Thursday, June 15, 2006

And what about the stadium garage ramps?

While attention is focused upon the above-ground versus under-ground
issue for the stadium parking to save money, what about the ramps into these garages?

The short distance from the South Capitol Street Bridge to these garages only further necessitates lengthier
“corkscrew” ramps to line up vehicular traffic- sort of as a “buffer” to mitigate traffic backing up onto the main arteries. This need will be especially acute with the stadium complex being completed years before the replacement South Capitol/Frederick Douglas Bridge, because the existing viaduct meets the surface at N Street, right at the western garages' location.

None of the stadium complex renderings show any indication of any type of corkscrew ramp.

Judging from the roof top configuration, the garages appear to lack corkscrew ramps. The designs shown appear to be like those in downtown Bethesda, Maryland, which are adequate for serving downtown retail. But what about a stadium with its concentrated event induced traffic?

By insisting upon above-ground parking, the Lerners achieve a $20 or $30 million cheaper structure. Surely, the better capacity ramps would cost more to initially construct. With the desire to reduce initial costs, and to finish the project quickly, what is the story about the Nationals Stadium garage ramps?

This is an issue that has gone un-reported and apparently un-noticed.

Do any of the official traffic studies take into account the different ramp designs? Or shall this be something downplayed or ignored in the rush of enthusiasm for bringing Major League Baseball back to Washington, D.C.?

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