|Page 2 of 2 <|
Seriously. Take Metro.
To avoid changing trains, you could get off at Capitol South Station on the Orange and Blue lines. It's a one-mile walk to the stadium, but so far, no signs show the way. Making the 20-minute trek down New Jersey Avenue at dusk, I found a desolate, difficult path along which many street lights are out, sidewalks are not continuous and the passage under the highway and past a vast trash transfer station is downright scary.
D.C. officials insist that they will light and spruce up the route in time for opening night, and Cohen said the owners choose "to believe the city." For now, I'd stick to Navy Yard Station.
If you insist on driving -- Cohen said "a limited number" of the 5,000 spaces near the stadium will be open to drop-in fans -- avoid the Capitol Street exit off I-395 at all costs. Far better for those coming from Virginia and other points west: Take the Maine Avenue exit and zip east on M Street straight to the park. The backup to I-395's Sixth Street SE exit is fearsome, but once you get to the ramp, it's fast and easy to the ballpark. Drivers arriving from the east have a huge advantage -- the trip in against rush-hour traffic via either the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge or I-395 coming from I-295 is relatively smooth.
The good news: This mess is temporary. As soon as next season, the first underground garages built as part of the office and residential district surrounding the stadium are expected to open. But will parking options near the ballpark improve sufficiently before RFK is razed?
Washington won this team with the promise of an urban ballpark that fans would reach largely by mass transit, like the downtown arena where the Wizards and Capitals play. But neither the Lerners nor Major League Baseball knew quite how car-unfriendly the new site would be. The detail-obsessed owners and their staffers in the Transportation Situation Room are making the best of a tough situation; now it's the fans' turn to work out their own strategies.
"There's a learning curve," Cohen said. "But we're focused on giving fans a good first impression. They're going to love the stadium. And if we have a winning team, this whole process will go a lot faster."
To find your way to the stadium, checkhttp:/
Join me at noon today
for "Potomac Confidential" at