Zoning Approval for Possible Additional Surface Lots; ANC 6D Says Little About Ballpark's Debut; Community Meeting about On-Street Parking
Apr 14, 2008 11:12 PM
On Monday night, without much discussion, the Zoning Commission gave approval to the request to add additional blocks
in Buzzards Point to the zoning amendment allowing temporary surface parking lots
near the baseball stadium
. The commissioners who spoke mentioned the need to give the Nationals the flexibility the team was seeking to be able to build new surface lots as development possibly takes away the lots currently in use. The vote was unanimous, although Commissioner Turnbull stated for the record his concern that lots north of Potomac Avenue, closer to the residential portion of Southwest, could introduce significant traffic. As of now, the Nationals have announced no plans to use any lots at Buzzards Point this season.
At about the same time the Zoning Commission was voting, ANC 6D
was discussing how the first few games at the ballpark went, in terms of traffic and parking impacts on Southwest and Near Southeast. And, for a group of people who, shall we say, have not been shy over the past few years about voicing fears as to how the new stadium would impact their neighborhood, the reaction was surprisingly muted. Visitor parking passes did not seem to get to all residences, additional signage needs to be installed, issues with left turns and parking enforcement on G Street, SW will need to be addressed, and there were questions about whether the parking restrictions on M Street could be eased, but overall the commissioners seemed to feel that there had been no major issues. Commissioner Robert Siegel, who represents all of the ANC east of South Capitol, proclaimed himself "very pleased." (Though Commissioner David Sobelsohn did remark that things "will go smoothly as long as the Nationals keep losing.")
The meeting itself was pretty sparsely attended, with few of the residents who have been vocal about potential problems at previous meetings on hand. Only a couple people in the audience spoke up about any issues they'd had or seen, and did so without much emotion. The discussion was over in probably about 15 minutes. If you've ever attended an ANC 6D meeting, you know how astonishing this is.
Tommy Wells will be having a community meeting to look at how the new on-street parking regulations are working, both for residential streets and the retail stretches along Pennsylvania Avenue and Barracks Row, on May 7 at 7 pm, at the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church (Fifth Street and Seward Square, SE).
There's other items to report from tonight's meeting, but I'll write about those in an entry to come.
Yet Another Batch of Mostly Cloudy Photos; Monday Meeting Reminders; Pope Street Closings
Apr 13, 2008 2:21 PM
If you like photos of streetscapes taken under overcast skies, this has been the site for you lately. Yeesh. On Saturday, before the rains came, I updated my shots of the western side of New Jersey Ave.
, showing how projects like 909 New Jersey
, 70/100 I
, and 100 M
have changed the view in the past year. At least the sun was out for the brief time on Friday evening when I took new photos of the western side of the ballpark, along South Capitol Street
. So, adding these to the photos I took earlier in the week of First
streets, the current state of construction in Near Southeast is pretty well documented. And now the sun shall come out, but I'll be waiting a few weeks until the next round of updates (probably early May).
And, for this week's visit from the Pope, the Post has a huge graphic
of road closures and other information to help get through the festivities. Note that, in addition to the closure of South Capitol Street from 2 am to 2 pm Thursday, it shows that Van, Half, First, and Potomac in SE will be closed at some point, as will O, P, Q, and Potomac SW from Half Street to South Capitol. "Expect other road closures around the ballpark from 9 pm Wednesday until 2 pm Thursday," it says.
Link Roundup (No-Commuting-Apocalypse Edition)
Apr 10, 2008 9:05 AM
* There's not a single story that I can find in the media this morning talking about how last night's predicted commuting catastrophe
went, on the roads, at RFK, or on the Metro. The announced paid attendance at the ballpark
was 23,340, up a few thousand from Monday night, and judging from the 55 M web cam
the vast majority of people arriving by Metro made it before first pitch. (The 10-4 drubbing at the hands of the Marlins was a disaster of a different sort.) Anyone have any problems?
(Ah, just as I finished writing, here's Metro's report
, saying that yesterday was its ninth highest weekday ridership day ever, though tourists and cherry blossom visitors were part of the mix, too.)
* My Ballpark and Beyond column
in today's Post looks at how the dire predictions for Opening Night and Monday night didn't come to pass, and also the many different ways you readers reported getting to the ballpark on Opening Night (so, thanks for all those comments
--made my job easy this week!).
* An Inquirer columnist disses
concessionaire Aramark's performance at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, noting that the company, which had been in charge of concessions at RFK, didn't get the gig at Nationals Park. (He also tosses in a plug for Ben's half-smokes.)
* I'm going to add a list of available cash lots to my Stadium Parking page
--I'd love some on-the-ground reports to make sure I'm getting them all (Splash, Chez Resnick at First and L, 80 M, South Capitol and Potomac, perhaps Positive Nature--anyone seen any others? If so, where, and for how much?).
Metro and Parking Doom, Preparing the Ballpark for the Pope; Pick Your Disaster Scenario
Apr 9, 2008 10:09 AM
* NBC4 sets the vibe with "Traffic Nightmare Expected in DC Area This Evening
", a short piece on the Wizards-United-Nats trifecta. They list the area around RFK as the possible flash point, though all of yesterday's Impending Doom stories
pointed toward Metro and Gallery Place. Remember, if you're using the Nats Express, you have to park at RFK's Lot 7 tonight, not Lot 8. Dr. Gridlock has more
on getting through the evening.
* WJLA gets into the mix with "Parking Woes Surround New Stadium
," retelling a story they had on Tuesday about legally parked cars getting towed during Monday's ballgame. There's also a quote from a school bus driver lamenting not being able to park free on the street anymore, which I'm guessing won't be garnering much sympathy from the pro-Canal Park
folks who want the buses out. And there's dueling quotes from Barracks Row shopowners, one who doesn't think it's fair and another who likes the turnover of spaces. There will be a public meeting next month to get first feedback on the new parking restrictions
And, an observation:
* Conventional Wisdom leading up to Opening Day: "OMG! The stadium is going to be a disaster because there's going to be such huge traffic, transit and parking nightmares!"
* Conventional Wisdom after Monday's game: "OMG! The stadium is going to be a disaster because no one's going to go
!" (Never mind that it was NCAA finals night/cold as hell/the Marlins/a school night/a game not in season ticket partial plans.)
Stan says the Nats will get the attendance they deserve. Ask the Capitals about that, when you're mulling whether to fork over a couple thousand dollars for a ticket to one of their playoff games.
Use RFK Lot 7 on Wednesday; Metro Plans
Apr 8, 2008 4:43 PM
(Moved to its own entry, to give the Pope Bobblehead stuff its own glory.) Here's Metro's press release
detailing preparations for Wednesday's Triple Threat of the Wizards, DC United, and the Nats all in action at the same time. And, because you can never have enough press releases, here's one from the Nats (link to come) explaining that, when DC United is playing at RFK, Nats Express shuttle parking will be in Lot 7
: "Washington Nationals fans choosing to park for free at RFK Stadium and take the Nats Express to Nationals Park may park in Lot 7 on all D.C. United home game dates. RFK Stadium Lot 8 will not be available to Nationals fans on Wednesday, April 9 or any future date in which the Nationals and D.C. United each play at home. Lot 7 may be accessed off the Whitney Young Bridge (East Capitol Street) or off of Oklahoma Avenue. The Nats Express begins ninety minutes prior to Nationals home games." WTOP asks
about whether there will be any patrolling of DC United fans parking free in Lot 7 (apparently not).
Post-Mortems on First Weeknight Ballgame
Apr 7, 2008 10:42 PM
(Decided to move this to its own entry.) As expected, it wasn't anywhere close to a full house at Nationals Park
tonight. I wandered over to South Capitol Street at about 6:30 and traffic wasn't even backed all the way up the exit ramp from the freeway, and M Street was all but empty. The T and U lots at Capper didn't seem to get more than about 30 cars between the two of them, though the E, F, J, K, and L lots were pretty full. And I see that the garage at 80 M Street, which is not an official Nats lot, is offering cash parking for $20. (Looked like the Positive Nature
folks on New Jersey Avenue are running a cash lot, too?) Lots of people coming out of the Navy Yard station at Half and M at 6:30ish--if you arrived that way and walked to the Center Field Gate, you were greeted by the Budweiser Clydesdales. Inside the park, lines were shorter (since there were fewer people) but there's definitely still grumbling about the speed of service.
As for media reports, the Post paints a similar picture
to what I saw, that the evening went smoothly. WJLA focuses
on the glitchy scoreboard, apparently not finding anything else of note to report from the evening. Announced paid attendance was 20,487, says AP
, noting that Metro says they noticed almost no difference from a normal rush hour. Another AP story
talks about the scoreboard problems and the fact that the ballpark was less than half full. Next stop, Wednesday's triple threat with the Nats, the Wizards, and DC United all in action at the same time. And with warmer weather on the way
: A few more media reports: WJLA reports
on overzealous towing (and note the interesting use of an un-cleaned-up quote from an angry resident). The Examiner
focuses on Metro having little trouble.
Advance Purchase Single-Game Parking Available
Apr 4, 2008 4:28 PM
This just in, from a Nats press release: "The Washington Nationals today announced they will offer individual game parking passes to fans for all 2008 home games at Nationals Park
. The opportunity to purchase individual game parking is only available online by visiting nationals.com/waytogo
." The lots/prices are: $15 per game at Green Lot HH (under the freeway at South Capitol Street); $20 per game at Orange Lot W (the old Capper Seniors lot at 7th and M); and $40 to Red Zone parking (lot unspecified). See my Stadium Parking map
to see where these lots are (I'll update it with this info momentarily).
Quoth Stan: "After careful review of the experience of the first weekend, the team is pleased to make available yet another amenity for fans, daily parking spaces at various price levels." After some lots were pretty empty
on Opening Night, this offer isn't surprising.
And note, again, that single-game parking in these lots is available only online--you have to buy it before you go to the game, because it won't be available by just driving to the lot. This presumably is being done with an eye toward mitigating the congestion that would arise when people wander around looking for parking. We'll see if they were *too* successful on Opening Night, and some people who dutifully took Metro or the Nats Express from RFK and saw few traffic problems and empty lots decide to now arrive by car, reversing the initial success.
If I were to offer advice, I'd say that buying a parking pass isn't a bad idea for weekend games, but I'd still counsel caution at the idea of driving to Near Southeast during a weeknight rush hour.
UPDATE: The Post writes
about the new parking options, and also about Monday night's game being the next big test for getting fans to and from the ballpark.
Empty Parking Lots; Getting to Opening Night?
Apr 1, 2008 12:43 PM
Based on my own observations and some others that have come my way, it seems that the parking lots
put together by the Nationals for Opening Night
near the ballpark were not anywhere close to filled to capacity, despite months of dire predictions that even these 4,000 or so spaces would not be anywhere near enough to handle just season ticket holders, let alone people who just had tickets for that night and wanted to park near the stadium. For instance, the 110-space lot T at Third and K wasn't even opened on Sunday night, and lot U was nowhere near capacity. On the other hand, some reports say that Lot 8 at RFK was completely full, and there was overflow parking at Lot 7.
So, I'm looking for some information, and I'd love responses from readers. If you went to Opening Night, how did you get there?
If you drove, did you have a parking pass for one of the lots? Which lot did you park in? Did you have a pass, but opted to take Metro or go to RFK? If you took Metro, how did you arrive? (Navy Yard, Capitol South, Union Station, N22 bus, other bus, etc.) Did you walk? Did you bike? Leave your information in the comments
Getting You to the Ballpark, and What You'll Find; and a Reminder of What Was There Before
Mar 29, 2008 10:23 PM
While I spend the weekend running around trying to figure out how to be in six dozen places at once, I'll leave up this entry with what you might need to know if you're going to Nationals Park
* Are you driving, and have a parking space reserved? Find the route
the Nats want you to take to your lot.
* Are you driving, and thinking you'll just "find some spot on the street"? Good luck with that
. And bring the number for DPW with you, so you can find out how to retrieve your towed car.
* Are you walking? You win! Best option!
* Are you wondering about the rules and regulations
and all other important pieces of information about the ballpark? Read the new official A to Z Guide
* Remember what your mother taught you, that patience is a virtue.
If you're not going to either of the games, you can still watch them: Saturday's is on MASN at 6 pm, and Sunday's is on ESPN at 8 pm. And watch out for intermittent closures of the Douglass Bridge and South Capitol Street on Sunday night between 7:30 and 9:30.
In the midst of the excitement, I'd like to just take a moment to make sure that stadium-goers and other curious folks wandering through here get a feel for what we've witnessed over the past two years while this ballpark has gone up, as a small reminder of exactly what has happened on South Capitol Street since April 2006.
If you pass through the Center Field Gate, think of this:
If you look toward the ballpark at South Capitol Street and Potomac Avenue, think of this:
If you come down South Capitol to N Street, think of this:
If you want to see more, here's the photos I took
of the ballpark footprint and perimeter before demolition
started in April, 2006, including some that haven't been posted until now. (The Ballpark Before-and-After
gallery pairs many of these photos with how things look now, with links to see all the photos between the Before and the After.) If you want to see photos from other locations throughout Near Southeast, use the Photo Browser
to pick spots on the map.
And a most sincere thank you to everyone who's written me over the past few days with such kind words about this little project that has turned into such a monster. It's in some ways a very bittersweet weekend for me, because the ballpark's opening means that this totally unexpected chapter in my life is coming to a close. JDLand isn't going anywhere, but the rest of the ride won't ever quite have the rush of the past few years. Then again, I may actually get some sleep.
Feel free to post what you see and experience (good or bad) in the comments.
Multispace Meters Now Activated to Restrict On-Street Parking (Updated)
Mar 27, 2008 12:36 PM
* The green multispace kiosk meters
that are a big part of the Performance Parking pilot plan
to discourage stadium-goers from parking on nearby streets have starting being activated today
. I just trekked down to the ones now installed along Garfield Park (on Third Street SE, north of the SE Freeway), and the rates are listed for stadium events
as: $2 first hour, $2 second hour, $18 third four, $18 fourth hour, and $2 each additional hours. So, that comes out to $40 for four hours of on-street parking during games, compared to the $15 per game flat rate being charged at the S and T lots
, which are two blocks closer
to the ballpark. Other times are $1 per hour on weekdays with a two-hour limit from 7 am to 6:30 pm and a three-hour limit from 6:30 pm to midnight; weekend rates are $1 per hour with a three-hour limit from 7 am to midnight. There are no fees charged on holidays, except during stadium events.
Here's a lousy cellphone photo of the rate info
, and check the Parking Restrictions Map
for the red and yellow streets to see where multispace meters are going to be in place. Everyone's invited to peek at any of the kiosks you wander by and post the locations and rates you see in the comments if they're different from these. DDOT tells me that all should be activated by Saturday morning.
I just found this DDOT Ballpark Parking Pilot page
, and it includes this document showing parking prices and time restrictions
by subzones (Near Southeast is Zone B, Southwest Zone A, and Capitol Hill being Zone C). Apparently there will be no parking at all during stadium events from Second Street west to South Capitol (including New Jersey),
except on the 100 block of H Street where it will be $40 for four hours of parking (on the same sliding scale I described above). All of those are red or green streets on the map
. There's also an overview document
if you want some nice light reading.
Small Businesses Being Squeezed, Previous Stadium Openings, Plus Tuesday's Other Ballpark News
Mar 25, 2008 11:37 PM
* Wednesday's Post uses the plight
of the Positive Nature
youth program to look at how all the remaining small businesses near the ballpark are having a tough time dealing with their skyrocketing tax assessments
. The cab company moving next week mentioned in the article is Merritt Cab at First and K, where DRI is planning its 800,000-sq-ft office and retail project
. There's also an accompanying video
on Positive Nature; and it's interesting to note that Positive Nature arrived in the neighborhood in 2004, so it's not a long-standing business the way the Market Deli is, whose owner is now on the hook for $50,000 a year in property taxes.
* There's also a story that looks back at the openings of DC sports venues
through the years, with highlights such as the Capital Centre getting its final inspection approvals just a few hours before the first Bullets game and the 15-mile backup on the Beltway that greeted the first game at FedEx Field.
Other ballpark stories from Tuesday (keeping in mind that for now
I'm just pointing out pieces that have some slightly different angle from the eight billion other pieces):
* WTOP continues
its ballpark-story-a-day regimen with word (and video!) that, while some of the new temporary surface lots *look* like they're dirt, they're actually a "mixture of compact concrete and other elements that help with drainage."
Temporary Surface Lots in Southwest, Con't.
Mar 25, 2008 6:04 PM
There's not a lot to say about Monday night's continuation of the Zoning Commission's hearing
on whether to amend the city's zoning laws to allow temporary surface parking on eight lots in Buzzards Point. This session was mainly to have representatives of the Nationals and DDOT available for questions from the commissioners, and most of the time was spent taking them through the Ballpark Traffic Management Plan
The big question seemed to be the one that chairman Hood opened with: are additional lots (beyond the ones approved
over the summer) required by the Nationals this year? Gregory McCarthy of the Nationals replied that the team has its parking-space inventory complete for the 2008 season, but that some of the lots being used could be lost to development projects in 2009, requiring the team to continue to find locations for parking. Commissioner May noted that some buildings in the area are already under construction and would have underground parking available when they open, but McCarthy said that "most" are residential buildings that wouldn't be able to offer stadium parking because of their need to have the bulk of their spaces available at night for tenants. (There are two office buildings opening in the next year which could be targets for Nats parking--100 M
and 55 M
There was also some discussion of the state of sidewalks (and lack thereof) in Buzzards Point, which the commission feels DDOT would need to address before allowing parking in that area. DDOT representative Karina Ricks was a little vague on whether new sidewalks would be DDOT's responsibility or whether it would be up to the lot owners at DDOT's behest to build acceptable sidewalks.
There were some questions about the routing of traffic toward existing parking lots and whether it is going to keep fans off the residential streets; McCarthy told the commissioners about the brochures going out with season-ticket parking passes giving the preferred routes to a fan's specific parking lot. If the ability to build new lots in Buzzards Point were to be approved, DDOT indicated that the current traffic management plans would be revised to take the additional traffic heading to that area into account.
(And speaking of this, apparently signs are now popping up along M Street to guide fans to parking lots based on zone color; there will also be signs about which freeway exit to take for which zones put up soon, according to McCarthy.)
It's expected that the commission will vote on this proposed amendment at its April 13 public meeting. If you want more information on this case (07-08A), here's the Office of Planning report
, and you can also read my discussions
of the original amendment for more detail on the limitations and rules of these lots. And, it should be emphasized that, if this amendment passes, it doesn't mean that surface lots will definitely be built on these blocks--this is just a change in zoning rules to allow the possibility of lots, if the landowners wish to build them.
SE/SW Freeway 'Stadium' Signage; Exhibition Info; Sun Critic Likes It; Another Parking Lot Offer
Mar 24, 2008 10:59 PM
Just a few items to end your day (or start it, I guess):
* WTOP makes sure
DDOT is planning to take down the old "Stadium" signs on the SE/SW Freeway that point drivers to RFK rather than Nationals Park
. Meanwhile, tonight in front of the Zoning Commission, Gregory McCarthy from the Nationals said that new signs will soon be posted on the freeway indicating which exits fans should use for the ballpark based on the color-coding of the parking lots
* A press release from the Nationals
gives the basics on Saturday's 6 pm exhibition game against the Orioles, which is open to season-ticket holders and invited guests only. In one small change, the Nats Express shuttle from RFK will begin operating three hours before gametime, rather than 90 minutes. (The gates at Nationals Park will be opening at 3 pm as well, allowing fans to watch batting practice at 3:30.) A pre-game ceremony will begin at 5:30 pm, with remarks from city officials and a ribbon-cutting at home plate. And then they'll actually play some baseball. It's been said that approximately 25,000 people will be expected for this dry run, in advance of the Big Kahuna the next night.
* Last week I posted
that Splash car wash at 10 I Street SE will be offering both same-day cash lot and season-account parking for $35 per game; word now arrives that the owner of the little empty lot at First and L (next to the Market Deli) is also offering a few spaces (season-long accounts preferred), at $25 per game. Call (301) 279-7033 and ask for Marty Resnick if you're interested. These are separate from the lots around the neighborhood
that the Nats have officially contracted with to provide parking for season-ticket holders (and perhaps sameday parkers somewhere down the line).
Reminder: Zoning Hearing on Parking in Southwest
Mar 24, 2008 2:39 PM
Just a reminder that tonight at 6:30 pm is the continuation of the Zoning Commission hearing
about whether to potentially allow temporary surface parking lots on some squares in Buzzards Point in Southwest. This is not approving lots themselves, just changing the zoning
of certain blocks to give landowners the option to add lots if they wanted, as was done last year
with a number of blocks in Near Southeast (only some of which now having parking lots on them). The hearing was continued so that DDOT and Nationals representatives could be there to answer questions. As of now, no Nationals parking lots are located in Southwest, except for one already existing surface lot right under the Southwest Freeway.
For more on all this, read my entry
from before the first hearing, which includes the Office of Planning's report
that has more details on which blocks would be covered, along with explanations of the rules governing these temporary surface lots (including that combined they may not total more than 3,775 spaces). There's also the ANC 6D resolution opposing this change
. Tonight's hearing is at Suite 220 South, 441 4th St., NW, or can be watched via a live webcast
, which is the preferred method of lazy bloggers.
Fourth Street Now One Way; Visitor Passes; Ballpark and Development; Recent Headlines Again
Mar 24, 2008 7:44 AM
* Within the past week, Fourth Street between the SE Freeway and M Street has been signed and striped to become one-way southbound. It's always been one-way southbound north of the freeway, but extending that another four blocks seems to be a bit of a surprise.
* If you live in Southwest or on Capitol Hill and received in the past few days a nondescript envelope
addressed to "Ward 6 Resident" from DDOT, don't throw it out (like I almost did)--it's your Visitor Parking Pass
. Guard this with your life.
* As soon as I swear off
chasing every little story on the ballpark unless it somehow relates to the neighborhood, both the Post
and the Examiner
come out with stories this morning doing just that, talking about the development that's exploded in Near Southeast over the past few years. (And thanks for the hat tip, Michael.) Sayeth the Post, on A1: "Nationals Park
opens this weekend and appears nearly complete. But it's surrounded for blocks by a construction zone. [...] Despite appearances, this is just the way District leaders hoped it would be: a ballpark set amid a vast Southeast Washington neighborhood in the middle of one of the biggest overhauls in city history. Some 500 acres are to be transformed, spreading south from Capitol Hill to the Anacostia River, sweeping away an accumulation of old auto body shops, sex clubs and debris-filled lots[.]" If you've read either of these stories and are looking to know more about all the development underway around the ballpark, I invite you to look at the big ole' map
at the top right of my home page--moving your mouse across it gives you the basics on each project, and clicking the map takes you to pages chock full of additional details and photos.
* This is part of something bigger I'm working on that's not quite ready, but if you want to travel back to see how things used to look where Second Base now sits
, here's your time machine
. You're facing north, then you'll turn clockwise to catch the views in all directions....
Quick Ballpark Links; First Event Mere Minutes Away
Mar 22, 2008 9:55 AM
I'm barely even reading these pre-Opening Day stories anymore, but I'll still link to them in case anyone *hasn't* had their fill:
* A church on Capitol Hill complains to WJLA
about the new on-street parking restrictions
, saying that they shouldn't have them because they're a "40-minute walk" from the ballpark, which is quite a bit of hyperbole for 400 D Street, SE. I live two blocks closer to the ballpark than the church, and I'm pretty sure those two blocks don't double the time of the trip (and the 20 minutes it takes me from my house is definitely at "amble" speed).
talks about Ben's Chili Bowl at the ballpark, and NBC4
talks about the complete lineup of food at the ballpark that some of us reported weeks ago
. If you want more, um, intense coverage of the events at Ben's yesterday (and equally intense coverage of basically everything having to do with the Nationals), visits Nats320
, where no Nats tidbit ever is overlooked. He makes me look like a once-a-month dabbler.
* I always predicted that the ballpark would drive every media organization in the country to do a story, and it's now starting: here's Fast Company's quick overview
of Nationals Park, from a more business-oriented perspective.
* Scripps wonders
what sort of reception President Bush will get when he throws out the first pitch next Sunday.
And now it's time to get ready for the first-ever baseball game
at Nationals Park, GW vs. St. Joseph's. The 2,000 fans who got tickets are going to be restricted to moving around on the main concourse and in the lower bowl only.
Nats to Lease WMATA Garage and Lot for Parking; Bus Operations Ending Friday?
Mar 21, 2008 4:35 PM
will be going before the WMATA board next week to allow the Nationals to lease the Southeastern Bus Garage
at Half and M (just across from the about-to-reopen Navy Yard subway station west entrance one block north of the ballpark) and an adjoining surface parking lot just across Van Street. This would happen once the Metrobuses are relocated
, which apparently is supposed to be by Friday, March 28
The lease for the Van Street lot would start the next day, and the garage itself would be available on April 20 (after Metro takes a few weeks to remove equipment). For the first 12 months, the Nats would pay $27,370 a month to lease the garage and $9,500 a month to lease the Van Street lot. If they were to decide to lease them until 2010, the rates would be slightly higher.
This money would be used to offset operating expenses associated with the garage's closure, and could bring WMATA nearly $900,000 in revenue if the leases were to run until April 2010.
The unknown, of course, is what will happen with the sale of the garage site, which of course was originally awarded to Akridge for $69.25 million but which is now tied up in a lawsuit
brought against WMATA by Monument Realty. The parking lease with the Nats does allow for cancellation by either party with 30 days notice.
The WMATA Planning, Development and Real Estate committee will vote on the propsal first on March 27, and, if it's approved, the full board will vote on it later that same day.
For Nats fans who might be wondering, the garage and lot are both in the Red Zone, so would cost $35 per game to use.
If the garage is indeed closing next week, there will be much rejoicing by pedestrians who've been dodging the buses for years, including distracted neighborhood bloggers trying to grab photos while standing in the middle of the Half and M intersection.
Splash to Offer Same Day Cash Parking for Ballpark
Mar 20, 2008 10:35 AM
A little bit of news broke yesterday in the comments
, as the owner of the Splash car wash
at 10 I Street, SE (next to the McDonald's) announced that he will be offering the first known cash lot parking
near the ballpark
. Splash "will be offering stadium parking on a very limited basis (11 cars) during our 8-5 work week hours and Sundays and federal holidays from 10 to 4pm, but many more than that in the evenings (40+ cars). It is suggested that parties interested in season long parking only 4 blocks from the stadium contact us at [firstname.lastname@example.org
], not the car wash. The charge will be $30 per car per event."
As we've been told ad infinitum, as of now there is only parking for season-ticket-holders in the lots that the Nationals have contracted with in the vicinity of the ballpark (though that may change); fans who want to drive to a Nats game but who don't have a season ticket parking pass have the free parking at RFK (or parking at a Metro station) as the only other option. Street parking is a definite no-no
This Morning's Ballpark Odds and Ends
Mar 20, 2008 7:45 AM
* The prettiest darn fences, about four feet high, popped up around parking lots T and U
on Third Street within the past two days. An unexpected touch. (I originally said wrought-iron, but now that I think about it, that's not what they are. Just black steel or some other metal I'm not smart enough to recognize. But still cool. Photos to come.)
* This is a few days old, but the US Park Police and the National Park Service say you'd better not think
of parking at Anacostia Park during ballgames and other events at the stadium: "The NPS and USPP remind those seeking parking for events at the new Nationals' stadium that parking within Anacostia Park is open to park users only. Parking on turf is illegal within Anacostia Park. Park users are asked to be aware that increased vehicular traffic is anticipated and to make plans accordingly."
Parking and Access for Fans With Disabilities
Mar 19, 2008 5:11 PM
This afternoon the Nationals sent out a press release
about how fans with disabilities will be able to get to Nationals Park
. Here's the biggest items:
"Prior to every Nationals game at Nationals Park, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will allow passengers to be dropped off along 1st Street, SE or along South Capitol Street; both locations are adjacent to Nationals Park, as near as possible to the two HOK designed accessible elevator entrances. After games, passengers may be picked up at the South Capitol Street location only. There are curb-free areas along South Capitol Street between O and P Streets."
Cars with state-issued disabled parking placards/license plates will be able to park in Lot E at First and N
(just across from the ballpark) on a first-come first-served basis, or may purchase single-game access to those spaces for $35 per game starting March 26 at nationals.com/waytogo
to add the link to the full press release.) And here's a link to the Post's story
, with quotes from worried fans.