Traffic Meets Baseball Tonight
The Nationals are scheduled to play their first week night game at the new stadium starting at 7:10 tonight. I'll take a look around the area and tell you what the traffic and transit conditions were like. Meanwhile, here are some tips for getting to -- or getting around -- Nationals Park, at 1500 South Capitol St. SE.
-- First, don't type that stadium address into your online directions finder, make a printout and get in the car. This trip is way more complicated. The secret neighborhood parking spot you think you know is likely to be inaccessible or restricted at game time.
-- These are probable hotspots for traffic: the Maine Avenue and South Capitol Street exits on the Southeast-Southwest Freeway, the intersection of M and South Capitol streets, M Street SE in front of the Navy Yard and South Capitol Street next to the stadium.
-- You can drive to the east side of the freeway, take the RFK Stadium access road to Lot 8, park for free and take the free Nats Express shuttle, which will leave every 10 minutes.
-- The downside of the shuttle is that it drops fans at 300 M St. SE, about five blocks from the stadium.
-- Drop-off zones at the stadium are on northbound South Capitol Street SE and on First Street SE. Only the South Capitol Street side will be available for pickups after games.
-- There is a taxi stand on the east side of Half Street, between M and K streets SE north of the stadium.
-- You'll arrive at the Green Line's Navy Yard Station on a six or eight-car train. If you're traveling from downtown in the direction of Branch Avenue, the rear cars will be the closest to the west side exit, which can accommodate the most exiting passengers.
-- If the platform is very crowded when the train arrives, the operator may hold there with the doors closed until there's more space to exit.
-- When the doors open on a Branch Avenue-bound train, turn left and you'll see two escalators rising from the platform to the mezzanine. It's exit only on that side before games, but the escalators still may be crowded. Behind the escalators, you'll find a stairway and an elevator.
-- On the mezzanine, a bank of three escalators and an elevator take people up to street level, where the fare gates and station kiosk are.
-- Express fare gates for SmarTrip card users are to the far right. Two wide fare gates for disabled people are to the far left.
-- After the game, the west side escalators all reverse direction to take fans back down to the platform.
-- If you're heading from downtown, the Mall or Capitol Hill, it's downhill toward the Anacostia riverfront. You'll do the pre-game walk in daylight most of the time.
-- If you don't want to take the train all the way to Navy Yard Station, try Capitol South Station and walk down New Jersey Avenue. It's about 22 minutes to the stadium.
-- Watch your step. Many streets approaching the stadium are still works in progress as the neighborhood redevelops with office and apartment buildings.
-- There are bike racks all around the stadium perimeter
-- Free bicycle valet parking is available at "Red Garage C," at the corner of N and 1st streets SE north of the stadium. The valet will accept bikes starting two hours before game time and will close an hour after the game ends.
-- Metro has its own guide to reaching Nationals Park.
-- Jacqueline Dupree maintains a Web site that offers lots of information about developments in the stadium neighborhoods. It includes this guide to transportation.
Posted by: Nats AND Caps on Friday | April 7, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AWWNats | April 7, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DCU | April 7, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Arlington, VA | April 7, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: steve | April 7, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: JD | April 7, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Done With Baseball | April 7, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: e | April 7, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: JD | April 7, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mark | April 7, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Loggie | April 7, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: How's it look? | April 7, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rich | April 8, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.