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Nighttime Douglass Bridge Closures This Weekend
Apr 17, 2008 7:20 PM
, word that testing of the swing span of the Douglass Bridge
necessitates some nighttime closures this weekend. "To conduct a full test of the swing span, and ensure the safety of motorist and workers, the bridge must be closed during the testing activity. The first closure is scheduled for Friday evening, April 18th from 10 pm to 5 am
. If all results return positive no further closures will be necessary. However, if minor adjustments are found to be necessary, additional testing and closures
will be conducted on Saturday from 10 pm to 5 am and repeated again with test-dependent closures scheduled for Sunday from 10 pm to 5 am. Motorist will be detoured to the 11th Street bridges."
Morning Links: The Usual Pope and Ballpark News
Apr 14, 2008 9:31 AM
* After having its ninth-highest ridership day on Wednesday night (the predicted
commuting catastrophe that never happened
), Metro announces that Friday's hockey, baseball, and cherry blossoms trifecta resulted in its third busiest day ever
, with 828,132 riders on Metrorail, behind only the Reagan state funeral in 2004 and a cherry blossoms/baseball doubleheader in April 2007. We'll see if Pope Day hits the list.
* WTOP reports
that people trying to sell their tickets to the mass online are getting cease and desist letters from the archdiocese. Not to mention all-expenses-paid trips to purgatory.
* This NewsChannel 8 report
from Friday talks about how the ballpark will be transformed into a "spiritual center."
* The Post writes
about the Nationals Dream Foundation's Neighborhood Initiative, which I wrote about here
. (This link is a day late, thanks to the Post's RSS feeds being, shall we say, untimely.)
* The Nats are out of town this week, returning on April 23 for a long homestand through May 4. This is mainly a cheap excuse to give the first link to a gallery I'm going to update throughout the season of photos I've taken at the ballpark
that don't fall into the before/after or press event categories. Not much there now, but at the bottom of the page you can also follow the links to the piles of photos I took at the ballpark in March during the run-up to Opening Night.
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.
South Capitol Street To Be Closed for Pope
Apr 11, 2008 7:34 PM
From a DDOT press release (not yet online), word that on Thursday April 17 (aka Pope Day), South Capitol Street will be closed from I Street to Firth Stirling Avenue, including the Frederick Douglass Bridge, from 2 am to 2 pm.
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.
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....
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."
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...?)
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
mocked 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.)
Ceremony Today Rededicating the Douglass Bridge
Mar 13, 2008 4:31 PM
Today the Usual Suspects convened on the Southwest corner of South Capitol Street and Potomac Avenue to officially rededicate
the Frederick Douglass Bridge and to celebrate the completion of all the rehabilitation work that's been underway since last year. I took some photos of the ceremony
, though you'll note that my camera kept being inexorably drawn to a certain new landmark across the street that's less than three weeks away from opening. (It's not my fault--they set up the podium with the ballpark in the background instead of the bridge!) If you've joined us late, you can browse all the background on last summer's Douglass Bridge Extreme Makeover
that demolished the northern approach to the bridge and totally remade this portion of South Capitol Street. If you're hoping for a new Douglass Bridge, though, don't despair--city and federal officials announced themselves as still very much committed to building a brand new bridge
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
* 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
Tidbits: Permits, Yards Names, No SE Freeway?, South Cap Tunnel, 55 M Web Cam, A New Crusade
Mar 8, 2008 10:48 AM
Just a bunch of tiny items worth highlighting on a dreary Saturday (no new photos today in this muck):
* A building permit
has been approved to build a surface parking lot along First Street between M and N, where Normandie Liquors and its brethren were demolished last month. And the Archdiocese of Washington has applied for a public space permit
for the 1300 block of First Street, SE--does the Popemobile need special parking permits?
* The 55 M web cam
is no longer available to the public. Perhaps they want the Opening Day vista to be a big surprise. Or they don't want people watching the last-minute work on the Navy Yard Metro station. (I wonder if the gas main hit
on Thursday was caught by this camera.)
* Some commenters are discussing
the idea that's been floated of someday demolishing the Southeast-Southwest Freeway
. Getting rid of this Berlin Wall that separates Capitol Hill and Near Southeast (and splits Southwest) was brought up in the National Capital Planning Commission's 1997 Extending the Legacy
framework plan, if you want to see it actually on paper. (Apparently an updated NCPC framework plan
is scheduled to come out this spring, which looks like
it continues to have Virginia Avenue marked where the freeway currently is.) As to whether I'll see this done in my lifetime, well, it would be a nice surprise.
If you really want to go high-concept, you can read DDOT's 2003 South Capitol Street Gateway and Improvement Study
to see their ideas for a tunnel that would link I-295 and the SE/SW Freeway
for through traffic, leaving South Capitol Street
to become the grand urban gateway boulevard planners envision. At Wednesday's public meeting on the South Capitol Street Draft Environmental Impact Statement
, DDOT said that the tunnel isn't totally off the table, but they decided that a new Douglass Bridge
and other South Capitol Street improvements could move forward separately. But could a tunnel still work if the dream of dismantling the SE/SW Freeway were realized?
* I've tried to remain (mostly) unopinionated on various projects during the five years I've run this site. But sometimes, it's necessary to take a stand, to come out from behind the cloak of neutrality and crusade for what you believe in. So I'm going to take advantage of this bully pulpit and fight for one thing: Arched Bascule!
, Factory 202/Yards
, Foundry Lofts/Yards
, Monument/Half St.
, South Capitol St.
, Douglass Bridge
, Nationals Park
, Traffic Issues, Square 701
, The Yards
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 and residential projects that are getting underway 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.
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.
UPDATE: 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
* Watch for announcements of a community meeting
about Opening Day on March 12, at the ballpark.
South Capitol Street Draft EIS Available
Feb 15, 2008 10:28 AM
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement that describes two alternatives for reconfiguring South Capitol Street
from just south of Firth Sterling Avenue north to I-395 has now been released, and is available online: there's the compact executive summary
for folks who just want the basics, or the full shebang
, with 80-plus chapters, appendices, and reports. Note that this draft EIS does not include a final choice for the design of the new Douglass Bridge
that would be built to the southwest of the current bridge, though that decision will be made with the final EIS. (I'm a fan of the arched bascule design, because I'm old school.) There's no way I'm going to try to provide a comprehensive overview of what this project is envisioning, so here's some bullet points:
* For Near Southeast, both build alternatives
would reconfigure the intersection with the SE/SW Freeway, replacing the existing ramp that begins at I Street with an at-grade intersection underneath the freeway that would have two left-turn lanes to a new ramp. With the removal of the existing ramp to I-395, the intersection and South Capitol and I would also be reconfigured. Also included in this project would be streetscape improvements to New Jersey Avenue
, with two travel lanes and two parking lanes and much wider tree-lined sidewalks.
* The main differences between the alternatives for this northern stretch of South Capitol Street are the intersections with Potomac Avenue and with M Street. At Potomac Avenue, there would be either a reconfigured signalized intersection or a large traffic oval connecting South Capitol, Potomac, Q Street, and the new Douglass Bridge. At M Street, a decision will be made between keeping the current underpass for north/south traffic or replacing it with an at-grade intersection. And, in the second build alternative, the K and L street intersections would be opened to cross traffic. There are also many changes planned for South Capitol Street and the Suitland Parkway south of the Douglass Bridge, which are spelled out in the Alternatives section
if you're interested. (I'm waiting for a reply from DDOT about whether portions of each build alternative can be chosen a la carte to create a final alternative. UPDATE:
As was the case with the 11th Street Bridges EIS, the final plans can indeed take some portions of one alternative and some from the other. So it's possible, as an example, that the traffic oval from alternative #2 could be chosen, but the unchanged M Street intersection from alternative #1 could be chosen, too.
* Depending on which alternatives and which bridge design is chosen, the Draft EIS puts the estimated costs for this project at anywhere between $508 million and $781 million. Flyers given out at the Anacostia Waterfront Community Fair
last month indicated that construction on the new Douglass Bridge could begin in 2010, with completion in 2015. The Draft EIS doesn't seem to lay out any timeline for completion of the entire South Capitol Street project.
There are two public meetings planned to discuss the Draft EIS: on March 4 at Birney Elementary School, 2501 Martin Luther King Jr., Ave., SE, and on March 5 at Amidon Elementary School, 401 I St., SW. Both will run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The public comment period ends on March 31, and methods for submitting your comments are spelled out on the report site
. You can also see print versions of the Draft EIS at a number of local libraries
in the area.
South Capitol Draft EIS Now Scheduled for Friday
Feb 11, 2008 9:06 AM
At the Anacostia Waterfront Community Fair a few weeks back
, I picked up a card that indicated South Capitol Street Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(which is centered around the construction of a new Douglass Bridge
) would be released on Feb. 8. So, all last week, I kept checking in at southcapitoleis.com
just to see if the site had been updated or if there were any "Coming Soon" announcements. Nada. Imagine my surprise, then, when on Saturday I received a brochure via snail mail
(how wonderfully old school!) announcing the the EIS would be released on Feb. 15, with the two public meetings pushed to March 4 and 5
, and the deadline for public comment moved to March 31. The web site
still makes no mention of the impending release, though you can see the two build alternatives being evaluated. More about this when the draft is actually released.
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