Near Southeast DC: Past News Items
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DOT Curb Cuts Not ADA Compliant; Positive Nature Rally; Douglass Bridge Ceremony Coverage
Mar 18, 2008 9:06 AM
* The Examiner writes about the Washington Area Bicyclists Association
's look last week at the crosswalks and curbs at the US Department of Transportation HQ
, which WABA says are not ADA compliant: "An inspection of the area Friday found security bollards blocking curb ramps, bus shelters with virtually no sidewalk access, and multispace parking meters inaccessible to people in wheelchairs. Also, several crosswalks at non-signalized intersections feed into curbs with no access ramp[.]" DDOT says that the crosswalk at Second and M is not supposed to be used anymore (since there is a fully compliant crosswalk just to the west at New Jersey Avenue) and will be sending crews to take away the crosswalk marks.
* City Paper continues its saturation coverage of the Positive Nature youth program at 1017 New Jersey with video from Saturday's rally
. The organization is trying to stave off eviction thanks to the huge increase in its property taxes.
Mental Health Day (but Not Quitting!); And, Can You Find Your Way to the Ballpark?
Mar 17, 2008 3:39 PM
I'm taking a bit of a mental health break today, to try to rest a bit and gird myself for the coming weeks. Not much news anyway, except for this WTOP piece
on people being unfamiliar with the neighborhood around the ballpark [insert obligatory "if only there were a web site..." reference here]. Of course, because of this unfamiliarity, chaos will ensue.
And there's Dr. Gridlock's column from Sunday
, which along with some good information on disabled access to the ballpark also includes discussions of Scary New Jersey Avenue and the "half-mile" walk from the Navy Yard Station to the ballpark. (Whaa...?)
Also, the Examiner has a summary
of Metro's plans for Pope Day, most of which were in the WMATA press release
I linked to last week
And, I guess I need to address this--I've had a number of people ask me in the past few days about rumors
apparently circulating that I'm going to shut down JDLand right after Opening Day. Perhaps this is an offshoot from the flippant comment I made in the On Site profile
about just making it to Opening Day "and then I'll fall over", or maybe some off-hand crack in the blog about being close to collapsing.
But while it's no secret that right now I'm overwhelmed and teetering on the brink of absolute exhaustion in my quest to keep running the site at the level of detail it's
known for, and to respond to all the e-mails and questions I receive every day, I also see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I know that, by May, things around here should settle back down to a more reasonable workload. I'm willing to hang on by my fingernails until then, although I acknowledge that I may miss a link here or there, or might be a bit briefer with some updates than I've been in the past, which I hope everyone can understand. But, beyond that, JDLand will still be around for a good while yet; there's still some developments I have to see arrive at the finish line, after all....
(And yes, there's probably a book in it all someday. After I sleep for a year or so.)
Prez to Throw Out First Pitch; Parking Lot Updates
Mar 16, 2008 10:45 AM
* We knew he'd been asked, but it's now confirmed
that President Bush will be throwing out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Night (March 30). Officials from the team have told me that they've acquired more than 50 magnetometers to handle the security checks for the expected 41,000-person sellout crowd. But it's also one more reason to get there plenty early; the gates will open at 3:30 pm. Barry passes along
the message from Stan: Take Metro
! Stan also says, as we've heard from multiple sources lately, that the team is continuing to work on some same-day/cash lot parking, though it isn't in place yet. (They've said previously that they're trying to figure out how to offer these spots in a way that would prevent too much additional congestion, perhaps by requiring spaces to be purchased via the Internet beforehand.)
* As for the surface parking lots
, work is speeding up (just in time!). Striping and lighting looks to be mostly done on one of the Blue Zone lots at Third and Tingey in The Yards
(dull parking lot photo here
), and work continues on the two lots along First Street north and east of the ballpark. Ditto for the lots on Capper/Carrollsburg
land, all of which are in the Orange Zone. Asphalt is being laid at Lot W at Seventh and M on the old Capper Seniors
site (another dull parking lot photo here
). Stormwater management systems, gravel, and lighting are in at lots U and T on Third Street between I and L (more not-quite-so-dull photos here
, both of which show the new signs now posted).
To manage these Capper lots, the DC Housing Authority has chosen UStreet Parking
, a certified DC Local, Small, Disadvantaged Business (LSDBE
) that handles the parking at RFK, the Convention Center, and many swank spots
that geeky old neighborhood bloggers will never see the inside of, such as Love and Ultra. Look for some free parking days in April, along with monthly parking accounts and possibly some cash parking, especially now that the Performance Parking
signs (and the enforcement expected to accompany them) have taken away the bountiful free parking on Capper streets that local residents and workers have gotten used to.
And yes, I've gotten an updated version of the Maine Avenue sign. And "Nationals Park" is now added to the Sixth Street and South Capitol Street exit signs, though not yet with the Curly W attached.
Still More Ballpark Stories (RFK Shuttle, Beer Sales)
Mar 13, 2008 9:08 AM
Another batch of ballpark
-related items, which weren't posted before my 2 am bedtime and so didn't make it into the previous roundup
* Tommy Wells wants the RFK shuttles to stop at Eighth Street, to allow fans to get off the subway at Eastern Market and patronize the bars and restaurants along Barracks Row
before going to the game. WTOP reports
that Tommy wants the stop at Eighth and G, though at last night's community meeting ANC 6B commissioner Kenan Jarboe asked about a stop at Eighth and I (which would seem to be closer to the shuttle route). Nationals rep Gregory McCarthy's response to Jarboe was similar to what the WTOP story says, that the Nats would like to run the shuttle without stops for a few months first to get an idea of passenger loads and times before adding the stop.
* Which reminds me--McCarthy said last night that the RFK shuttle will drop off and pick up fans at 300 M St., SE, about four blocks from the ballpark.
* But, is the RFK shuttle even a done deal? The Examiner says
that terms are still being worked out between the team and the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission. There's also still questions about how parking at RFK will be handled on days when DC United is playing. Oh, and those all-important beer sales are still needing some guidelines to be written. ("How many beers can a person buy at a time? What inning must the taps shut down? Who will be responsible for enforcement of alcoholic beverage laws?")
Why No Nats Parking at USDOT, and Additional Ballpark-Related Items
Mar 12, 2008 11:39 PM
Here's either a late-night or early-morning update, depending on your sleep schedule:
* Marc Fisher of the Post takes a deep (and infuriated) look
at why Nats fans (even just government employees with security clearances) can't park in the 1,060-space garage at the US Department of Transporation headquarters
one block from the ballpark
. "So how did a simple request to use empty parking spaces at night, after Transportation workers have gone home, turn into -- excuse the expression -- a federal case? A report by Transportation's inspector general makes it clear that the feds were desperate to find a way to reject the Nationals' proposal." UPDATE:
Marc's blog includes a link to the inspector general's report
* Boswell talks ticket prices
* The WashTimes describes police plans
to step up patrols during Nats games: "[O]fficers with the department's Special Operations Division would be deployed on foot, on bicycles, in cars and on Segways to at least 39 'static posts' around the ballpark to direct traffic and assist in crowd control. Additionally, he said, 10 beats -- staffed by either one or two officers -- will patrol, mostly on foot, the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium, looking out for auto thefts or other property crimes in the hours before and after games."
* The 55 M web cam
doesn't show it real clearly, but Metro's signature red tile flooring is being installed in the new west entrance of the Navy Yard station at Half and M.
* There's also new stoplights (not yet activated) installed at Half and M. Which is good news for pedestrians, including neighborhood bloggers who have come perilously close to meeting their maker trying to cross that very intersection.
* A large new sign at Third and I announces that the parking lot now under construction there is Nationals Parking Lot T (in the orange zone). And while the asphalt hasn't been pored at this lot or its sibling to the south, the lightposts erected in the center of each lot are now operational, adding a bit of extra light to Third Street after dark.
* Wednesday night's public meeting
on the ballpark traffic management and curbside parking plan
heard many of the concerns that have been raised at previous events (visitor passes, stadiumgoers being directed to use the Maine Avenue exit from the SW Freeway, commuters and residents wondering how they'll get *out* of the stadium area on game nights, and more). Representatives of DDOT spoke what is now the official city and team mantra, along the lines of: "We've tried our best to come up with a system, and we'll be watching it closely to see what works and what doesn't, and we'll make changes to it as we need to. We're asking for patience. But there will be congestion, and there will be problems, and there will be *change.*" Which is a message that doesn't always go over very well. After the group Q&A, city and team officials answered one-on-one questions. (The somewhat striking view of the ballpark at dusk from the 10th floor of 20 M was probably not on the minds of most of these meeting-goers.) Oh, and a DPW official made it very clear: cars parked illegally on the new enhanced RPP streets will
Info on Baseball Parking for DoD Staff
Mar 12, 2008 9:12 AM
Back when the first information on parking for Nationals Park
went out in November, there was a line about special parking arrangements for Department of Defense employees, and now we finally have more details, thanks to the Pentagram
(h/t to Nats320
): "Washington Nationals fans who wish to attend evening and weekend home games may park their vehicles at the Washington Navy Yard or Fort McNair. A Department of Defense common access card, Retiree or Dependent ID card, and DoD vehicle decal are required for entry onto the installations for game parking. Parking for Nationals Stadium events is available in non-reserved parking spaces outside normal working hours, after 4:30 p.m., on weekdays, as well as weekends and holidays. DoD members may sponsor non-DoD guests in their party. At the Navy Yard, MWR food and drink concessions will be available before the game. [...] Spaces on both installations are limited and will be filled on a "first-come-first-served" basis -- public transportation is highly encouraged for those who wish to avoid the inevitable stadium traffic. Parking will not be allowed for games that conflict with installation work schedules, or ceremonies and special events such as the Military District of Washington Twilight Tattoos on Fort McNair, scheduled for 21 May, 4 June and 25 June." See the article
for additional details.
Reminder: Ballpark Traffic Meeting Wednesday
Mar 11, 2008 7:01 PM
A reminder that tomorrow (Wednesday March 12) is the community meeting
on ballpark traffic management and curbside parking issues
, where representatives of DDOT, the Sports and Entertainment Commission, and the Nationals will be on hand to answer questions on the Transportation and Residential Curbside Management Plan
(so read it
before you get there so you know what to ask about!). It's technically an "open workshop" that will "highlight the numerous parts of the overall transportation and parking operations that will be in effect during events at the new stadium." The press release
about the meeting also says that DDOT "will also offer their appreciation to the area residents and business owners for their support and patience during the recent street upgrades in the South Capitol corridor." (Cookies? Cake? Gold stars for foreheads?) The meeting is on the 10th floor of 20 M Street, SE
, from 6 to 8:30 pm.
More on Metro's Plans for Opening Day
Mar 11, 2008 9:57 AM
Yesterday Metro put out a press release
with more detailed information (beyond what I posted on Saturday
) on how it is planning to be ready for Opening Day at Nationals Park
. Here are the highlights, which include a few answers for items that people were concerned about:
* The west entrance of the Navy Yard station will indeed reopen "the weekend of March 29",
after its year-long $20 million renovation to expand its capacity from 5,000 to 15,000 passengers an hour.
* "On game days, the west entrance will be exit-only three hours before games, and entrance-only after games. During games, the Navy Yard east entrance should be used by people traveling in the opposite direction of the crowds
* "The newly expanded N22 Metrobus route
from the Navy Yard Metrorail station to the Eastern Market and Union Station Metrorail stations will operate every 10 minutes from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m." (Note that previous announcements about the N22 had it stopping at 10:30 pm; I don't know if the 11:30 pm end-time is only for Opening Day, or for all games, or what.)
* "To accommodate the crowds, Metrorail will operate up to 18 extra trains, most of them on the Green Line. All trains will be a combination of six and eight-car trains."
* "On weekends and at the conclusion of games, Metro will have extra trains available to get fans to and from the ballpark."
Also, beyond what is in this release, WTOP
and the Examiner
are reporting that Metro has decided to add one additional six-car train (with a capacity of about 900 passengers) during weekday evening rush hours, for a total of 13 six-car trains and 7 eight-car trains. There will also be four trains waiting on the Green line in case of problems. NBC 4
also has a piece on Metro's plans.
55 M Cam Back Up, Another Grumbler, and More
Mar 10, 2008 1:12 PM
* Thanks to reader K for the heads up that the 55 M web cam
is back online. Looks like they painted those distinctive beams
above the Metro entrance during the blackout. (UPDATE:
And the webcam now shows that Half Street is getting paved today.)
* Today it's an Examiner columnist
who rails against the traffic and transit catastrophe at the ballpark
three weeks before the first regular-season pitch even happens, using his crystal ball to predict that an unfinished Metro station now means an unfinished Metro station then.
* The GW Hatchet explains
how to get tickets to the March 22 game at Nationals Park.
Monday Meetings; Parking Signs; Birds-Eye View
Mar 9, 2008 3:18 PM
* I mentioned this a few days back
, but why not pass along another reminder that Monday at 7 pm is the ANC 6D monthly meeting
, with presentations and votes on 401 M Street
, the ballpark traffic management plan
, and the South Capitol Street Draft EIS
, plus a briefing by the Nats on the Opening Day "Fan Fest" activities. To get in on the fun, go to St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 6th and M St., SW, starting at 7 pm.
* If the ANC isn't your bag, you can watch the Zoning Commission take up again
the Capitol Gateway Overlay Review
for Donohoe's planned office building at 1111 New Jersey
. It's a continuation of the last hearing
, which revolved mostly around whether the garage access would be from New Jersey or from the alley. The hearing starts at 6:00 pm
, and 1111 is also on the public meeting agenda at 6:30 pm, which perhaps is a display of optimism that Donohoe and DDOT will have the garage issue straightened out and the review ruling can be made. Watch the webcast
, if you're so inclined. (I'm going to be missing both of these meetings, so it might be a few days before I can get the scoop on them.)
* The new Enhanced Residential Parking Permit
signs, which allow non-Zone 6 parking only on one side of the street in certain areas near the ballpark
, continue to get installed. They came to my street north of the freeway within the past day or so.
* I thought I did good with last week's find of a November 2006 satellite photo
of the neighborhood, but reader JK has upped the ante with the "Bird's-Eye View" option at Microsoft Live Search
, showing not-real-high-up images from March 2007. But be careful when you're scrolling around--if you go to fast, the images flip back to shots from early 2003. (Which is festive in its own fun-house kind of way.)
Details on Metro Plans for Opening Day, Pope Day
Mar 8, 2008 4:03 PM
Metro has posted some information
about how it plans to handle Opening Day at Nationals Park
on March 30, and the Mass by Pope Benedict XVI on April 17. (This document comes from the agenda
for its March 13 Customer Service, Operations, and Safety Committee meeting.) Some highlights, above and beyond the we've-put-up-a-web-site
-and-printed-brochures bullet points:
* Metro is expecting 24,000 fans
to come via Metro for Opening Day (21,000 of them via the Navy Yard station), and 26,000 Mass attendees
. They also expect 60 percent of baseball fans to arrive via Metro during the season.
* The Opening Day
plan includes the newly enhanced N22 bus service
, 18 extra pre-and post-game trains (mainly on the Green line), extra eight-car trains (perhaps up to every third train), and converting the Navy Yard Station to "one-way" traffic. (I presume this means for pedestrians, though I'm not sure if this means that *no one* can enter/exit the station against the flow before and after the game.) The fact that this first game is on a Sunday night is allowing Metro and the city to avoid a possible complete meltdown of the transportation network that might happen if it occurred during an evening rush-hour.
* Because Mass attendees
must be through security and into the park by 9 a.m., Metro expects the largest crushes of travel to be between 5 and 8 am
(the height of the morning rush hour) and again post-Mass. All available extra trains will be used when the Metrorail system opens at 5 am, and there will be 18 extra trains after the Mass ends. And, again, the document says that the Navy Yard Station will be converted to "one-way," which ought to be interesting for the commuters trying to use the station to get to and from work during this Thursday event. And the dreaded phrase "Rolling Street Closures" is mentioned for Pope Day, in that it might affect bus routes coming into the neighborhood. If there were ever a day for Near Southeast residents and workers to telecommute....
With the uncertainties about how fans and the transportation network will handle the crush of getting to the new ballpark for the first time, and with the president expected to throw out the first pitch, the Nationals are opening the gates at 3:30 pm on the 30th
, 4 1/2 hours before the 8:05 pm start time. I've been told that they've acquired more than 50 magnetometers to try to lessen the burden of passing 41,000-plus fans through security, but if you're going to the game, you might not want to show up at 7:55.
Hearings on First New Buildings at the Yards; Ballpark and South Capitol EIS Also on ANC 6D Agenda
Mar 7, 2008 8:49 AM
Beginning the trek through the approvals process are the first new-construction buildings
planned for The Yards
--a 320,000-square-foot office building at 401 M Street
and a 170ish-unit apartment building to its south at 400 Tingey Street
. They would both have ground-floor retail, but it's what's planned for 401 M that will probably have everyone's attention, because a grocery store
is proposed for that space, just inside the historic wall and sentry tower on the southeast corner of Fourth and M. (No, which grocery store it could be hasn't been announced yet.) Recent documents have said that 401 M could begin construction in late 2008, with delivery in 2010; the residential building's start depends on "market conditions." (Uh-oh.) A few more early renderings are on my 401 M/400 Tingey page
. (See my Yards First Phase
page for information on the retail
projects that are getting underway this year.)
There's a Zoning Commission Southeast Federal Center Overlay Review
of the plans scheduled for April 17
, and ANC 6D will be voting on whether to support the project at its March 10 meeting
Also at Monday's ANC 6D meeting
will be presentations and votes on plans for the Opening Day Fan Fest at the ballpark
, the ballpark Transportation and Residential Curbside Management Plan
(formerly known as the TOPP), and the South Capitol Street Draft Environmental Impact Statement
. I attended Wednesday night's public meeting on the Draft EIS, and while the slides from the meeting haven't yet been posted on its web site, the DEIS's executive summary
is a good substitute for the information that was available at the meeting--you can read my summary of the plans as well
. There wasn't much public comment (maybe seven or eight speakers), and the concerns seemed to be more about making sure DDOT does a good job of handling the inconveniences and resident issues as a result of the planned changes, rather than any real opposition to the plans themselves. The public comment
period ends March 31, and the Final EIS is expected to come out late this year.
Alas, I won't be able to attend this ANC meeting that's so chock full of Near Southeast goodness. But I'm guessing that spending that evening watching the Roger Federer-Pete Sampras exhibition at Madison Square Garden might be a bit more enjoyable.
Morning Links: Getting to the Ballpark, Gas Leak
Mar 7, 2008 8:31 AM
* The WashTimes has a getting-ready-for-the-baseball-crowds
piece, surveying what Metro and DDOT are planning, and also talking about the Transportation and Residential Curbside Management Plan
(formerly the TOPP) that I've been writing about extensively
. (Read it already, would you?) Metro is planning 14 extra trains for Opening Night, and will be presenting its plan for handling ballpark traffic to its board on March 13. Central to this piece--and to many conversations I've had with city and team officials--is that residents and fans need to know that The Powers That Be will be watching Opening Day very closely (DDOT plans to be watching from the air) to see what works and what doesn't, and will be tweaking the initial plans as necessary. In fact, there's probably going to be an entire season's worth of responding to initial problems, not only in terms of getting to the ballpark but at the stadium as well. Patience is counseled, though of course that's never been a strong suit in this city. And it's worth a reminder that there's a public meeting
on the transportation plan
on March 12 from 6 to 8:30 pm at 20 M St., SE.
* Commenters yesterday
were quick with the news about the gas leak that closed
the Navy Yard and Waterfront Metro stations yesterday afternoon, thanks to construction workers at Half and M hitting a gas main. Considering all the work that is being done in the area (not just on new buildings but with a lot of digging in the streets lately), it's kind of surprising that something like this hasn't happened sooner.
Roundup: Ballpark, Parking Signs, Satellite Image
Mar 6, 2008 8:39 AM
* The Mayor took some Congressional bigwigs
around the ballpark
yesterday. Today, the cherry blossom trees are being planted along the concourse in left-center field. Check back later today for photos. (And the sun will be out in them! How revolutionary!)
* Tony Knott of the WashTimes gets snarky
about traveling to the ballpark.
* If you want to see what the new Enhanced Residential Parking Permit
signs look like, drive along I Street SW between Third and Fourth--on the north side of the street you'll see new red signs saying Zone 6 Permit Holders Only, 7 AM - Midnight, Monday - Sunday"; on the south side of the street are the more familiar green signs that say "Two Hour Parking Only - Zone 6 Permit Holders Exempted", but they now have new stickers slapped on that say "7 AM - Midnight, Monday thru Sunday". DDOT must have hit the streets the second the bill passed on Tuesday! And, of course, the kiosk parking meters are cropping up in more locations.
* I've been meaning to post about this when there was a lull (HAH!)--Mapquest
has updated its satellite image of Near Southeast to November 2006, showing the steelwork underway at the ballpark
. I've added it to the bottom of my Satellite Photos page
, even though it's only a few weeks later than the last "newest" image (from Live Search). You'll see that I've tweaked this page a bit so that you can now pick and choose which photos to display (since it's getting to be a huge page)--for instance, maybe you want to see just the 2002 and late 2006 photos
I knew there was something else I meant to mention. The stadium web cam
shows that advertising banners are going up on the eastern parking garage.
Performance Parking Bill Passes; Additional Zoning Hearing on Southwest Lots on March 24; Public Meeting on Traffic and Parking March 12
Mar 5, 2008 2:50 PM
(I'm having so much fun with posts on home plate's arrival at the ballpark
, ballpark food
, and raze permits
that I hate to kill the buzz with a post on parking, but alas it must be done.)
Yesterday the city council passed an emergency version of Tommy Wells's Performance Parking pilot plan
, which will be used to regulate curbside parking on streets near the ballpark (as well as in Columbia Heights, along with a new taxicab zone pilot in Adams Morgan and a Visitor Pass pilot in Mount Pleasant). I've got the text of the bill as passed
, and there's much more detail than was in the draft version of the bill (though not the detail that everyone really wants, namely the rates and fines), so definitely look at it if you're looking for additional information. A few items that jump out at me (though I'm hoping that Tommy's office sends out a release soon with more info):
* The pilot is only for two years.
* The mayor gets to set the rules, fees, and fines for the zones, but the council gets to set the zones themselves.
* Parking fees cannot be increased by more than 50 cents in any one-month period (or more than once per month).
* Councilmembers and ANCs must be notified of any fee changes at least 10 days in advance.
* "The Mayor shall publish a web site that includes the following: pilot zone boundaries, rules/regulations, information about how to use new parking fee technologies, and a parking pilot project manger's name and contact information." (Until then, you can look at my page
on the curbside parking regulations around the ballpark.)
* DDOT has to submit a plan to the council and the ANCs with zone-specific parking management targets and with details on parking charges.
* DDOT has to conduct quarterly public meetings to provide updates on the parking management targets and to receive public comments on the program.
* The mayor has to submit an annual report on the parking pilots with all sorts of statistics.
Speaking of parking, the March Hill Rag has a roundup
on the parking plans for the area (similar to my page
). And I've been very remiss in not reporting that Feb. 21 Zoning Commission hearing
on allowing additional temporary surfacing parking lots in Southwest was continued to March 24 after representatives of DDOT were not in attendance to discuss traffic management plans for the new lots. The Hill Rag has a summary of the Feb. 11 ANC meeting
where there was much unhappiness about these potential new lots.
Bad link to bill text fixed.
DDOT is now announcing a public meeting on March 12 from 6 to 8:30 pm at 20 M St., SE,
for "residents and business owners and operators to review and comment on the most recent version of the Transportation and Residential Curbside Management Plan
(often referred to as the Transportation Operations and Parking Plan (TOPP)). DDOT will also offer their appreciation to the area residents and business owners for their support and patience during the recent street upgrades in the South Capitol corridor. The meeting is an open workshop that will highlight the numerous parts of the overall transportation and parking operations that will be in effect during events at the new stadium. The TOPP was originally drafted to address concerns by residents on the expected increase in vehicular movement during stadium events in the southeast and southwest neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark. Representatives from the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC) and the Nationals will also be available to address concerns and answer questions." (This is the meeting that was described in testimony at the city council last week as being "at the ballpark." I guess they used "at the ballpark" in the same literary way one could say that the Navy Yard Metro station is "at the ballpark." Ah well.)
The Scoreboard, and Recent Items Re-Linked
Mar 4, 2008 7:34 AM
One quick outbound link this morning, to The Post's piece
on the scoreboard at Nationals Park, in advance of today's official unveiling.
Plus, here's a few links for recent items that you might have missed in the flurry of posts around here these days:
* I posted new photos of the ballpark exterior
, including the Center Field Gate at Half and N. (I'll probably have new interior photos later today, though the weather doesn't look to be that much better than the last time I was inside, on that icky dreary day
* Read the damn Ballpark Traffic Management Plan
already. And my pages on on-street parking
and taking Metro
. And the new pages by Metro
and the Nationals
about getting to the games. (And listen for the radio ads that debuted yesterday urging fans to take Metro.)
* Monument Realty has won a preliminary injunction
preventing WMATA from selling the Southeastern Bus Garage
* Watch for announcements of a community meeting
about Opening Day on March 12, at the ballpark.
Community Meeting (not) at the Ballpark on March 12; Additional Items from the Thursday Roundtable
Mar 1, 2008 10:17 AM
At the end of Thursday's council roundtable on ballpark traffic operations and parking issues
, a representative of the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development told the council members that there will be a community meeting to provide stadium-related information to residents on March 12, to be held at the ballpark
. An announcement flyer should be going out soon, they said.
Other items from the later portion of the meeting, which I've now finished watching (and which you can now watch via on-demand video
* There are indeed "hundreds" of spaces in the parking lots surrounding the ballpark that were not purchased by season ticket holders, and the Nationals are looking at making those available for gameday purchase, but probably only via the Internet, and only in lots farther away from the ballpark. This is to avoid congestion in the area near the stadium, and also to prevent fans from driving to the area without a parking space already in hand.
* It appears that monthly parking contracts will be offered in the garages on the north end of the ballpark footprint, though that is still being worked out. (The city would receive 2/3 of the revenue from those contracts.)
* Tommy Wells asked a number of questions about vending carts around the ballpark, interested not so much in the economics but more about "more eyes on the streets", especially along New Jersey Avenue for fans walking to and from the stadium from the Capitol South subway station. There are apparently new regulations
that Jim Graham said will most likely will pass at the March 4 council meeting that would require site-specific permits for street vendors and that would create "development zones", "essentially specific geographic areas with a uniform design standard that would be established through a partnership of DCRA, neighborhoods and their business improvement districts" (quoting myself
quoting a February WBJ article
--read the bill
for more information). So it sounds like any planning for vending in the ballpark area is going to come down to the wire.
And, if you haven't looked at the Ballpark Traffic Management slides
from the hearing that I posted yesterday, please do. There really is a wealth of information
on traffic flow, where traffic officers will be posted, signal timing, routes to parking lots, and much more. It answers a lot of questions that fans and residents may have, but only if you look at it.
Okay, so maybe "at the ballpark" was spoken by city officials in a literary sense, the same way that the Navy Yard Metro station is "at the ballpark". (Ahem.) The meeting is going to be held on March 12 from 6 to 8:30 pm on the 10th floor of 20 M Street
Ballpark Traffic Management Details
Feb 29, 2008 2:28 PM
I'm still working my way through the tape of last night's council roundtable on ballpark traffic and management issues. But I think fans and neighbors alike
will be interested in the PowerPoint slides shown
by DDOT director Emeka Moneme. There's a lot of detail on traffic flow and restrictions, most of which exists in the huge TOPP
but which are more easily understood in these new graphics.
Look at the slides if you want to know
: how DDOT will be attempting to address potential traffic bottlenecks in congested spots before and after games; where traffic control officers will be stationed, where left turns will be prohibited, what streets will be closed, where drop-off/pick-up locations will be (South Capitol Street), where the post-game taxi stand will be (Half Street north of M), where charter buses will be parked during games (Buzzards Point), where variable messaging signs will be posted around the region, how traffic signals will be retimed before and after games, how traffic will be routed to and from the parking lots before and after games, and where the signed bike paths are to and from the ballpark (bike racks will be available at the two parking garages just north of the stadium, and there will be the bike valet, too). (New on-street parking restrictions are in there, too, and are explained more fully on my Stadium Parking page
You'll also see in the slides that DDOT is expecting 52 percent of stadium-goers to arrive via Metro, though Moneme in his testimony said that Metro thinks that number could be closer to 60 percent.
DPW director Bill Howland said that there will be 12 parking enforcement officers and 12 tow trucks working to enforce the on-street parking restrictions
in the area.
Other items from the hearing include:
* The DC Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Nationals now have "an agreement in principle" to let fans park for free at RFK, and the city will be reimbursed through a somewhat complicated give-and-take
. There will be 55 motorcoach-style buses.
* As mentioned elsewhere recently, season ticket holder parking has been awarded to all who applied for it without using up all 4,700 spaces in the lots near the ballpark. The Nationals say they are looking at whether to offer some parking in those lots to non-season-ticket holders, but are concerned about how that might contribute to congestion, and so are still determining their strategy.
More as I get through the rest of the hearing. But seriously, look at the PowerPoint slides
. There's a lot of good traffic flow information there.
Roundtable on Traffic Operations and Parking Tonight
Feb 28, 2008 10:22 AM
Passing along a reminder, via my Ballpark and Beyond column
in today's District Extra of the Post: "A roundtable
by two D.C. Council committees on the city's plans for traffic and parking at Nationals Park
begins at 6 tonight in Room 120 of the Wilson Building. Considering that the last hearing on stadium-related parking issues lasted until almost midnight, you might prefer to watch tonight's session in the comfort of your home, where you'll have access to your kitchen cabinets and coffee maker. The roundtable can be seen on Channel 13 on D.C. cable systems or on the Web
I won't be able to watch it live, but hopefully I can post a summary of it before too long, unless the current focus on the stadium by the local media takes care of it for me. If so, my feelings wouldn't be hurt. Really. It's all yours.
I should mention here that what's long been known as the Draft Transportation Operations and Parking Plan
(TOPP) is now apparently the final version of how traffic is going to be handled, at least until they see how it works on Opening Day and then start tweaking it (which DDOT and other agencies fully expect to be the case). So if you want to know the nitty-gritty of traffic and pedestrian flow, the TOPP
is the place to look. And I imagine the residents testifying at tonight's roundtable might have an issue or two with it.
Other items in today's column were the latest tidbits on Diamond Teague Park
, a reminder of the meetings next week on the South Capitol Street Draft Environmental Impact Statement
, and photos of the new freeway
and bike route
signage pointing to the ballpark. And just a note that the column will be taking the next two weeks off, and will be back on March 20--if there's anything left for me to write about that isn't already covered in this All Things Ballpark media blitz.
Your Morning Ballpark Roundup
Feb 28, 2008 8:23 AM
* Washington City Paper's cover story this week is "Inside Baseball
", a series of vignettes about "winners and losers" around the ballpark
. It highlights neighbors such as the Market Deli at First and L
and Positive Force around the corner on New Jersey Avenue (and former neighbors such as Ken Wyban, owner of the house at Van and N
that was demolished), and talks about the "lost" views of the Capitol from many sections within the stadium. Plus there's quotes from a couple of residents of the nearby housing projects in Southwest that they've "been told" they're going to be moved out, despite vehement denials by the Housing Authority.
* A three-person arbitration board ruled unanimously that the Nationals and not the District should pay for "ancillary items at the new stadium, such as golf carts, fork lifts, and medical and office equipment," saving the city $4.2 million and keeping expenditures within the $611 million cost cap, according to WTOP
* Links to the avalanche of stories about the new on-street parking plan
around the ballpark are at the end of my entry about it from yesterday
. Perhaps the saturation coverage--and the advertising campaign by the team scheduled to start next week--will indeed drill into the noggins of the public
what's been said for months now: that really, truly, you're not going to find on-street parking, and traffic's going to be crazy anyway. So just take Metro
. (And read this Dr. Gridlock blog entry
and its comments to get a sense of the wide-ranging views of the public on using Metro. And have fun with the writer who discussed the "questionable neighborhood" the N22 bus goes through--you know, Capitol Hill.)
* And, what if nearby residents start scalping their visitors passes
* But can we also drill into the collective conscience that there's not "only 1,200 parking spaces" at the ballpark? Yes, the ballpark footprint itself has only 1,200 spaces, but the team has contracted with close-by lots to cobble together more than 4,000 spaces. As we found out in the Post
, those didn't even all get taken by season-ticket holders and in fact may now allow for a small number of spaces to be made available on gamedays to non-season ticket holders.