Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Streetcar shortline proposal to support the Baseball Stadium

This is a reprint of a blog post from April 2005, and is inspired by the Union Station Intermodal Transportation Meeting. Note that in the NoMA master plan, it was suggested to run another Circulator line up and down First Street NE and SE to provide this kind of service.

... In response to this recent entry on the Baseball Stadium and transit from DCist, I especially like the suggestion for shuttle buses to Union Station to remove many of the people off the blue and orange lines, to reduce the crush and the need for transfers.

[Relatedly, this is text from a Cleveland website: "The Regional Transit Authority also offers convenient, affordable service to Jacobs Field. The Rapid Transit provides direct service to Tower City, only a short 10 minute walk from Jacobs Field through RTA's Walkway to Gateway. Additionally, Express Bus service is provided from seven suburban Park-N-Ride facilities."]

The entry makes a good point (indirectly) about locating stadia at places with multiple transit connections, making the point by stating that the South Capitol site doesn't have such connections. By way of comparison, the MCI Center does, as it is atop the Galley Place station, providing direct connections to the Red, Green, and Yellow lines and is a short couple block walk to Metro Center, which offers direct connections to the Blue and Orange lines, in addition to the Red Line. (Another advantage MCI Center has over the Navy Yard location is that events at MCI have 1/2 the amount of average attendance, presumably of a 40,000 seat stadium.)

The entry extends this argument to the Navy Yard station, which is on the Green line, and makes some good points, but I think they miss an obvious suggestion, one that needs to be strongly considered: Dr. Transit says, "Think Transit".

And, build a short line streetcar line from the Stadium up New Jersey Avenue SE to provide service to both the Capitol South station (blue and orange) and on to Union Station to provide a direct connection to the red line as well as to MARC and VRE service (hopefully, someday).

Taking transit to see the San Francisco Giants. Photo by Mike Kepika of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The DCist entry makes the point that Baltimore has light rail access at Camden Yards. Another example would be Cleveland's extension of its Green/Blue Rapid (RTA) line to provide service to Cleveland's football stadium, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other entertainment destinations along the Waterfront. The Wikipedia entry on Cleveland's Rapid Transit system gives you a pretty good idea of how transit works there, as does this map of the Waterfront Line.
(Image from the Presbyterian College webpage on the Waterfront Line.)

The problem of course is getting by the U.S. Capitol Complex, which is increasingly securitized and through-access routes (such as First Street SE-NE, which would be the logical transit route) are now blocked. So to energize plans for the South Capitol corridor, somehow this "Stadium Short Line" could maybe be put on South Capitol. On game days, riding this line should be free for a set period before and after events at the coming Stadium.



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