduled for Dec. 19 at 6:30 pm at Southeastern University.
More posts: Metro/WMATA, parking, Nationals Park

The city's Approved Building Permits Feed tells us that yesterday three permits were approved for the construction of temporary parking lots on three blocks within the Capper/Carrollsburg footprint: Squares 767 and 768, which are cleared lots between Second and Third and I and L (just to the east of what-may-someday-become-Canal Park), and Square 882 between L and M and west of Seventh, where the old Capper Seniors building is in the midst of coming down. This doesn't necessarily mean that construction will start tomorrow (I don't know if the contracts that were advertised a few months back have been awarded yet), but it does mean that what is sometimes the biggest hurdle to construction in the city has already been passed.
As part of the rules governing their creation, the lots will be open for general paid parking during non-game times, and can also be used for "a seasonal or occasional market for produce, arts or crafts." These lots should yield somewhere between 670 and 720 spaces. Eventually these locations will be home to new apartment buildings along Third Street and both a new office building and townhouses on the Capper Seniors site; the parking lots themselves are only allowed until 2013.
You can find out more background about parking plans for baseball on my Stadium Parking and Transportation page, though no specifics have been announced yet as to which lots the Nationals are planning to use for season-ticket holders.
UPDATE: I'm hearing that work on the Third Street lots should get underway in December, and on the Seventh and M lot in January.

I just can't bear to go completely dark for too many days in a row, so here's some light reading for your post-turkey haze:
* These are almost a month old now (oops), but the Hill Rag has an opinion piece on the plans for the 11th Street Bridges, plus an article on the community concern on Capitol Hill and in Southwest over the planning for ballpark parking.
* Today's Washington Business Journal looks at the plans for the return of streetcars to DC, a very long-term project that could eventually have light rail running down M Street SE and across both the 11th Street and Douglass bridges. But that's a loooong ways off--first they have to finally get a long-delayed test line in Anacostia off the ground, and then the H Street NE corridor would be next. There used to be a good web site on the project at, but that site is now hijacked with a fake blog, so the best I can give you is this DDOT page with a few links.
* There's also a WBJ article on PNC Bank securing the naming rights to the Diamond-level seats (the second priciest) and the club lounge at the ballpark. Still no word on naming rights for the stadium itself, though a few weeks ago we heard that there might not be a sponsor during the inaugural season.

One of the issues with having satellite parking for the new Nationals ballpark at RFK, according to today's Examiner, is what would happen when both the Nats and DC United have games scheduled for the same time. The article says that there's still no agreement between the city and the Nationals on any plan to park baseball fans at RFK.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park

In response to the e-mail sent out earlier today from the Nationals saying that non-season ticket holders will be able to park at RFK and ride a shuttle to the new ballpark for free, the city is saying that the deal isn't done, according to Wednesday's Post: "The Washington Nationals said for the first time yesterday that the team expects some fans to park at RFK Stadium next season and ride a shuttle bus to the new ballpark more than two miles away. But the team's announcement that fans will be able to park for free at RFK, property controlled by the city, surprised D.C. officials, who said they have not signed off on the plan." And, in addition to the negotiations not being yet finalized, there's questions on how such shuttles would work, given how traffic-filled the routes between RFK and South Capitol Street can be.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park

Oct 23, 2007 5:11 PM
From a Nationals press release, via e-mail:
"The Washington Nationals announced today that all season ticket holders will be offered parking for games at the new ballpark. Fans purchasing season ticket packages, including full season, half season and partial game plans, will be able to purchase parking in the area surrounding Nationals Park. Available surface parking spaces and/or garages are currently being designated, and the process is an ongoing one. The Nationals and the District have been working very diligently for over a year to provide parking for their fans.
" 'We are very excited to announce that, due to the hard work of many, many people, we now feel confident that we will be able to provide parking spaces for purchase by any season ticket customer account,' said Stan Kasten, President of the Washington Nationals. 'We understand there has been a great deal of concern and speculation regarding parking availability at the new Nationals Park for 2008.'
"For fans without season tickets that choose to drive to Nationals Park, or season ticket holders who choose not to purchase parking, there will be free parking at RFK Stadium with a speedy and free roundtrip shuttle service to the games.
"The process of selling tickets and acquiring parking spaces will continue throughout the offseason. More details about parking, including policies and prices, will be announced at a later date."
See my stadium parking page for all the parking-related news up to now. I know nothing about actual locations of lots for season ticket holders, etc., etc. Just passing along what the press release says. Hopefully specifics will be coming along soon. (And it will be interesting to see if this truly means that all non-season ticket holders wanting to drive to the new ballpark will be sent to RFK for parking and shuttled.)
More posts: parking, Nationals Park

Oct 18, 2007 9:42 AM
My Ballpark and Beyond column in today's District Extra in the Post covers the new zoning amendment for additional temporary surface parking lots (here's the Office of Planning report with all the details), and a little blurb about three of the historic call boxes along First Street disappearing recently, which you might have missed when I posted it here on Tuesday because it was at the end of two veeeeery long entries.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park, zoning

Oct 16, 2007 9:18 AM
With Opening Day 2008 inching closer, the cobbling together of parking at the new ballpark is apparently turning out to be a greater challenge than constructing an on-time on-budget stadium. So this week the city put in another zoning amendment request to allow more temporary surface parking lots, this time covering eight squares in Southwest, all between P, T, 2nd, and South Capitol streets. (See my Stadium Parking page for a map with the new lots highlighted.) You can read the Office of Planning's report on the new case (07-08A) for more detail.
On Monday night the Zoning Commission approved this request on an emergency basis, meaning that the zoning change takes effect immediately, lasting 120 days while a hearing is scheduled and a permanent amendment is voted on.
As with the original amendment approved earlier this year, the lots can last no more than five years, are required to be available for public parking during non-game times, and must have District Department of Transportation approval of their traffic routing plans to ensure that access to the lots is not directed along I, P, or Fourth streets, SW. There's also a new requirement being added with this latest request, that a minimum of five percent of the spaces in these lots be reserved for a car/ride-share program.
These new lots are still subject to the cap of 3,775 total spaces laid out in the first amendment, unless special exceptions are obtained after the cap is reached from the Board of Zoning Adjustment on a per-lot basis. As with the squares covered earlier this year, it's not expected that lots will suddenly sprout on every one of the locations covered in the request; the main goal appears to be additional flexibility in finding possible spots for the needed spaces.
A separate zoning action a few months ago approved three temporary surface lots totaling under 800 spaces at The Yards, across the street from the stadium. There are also apparently negotiations underway about using the lots at RFK and providing shuttle service to the new ballpark.
There are other locations within a few blocks of the ballpark that will no doubt become temporary parking lots as well--one example is the Lerners' recent permit applications to build a lot on land they own at 1000 South Capitol Street.
At Monday's ANC 6D meeting, when this new zoning amendment was discussed, commissioners mentioned rumors of additional lots perhaps coming to the recently closed KFC and Exxon locations on the west side of South Capitol. But these blocks are not in the Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay, and so don't require the special approval needed for the squares in the previous amendment requests. And these additional locations still require the Nationals to contract with the landowners, which might not always be an easy negotiation.
The ANC commissioners did not bring up many concerns about this new request, other than asking for confirmation that the traffic controls in the initial amendment cover these new lots, which Judi Greenberg of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development assured was the case.
Commissioner Ron McBee said that he hopes to organize a town hall meeting for Southwest residents about all the parking plans when they are more concrete, and vice chair Andy Litsky reminded Greenberg that the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission is supposed to be meeting with community leaders to address ballpark-related concerns, but that there hasn't been a meeting in six months.
The zoning commission's approval of the emergency action came with little discussion, perhaps reflecting that most of the potential issues with these temporary lots were hashed out in the first request.
Time should solve many of the initial parking issues around the ballpark; right now there are seven office and residential projects already under construction around Near Southeast that by 2008 and 2009 will have multiple levels of underground parking that could potentially be available for gametime, just as with the lots are in the buildings around the Verizon Center. Most of the squares in these recent zoning requests, along most every other block between South Capitol and Second, will also eventually be home to buildings with underground parking.
UPDATE: An e-mail sent out today to Nationals season ticket holders says that 2008 ticket package information will be sent out "in the next month or so", and that a "comprehensive transportation package will also be sent to all season ticket holders shortly after you have received your seat location information." Presumably the "transportation package" means parking plans for season ticket holders (and maybe a really good Metro map!).
More posts: ANC News, parking, Nationals Park, zoning

Oct 12, 2007 3:12 PM
The agenda is out for Monday's ANC 6D meeting; the big item is the aforementioned vote on Monument Realty's plans for redeveloping the Randall School at Half and I, SW; also, Council Member Phil Mendelson is slated to talk about the MPD move (I don't know if this means just the 1D station issues, or everything that surrounded the now-aborted use of 225 Virginia Avenue). Also, there's an agenda item about a Southwest Neighborhood Association town hall meeting on ballpark parking, but I can't tell if that's just to announce the town hall meeting, or if it already happened. The ANC meeting is at 7 pm at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 6th and M, SW.
More posts: ANC News, parking
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