Wednesday, October 24, 2007
OK--Let's Go Over This Parking Thing Again
Whether Our Washington Nationals jumped the gun on announcing the "Free" Shuttle from RFK Stadium to New Nationals Park is not the point. What matters is that David Nakamura's Story in The Washington Post has journalistic value. If the announcement is Not True--Fans need to be informed. But, the work of Nakamura's colleague--Marc Fisher is quite to the contrary.
In his "Raw Fisher" column today--Marc rightly points out that The Federal Government is refusing use of the nearby Department Of Transportation Building as a parking venue for New Nationals Park--due to their bogus "SECURITY" issues. At the same time--The Navy Yard Metro Expansion Project is still seven weeks behind schedule. An issue that revolves around Metro and another developer having a spat. Both of which, hinder the parking and transportation needs for New Nationals Park.
Yet, that's where Fisher's commentary goes off on a tangent. The last time I checked--The District of Columbia, along with Major League Baseball, determined the deal for building the new ballpark in its current location on South Capitol Street. Nobody else. From day one--many watching, understood the challenged parking and transportation needs for this new environment.
Despite all that, and then some--everyone surely remembers the political wrangling over the stadium--The District of Columbia along with its partner--MLB--signed off on the deal. From there--Major League Baseball sold IT'S TEAM--The Former Montreal Expos, now Our Washington Nationals to The Lerner Group. Never--during any of those discussions or final agreement reached to build New Nationals Park--were The Lerner's or ANY OTHER POTENTIAL SUITOR for Our Franchise consulted on the final deal.
When The Lerner Group forked over $450 Million to purchase Our Washington Nationals--that price tag came with all the warts, problems and deficiencies of that Original Ballpark Agreement. EVERYONE KNEW Parking and Transportation were BIG ISSUES-beforehand. The DC Government ignored all that--just wanting the deal. And, through all the subsequent worry, griping, concern and, in some cases--fear--over whether each and every ballgame on South Capitol Street will be a Traffic FIASCO--progress is being made--Clearly.
But, Marc Fisher takes exception to the fact that--Charged Parking will be offered to all Season Ticket Packages, and Free Parking for ANYONE ELSE that so desires. How can it be foolish for The Nationals to offer a "FREE" Service from RFK Stadium? Personally, I have stated before the shuttle doesn't work for me. But, FREE is FREE!! And, despite the worries of Security at The RFK Lot and getting stuck in traffic (those details have not been released)? Why is it--that whenever The Team seemingly comes up with temporary solutions--the media immediately starts jumping down their throat. Honestly, I don't get that. And, this has nothing to do with whether yesterday's announcement was premature.
The District is building 1225 Parking Spaces in two garages on site, and a smaller lot in The Team's Office Building.
Our Washington Nationals have temporary permission from The City to build up to 3775 surface parking spaces in and around New Nationals Park, until the year 2012.
Even if The Navy Yard Entrance being renovated is not completed by Opening Day, 2008--due to the ongoing issues with Metro and a Developer--The West Entrance to Navy Yard Station will still be open. Reminder--The Navy Yard Metro has been open since the re-construction first began.
The City had promised to deliver additional parking around New Nationals Park. At the same time--The Owners of Our Washington Nationals have been working to find parking of their own. But, make no mistake about it--the original deal said The District of Columbia was responsible for finding additional parking. It sure seems to me--The Team is looking for solutions. The City may not be.
The Team claims it now has a temporary solution for patrons with a FREE Parking and Shuttle Service--potentially a few thousand more spaces. What we don't know is whether The City has officially signed off on that deal.
And, we all know--from the very first game at New Nationals Park--and continuing for probably a year or two--parking and transportation is going to be an ever evolving project on South Capitol Street.
Those are all the facts.
Yet, according to Fisher's Article--it's Ownership's problem that vacant lots around South Capitol Street have not been gobbled up by Our Team for use. Has it ever occurred to Marc Fisher that these other land owners might have realized they are Land Barons--and are not going to give up their lots for a short term gain. Land that might provide far greater riches later?
And, if Our Washington Nationals should be buying up, or renting, these spots--for temporary use--why is not The District Government assisting in the matter? You would think The District of Columbia has alot at stake in this issue. Maybe they just don't care.
No doubt--a ton of behind the scenes maneuvering is going on when it comes to the parking and transportation issues for New Nationals Park. Politicking that is totally an unknown to you or I. But, for Marc Fisher to state "The Nats need to pay whatever it takes to create temporary parking facilities to get fans through the first couple of seasons, before the new development near the park is ready with large, underground garages."--is absurd. And, shows a total mis-reading of the situation.
Sure, Baseball is a BIG BUSINESS. But, NO ONE (in any business) IS GOING TO, WILLINGLY, PAY A KINGS RANSOM just to please The Washington Posts' political desires. Solutions are clearly in the works. The world has yet to come to an end over Parking and Transportation Issues for New Nationals Park. Granted, they are all important issues. But, why can't some just let it all play out. In the past few weeks, alot of new fresh information has come forward--Useful Knowledge.
Metro's working out their kinks. The South Capitol Street Bridge has been lowered to street level on the north side of The Anacostia River to ease Game Day Traffic Concerns. 5,000 Parking Spaces are GUARANTEED around the ballpark at an unknown cost (RFK has 10,000 by comparison). A few thousand "FREE" Park and Shuttle Spaces are conceivably available at RFK (considering the worry of $30 Parking around the new ballpark--$0 looks pretty good, doesn't it).
And, you can bet--some unknown entrepreneurs will be opening up shop on their own--making space available parking on their lots--outside of dealing directly with Our Washington Nationals. This is America--its going to happen-at a price to be determined by flow.
That all doesn't seem too awful to me--5 months before The Very First Game to EVER BE PLAYED AT NEW NATIONALS PARK.
Which all makes we Wonder?
What's with "The Fear Factor" of The Washington Post? Honestly--the television news media which I work in every day, is not as pessimistic. Really, not even close.