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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 DCTransitFuture.com, 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
 

Oct 7, 2007 6:06 PM
Tucked deep in the classifieds of Thursday's and Friday's Washington Post were solicitations to build three temporary surface parking lots in the footprint of the old Capper/Carrollsburg public housing complex. The invitations for bids (here and here) are for 1) site grading/storm water systems/paving, and 2) lighting installation; proposals are due on Oct. 26 to DC Housing Enterprises (a subsidiary of the DC Housing Authority). The lots total nearly 234,000 square feet, and are located in two locations: the blocks bounded by 2nd, I, 3rd, and L, east of Canal Park, and the site of the old Capper Seniors building at Sixth and L, SE, which is scheduled to be torn down by the end of this year.
There will be somewhere between 670 and 720 spaces created in these three lots, which are being built to help ease the expected ballpark parking crunch. They were approved earlier this year under a zoning ruling that states the lots can last no more than five years; they will also be open for non-baseball use. The seniors building site is eventually going to be home to a 500,000-sq-ft office building by Forest City Enterprises, and the blocks lining Canal Park are destined to become mixed-income residential buildings as part of Capper/Carrollsburg's redevelopment.
UPDATED because I found the correct space count for the lots.
More posts: Capper, parking, Nationals Park
 

Oct 4, 2007 1:11 AM
Thursday's WashTimes: "Nationals fans likely will be able to park near RFK Stadium and take a shuttle to the team's new ballpark next year, but it's still unclear how much they will be charged. The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, which has oversight of the RFK lots, revealed yesterday that it will allow fans to park near RFK but has asked the team to pay as much as $5 a spot for the rights on game days. The sports commission has offered to provide 1,000 spaces for free, while charging the team $5 a space for 2,500 additional spaces. The team, however, has argued against the $5 a space charge because it likely already will incur costs by operating the shuttle service." The rest of the piece has a quick survey of the current state (or lack thereof) of the parking issue. It also mentions that the first game at the new ballpark could be on Sunday, March 30, allowing the stadium to debut on an ESPN national telecast.

More posts: parking, Nationals Park
 

Sep 27, 2007 12:21 AM
Thursday's Post has "Struggles Cloud Stadium Progress," which details a number of issues currently causing headaches in the Ballpark District. The story reveals that the renovation of the Navy Yard Metro station's west entrance, to expand its capacity to 15,000 users an hour, is seven weeks behind schedule. Also, talks that the Nationals have been having with the US Department of Transportation about possibly using the 800 parking spaces beneath the new DOT HQ have been fruitless. And, with the WMATA board set to vote on its plan to award Akridge the sale of the Southeastern Bus Garage, Monument Realty has apparently "cried foul, arguing that it was promised first dibs on the property by District and Metro officials several years ago to build an integrated mixed-use 'ballpark district.' " Monument, which owns almost the entire rest of the Square 700 block that the bus garage sits on, is threatening lawsuits, and even is suggesting that its stewardship of Navy Yard Metro expansion as part of its mixed-use development on the east side of Half Street could be slowed down if Monument is not awarded the WMATA site--though, at the same time, they say they are addressing the current schedule slippage. Guess this might make the WMATA board meeting audiocast somewhat interesting.
On the plus side, "D.C. leaders expect whichever developer wins the Metro bus property to allow 350 cars to park on the site for the first season or two until more significant construction begins." And negotiations are continuing to allow gameday parking at RFK, with free shuttle buses to the new ballpark, although there are concerns that Hill East residents might not appreciate the traffic. (See my stadium parking page for more details on where parking lots are expected to be available.)
And, just some clarification, for those of you looking at the map that accompanied the article: the land that encompasses the bus garage sale is not all of the sites indicated as "Metro Property" on the map; it's just the bus garage itself and the parking lot to the garage's west, on the southwest corner of Half and M. The land on the east side of Half Street, at the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station, is no longer owned by Metro, having been sold to Monument Realty in late 2006. The east entrance of the station, at New Jersey and M, is being sold to Donohoe as part of the 1111 New Jersey office development. And the little lot at Half and L is the station's chiller plant, which at one point was appearing to be offered as a joint development opportunity, but which appears to have stalled.

 

The Post's Thomas Boswell takes up the stadium parking and transportation issue in this morning's column, "Fans Can't Fill Seats If They Can't Find Spots." He is concerned that the city and the Nationals aren't moving fast enough to get parking lots lined up and ready by Opening Day 2008. He also takes a swipe at the US Department of Transportation for not allowing some of its 800 spaces to be used by the public, an issue that you might recall was brought up at the July 12 National Capital Planning Commission hearing on temporary parking lots at The Yards--the answer basically was "Sept. 11."
If you want to know more about the current plans, my Stadium Parking and Transportation page is a good place to start, with a map showing possible lots, a link to the draft Transportation Operations and Parking Plan, and all the news items I've written both here on the blog and in my Ballpark and Beyond columns in the Post on various parking-related issues.
This would also be a good time to note that a public space permit application was filed last week by Lerner Enterprises, to put a parking lot on the land it owns at 1000 South Capitol Street.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park
 

Along with the Square 701 buildings mentioned yesterday, there are still a few buildings to be razed in Near Southeast (though not many, with 136 of them having already been demolished in the past four-plus years). None of them, however, are as big as the old Capper Seniors building at 601 L Street. All of its former residents have been moved out, and preparations are being made to bring down this building late this year, which will certainly be the most striking of all the demolitions I've watched. In the meantime, as you can see from the latest Approved Building Permit, interior demolition will be starting soon so that asbestos abatement can be taken care of before the building itself can be demolished. In its place there will eventually be a 500,000-sq-ft office building by Forest City, though no timeline has been announced; you can see a rendering of it on my old Capper Seniors page. In the interim, look for a surface parking lot to help ease the Nationals ballpark parking crunch. (Oh, and check out the new photo on that Stadium Transportation and Parking page. I just couldn't resist. I'm sorry.)
 

WTOP has a piece on last night's stadium Transportation Operations and Parking Plan open house, emphasizing that planners are still looking for 5,000-7,000 parking spaces, and that street parking anywhere near the stadium on gamedays will get you ticketed and towed. Ken Laden of DDOT is quoted as saying that they're hoping 50% of stadiumgoers will arrive via Metro; and the article says that "Metro is preparing for that crunch. The transit agency says it will add up to 18 additional cars on game days during the pre- and post-game peak hours."
UPDATE: Speaking of parking, if you haven't checked in lately, the Stadium Construction Cam shows great progress in the past few days on the west parking garage on the north end of the ballpark site.

More posts: parking, Nationals Park
 

I'm pretty sure that this blog has posts about more than just parking lots, but it sure doesn't seem like it lately in my Ballpark and Beyond column in the Post, as this week's items are about the draft Transportation Operations and Parking Plan and the various Zoning Commission votes in the past week on temporary surface lots at The Yards and other locations around Near Southeast. You can also check out Stadium Parking page for more background on the scrambling to find enough parking spaces for ballpark goers, and my Yards page for more information and renderings about the plans for its redevelopment. And if you're interested in the TOPP, don't forget the open house tonight from 6 to 8 pm at 20 M Street, SE.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park, The Yards, zoning
 

Just a reminder (as I scramble desperately for fresh content during the August Dead Zone) that tomorrow night (Thursday, Aug. 2) is the open house on the new ballpark's Transportation Operations and Parking Plan. There will be information stations "manned by DDOT, Sports Commission and traffic consultants to allow residents to learn about Traffic Operations and Parking; Transit, Pedestrian Access and Bikes; and Residential Parking Permits, [and] Curbside Management (including shuttle and charter buses)." If you haven't peeked at it yet, here's the TOPP executive summary, or, if you're in need of 8 or 10 hours of light reading, the complete 58 MB version (summary, contents, and appendices). Or you can read my quick impressions from a few days ago.
The open house is at the new 20 M Street office building at Half and M, SE, from 6 to 8 pm.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park
 

Within the past few weeks I've posted a lot about the MPD move to 225 Virginia Ave. and the falderal over the surface parking lots zoning amendment including Canal Park, but if you can't get enough, the August issue of the Hill Rag has pieces on both items. And a summary of the July ANC 6D meeting, too.
 

The Zoning Commission shoe-horned in one last public meeting tonight before its August break, and took up a couple of Near Southeast-related items.
After having asked for revisions, clarifications, and refilings on three previous occasions, the commissioners once again had before them a first vote to approve the planned 276-unit residential project by Camden Development at 1325 South Capitol Street, across the street from the Nationals ballpark. The major sticking point in the last two meetings has been the design of the western side of the building, which is technically the "rear" of the building but will be on full display to much of Southwest because only low-rise buildings back up to the project site. Commissioner Turnbull had led the complaints in previous meetings about the need to "step up" the architecture, and while he was not jumping up and down for joy (calling the latest revisions "brutal at times"), he indicated that the plans had indeed made some progress. Commissioners Parsons and Hood agreed, and the commission voted to give first approval to the project three votes to zero, with commissioners Mitten and Jeffries not voting (having not participated in the case). The project now goes to the National Capital Planning Commission for its review, with a final vote by the Zoning Commission in the fall.
The Commission also gave its final approval to Case 07-08, which amends the zoning regulations to allow temporary surface parking lots on various blocks near the stadium. This is the case that stirred an outcry a few weeks ago when it was discovered after the commission's preliminary approval that the language specifying the parcels approved for parking included the three blocks slated for Canal Park. But with a supplemental report from the Office of Planning amending the language, and also with the report from the National Capital Planning Commission indicating its support of the amendment as long as the Canal Park boo-boo was fixed, the zoning commission approved the amended amendment three votes to zero, with commissioners Parsons and Jeffries not voting. And then they amended the original emergency amendment, too, just to make 100% sure that there were no loopholes big enough to build a parking lot on.
More posts: 1325sc, parking, South Capitol St., zoning
 
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