Navigating Roads to Nats Park
What if you decide not to chant the Take Metro mantra and instead drive to the new baseball stadium opening this weekend?
If you hold season tickets and paid the substantial extra charge for parking, you've got directions to your parking area from the Nationals. The team continues to develop its Way to Go page, showing various options for getting to the games. This is the directions page with directions for those with reserved parking spaces.
The presentation includes an interactive map that, like the Way to Go page, continues to add useful information. Now, you can identify your parking area, then pick your starting point, and the map will display a best-bet route for you.
Not displayed -- and I wish they would do it -- are routes to Lot 8 at RFK Stadium, where the plebians will park for free and ride the free Nats Express shuttle bus to the new stadium. Drivers have been asking me if they can still use the RFK access road to get from the Southeast-Southwest Freeway to the RFK lot. For the Saturday exhibition game and the Sunday home opener, it's open at 3 p.m. For other games, it will be open an hour and a half before game time.
The free shuttles will leave Lot 8 every 10 minutes for the new stadium. They'll drop off their passengers at 300 M St. SE, on the north side of M, across from the U.S. Department of Transportation offices and about a five-block walk from the stadium.
(When D.C. United plays at RFK, Nats parking will be relocated to Lot 7 and so will the Nats Express.)
A lot of planning has gone into this traffic management system, but expect congestion, especially starting Monday, April 7, when baseball fans will be driving the same roads as homebound commuters. Traffic will likely be especially heavy on Maine Avenue SW, coming off I-395, on South Capitol Street coming off the Southeast-Southwest Freeway, at at the intersection of M and South Capitol streets and on M Street SE in front of the Navy Yard.
Many fans are unfamiliar with this area, but even those who are will see traffic patterns and traffic controls that are new to them. That street space you think you know? Don't count on it. Even if you can get there, you may well find it's covered by a new set of parking rules.
[Join Lena Sun, Eric Weiss and me -- The Post's transportation team -- for an online discussion about getting to and from the stadium. We'll be live at noon today. If you want to submit questions or comments early, here's a link to do that.]
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