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Walking or Biking to Baseball

To complete our blogging way through the travel options for Nationals Park, here are some walking and biking options.

Outside Station 2 (2).jpg Street by Metro station. (Thomson)

If you're heading from downtown, the Mall or Capitol Hill, it's downhill toward the Anacostia riverfront. You'd be doing the pre-game walk in daylight for most games. Here are some possible routes:
-- From L'Enfant Plaza, walk south on 7th Street, go left on I Street and continue south on 6th Street to M Street SW. Turn left and walk to South Capitol Street.
-- From Federal Center SW, come down 3rd Street, turn right on E Street, left down 4th Street, left on I Street to a right on 3rd Street, then a left on M Street SW.
-- From the Capitol area, you can come straight down South Capitol Street, but I prefer New Jersey Avenue, even though it's less direct. It's a very straightforward route to M Street SE. (But don't expect to find a grand boulevard. Like most of the streets around the new stadium, it's a work in progress. I had to cross the street several times because of sidewalk obstructions.)
-- From Eastern Market, you can walk south on 8th Street and make a right on M Street SE.

New Jersey Ave (2).jpg New Jersey Ave. sidewalk. (Thomson)

Many people are asking about security, especially walking back in the dark after games. (You'll see some of that in the online discussion about stadium transportation that Lena Sun, Eric Weiss and I did on Tuesday.) I can tell I'd have no hesitation walking back up New Jersey Avenue after a game. I think there will be a decent-sized crowd doing the same thing, and there should be vendors along that route as well.

Another thing that's giving me confidence -- in the absence of actual experience so far -- is that the District has a huge interest in making sure that these routes are safe, and I expect there will be a significant police presence in the area.

North Entry (2).jpg Crosswalk to stadium. (Thomson)

People also ask about the walk of about five blocks between the stadium and the Nats Express shuttle back to the free parking at RFK. You can see that route if you go to the Nats' very fine interactive map and click on Bike, Bus & Walk, then click on Nats Express. I don't see any problem with that route, in terms of security, as long as it's clear of construction material along Tingey Street.

You'll find several good approaches to the stadium. Here's a link to a most excellent bike route map that "washcycle" posted in a comment on Tuesday's blog entry.

Once you arrive at the stadium, you can try one of two ways to park your bike.
-- There are bike racks all around the outside of the stadium.
-- Free valet parking is available at "Red Garage C," on the corner of N and 1st streets SE. Look for the valet just to the left of the N Street entrance. The valet will accept bikes starting two hours before game time and will close an hour after the game ends.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 26, 2008; 5:39 AM ET
Categories:  Stadium  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Navigating Roads to Nats Park
Next: Arlington Safety Enforcement Today


All this talk about biking and walking, but the future of the team hinges on young families with children catching on. Single professionals working downtown will provide limited support. 4 tix plus lots of soda, hot dogs, and cotton candy with souvenirs pay the bills...not so much from single bikers or walkers.

Posted by: Harold | March 26, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

but singles buy more of the beer...

and anyways - as the map shows, it's about 1 1/2 miles from the stadium to Union Station, and less to some of the other metro stations. An 8 or 10 year old should be able to walk that distance without much problem.....if not, maybe a little less soda and cotton candy would be in order! Safety seems to be more of an issue than the walking distance itself, but that's just as much of a topic of concern for single walkers (esp. women) as it is for families.

Posted by: silver spring, md | March 26, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't completely agree with Harold. Yes, it's important to develop a fanbase among kids who will buy tickets when they grow up. On the other hand, those of us who are single and have no kids and are in our 30s can more easily go to games whenever we wish compared to families (no concerns about school nights, for example), and theoretically we'll be buying tickets, and beers, for 30 or 40 years.

I suppose, though, that as the ballpark neighborhood develops, the Nationals might realize less concession revenue from food than they will this year. I know when I go to Capitals games I try to go somewhere else (usually Gordon Biersch) for food and a few beers before I go to the game. The food and beer are better than the stuff at the Phone Booth, and it all costs less too (half-litre of beer for around $5.00 at GB versus 355 mL of beer for $8.00 at the Phone Booth).

Posted by: Rich | March 26, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Harold has a legit point.
I am from out of state, and at our park, lots of seniors attend games.
I am single and walking to the off-site parking at RFK had me a little frightened last summer.

Posted by: ask | March 27, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"walking to the off-site parking at RFK had me a little frightened last summer."

Then you should have taken metro and walked with the crowds to and from the station. Seftey in numbers. But since you aren't from around here you probably think that taking the metro is too dangerous also.

The point here is not that everyone should walk from other stations. The point is that if 5,000 (or whatver number) people decide to walk or take alternate ways to the stadium, that makes it better for the 20,000 that choose to just go to the navy yard. And for those who get annoyed by the overcrowded station, Dr. G is trying to provide alternatives to ease that headache.

Posted by: Laura | March 27, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Also, if you notice by his other posts, Dr. G. has also described and discussed the other possibilities of getting to the game (transit and driving). He's really trying to cover all angles and all alternatives here so that each person can decide what is the best way for them (and their family if that's the case) to get to the game.

Posted by: Laura | March 27, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"He's really trying to cover all angles and all alternatives here so that each person can decide what is the best way for them (and their family if that's the case) to get to the game."

I have to agree with Laura that Dr. G has really done an extremely thorough job of covering this issue. We can only wish that the Nationals' "Way to Go" page were even half as comprehensive as his work.

I'm still trying to decide what to do on Sunday, but I'm leaning towards parking at the Anacostia Metro stop's garage, riding to the game, and then either riding back or walking afterwards depending on how cold it is.

Posted by: Rich | March 27, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

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