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Public Spaces

Breakfast links: parks, parkways, and parking

White House stadium? Did you know that in 1910, the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts "approved plans to build a football stadium either on the White House Ellipse or at some other spot in East Potomac Park"? That's part of Marc Fisher's fascinating history of the long debate over stadiums in DC.

This might have been a football field. Photo by vladeb.

Morgan Boulevard/PG United, maybe: DC United owner Victor McFarlane's first choice for a stadium site is a 37-acre property at the Morgan Boulevard station. According to the article, some Maryland officials are also skeptical about the wisdom of dedicating revenue bonds to the project amid severe budget cuts. (Post)

Signs at last: The National Park Service is planning new signs that represent a huge departure from the Mall's current signage. The major change: unlike the previous signs, these will actually tell visitors how to reach major attractions. (WTOP)

Bike trails, less of a freeway feel, and parking meters, oh my! Signs aren't the only piece of NPS's new Mall plan. WashCycle has a summary of the proposal, which includes separated bicycle facilities and bike trails throughout the mall, better pedestrian connections between the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin (currently a mess of freeway-like ramps for cars), and parking meters on Madison, Jefferson, and Ohio drives. WashCycle even gives us a little shout-out.

Why 7? Why any time? Mount Pleasant's Jack McKay sensibly asks why the National Park Service reopens Beach Drive, in Rock Creek Park, to traffic at 7 pm on Sundays. It's still light out, and runners and cyclists are still enjoying the park. There's no urgency to move traffic Sunday nights. Why not wait until dark, or after? (DCwatch)

Mess with Texas's bags: A Dallas state representative has introduced a bill to charge 7 cents for, similar to DC's proposed 5-cent charge. Other Texas lawmakers and Wal-Mart are pushing an alternative which would simply require stores to offer reusable bags, stamp bags with reminders to return them to the store, and recycling bins in the store for the bags. Recycling is a very distant second to reusing, making the latter proposal potentially much less effective.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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those new National Mall signs look totally dated. And what's with calling the Jefferson Memorial the "Thomas Jefferson Memorial", and not calling Lincoln's the "Abraham Lincoln Memorial"?

by DG-rad on Mar 9, 2009 10:03 am • linkreport

dated.. but admittedly also helpful-looking.

by DG-rad on Mar 9, 2009 10:07 am • linkreport

Maybe the national park service wants to go home?

And couldn't the rationale be turned around to reopen it earlier when the sun sets earlier?

Why not just have summer and winter hours. Winter (Oct.-Mar.) until 6p, summer (Apr.-Sept.) until 8p (or something

by ah on Mar 9, 2009 10:18 am • linkreport

Any chance those parking meters on the mall will be performance-based? If you install meters but only charge 50 cents per hour M-F 8-5pm, but the spaces are packed on Saturday and Sunday, you haven't helped out as much as you could have.

by Michael Perkins on Mar 9, 2009 11:03 am • linkreport

That location at Morgan Boulevard seems great in terms of general accessibility, but damn, old habits die hard. PGC doesn't need another single-use district, especially if that specific use is really limited. Maybe if they pack enough mixed development around the stadium itself it will be good, but they really should sprinkle these destinations around the area. The Largo site sounds better, and a New Carrolton site even more appealing because of access to commuter rail.

The NPS signs are funny in that they are pastiches of modern design. Also, what DG-rad said.

by öarüchitect on Mar 9, 2009 11:26 am • linkreport

In the sixties they planned to put a huge parking garage under the ellipse.

by Steve on Mar 9, 2009 11:29 am • linkreport

@DG-Rad--just wait a few years. They'll re-sign, and it will be the Lincoln Memorial/Reflecting Pool-West/Vietnam Veterans Memorial. And the Thomas Jefferson Memorial/Tidal Basin/Potomac Park direction.

by ah on Mar 9, 2009 11:53 am • linkreport

But if the Park Service has clear directions and understandable signs, what will us tour guides do? They're trying to put us out of business!

Please don't make me get a real job.

by Tim K. on Mar 9, 2009 12:48 pm • linkreport

David missed this link this morning...or I just didn't E-mail him in time.

Anyway, in a nutshell, WTOP is reporting on more "trail activists" who oppose the Purple Line.

by Froggie on Mar 9, 2009 1:06 pm • linkreport

For a soccer stadium in PG, I'd tend to agree that Largo and New Carrolton would be better locations in general, but I know the sites they were looking at in NC weren't large enough for the stadium, and they had similar issues with Largo. The nice thing, for them, with Morgan Blvd is a large chunk of land that's easily developed - but it is surrounded by disconnect sprawl pods that empty on to roads that are far too wide, etc.

Anyway, that 37 acres of WMATA property apparently includes all of the surface parking at the site. United officials have stated that they need about 12 acres of land for the stadium. So, there's a lot of room left to play with there.

by Alex B. on Mar 9, 2009 1:16 pm • linkreport

Froggie, it's the same group who has been saying the same things over and over again for years. Nothing new there.

by Cavan on Mar 9, 2009 1:46 pm • linkreport

Don't disagree there, Cavan. But they're getting press time again and now apparently taking their case directly to the Governor.

by Froggie on Mar 9, 2009 2:58 pm • linkreport

Froggie, I definitely appreciate that you send in links from time to time, and hope you keep it up. I didn't publish that one because 1) it's not news in the sense that anything is different than it has been for years, and 2) I don't want to give them unlimited free press.

I can't speak for David or GGW, but suspect he feels the same.

by BeyondDC on Mar 9, 2009 3:32 pm • linkreport

I always had fantasies of Nationals Park going into that huge vacant space downtown near 10th or 11th or 9th and NY Ave (not sure exactly - maybe K?). Currently it's either a parking lot or a place where outdoor events are held. How great would it be to WALK to a baseball game after work?

by Jazzy on Mar 9, 2009 4:52 pm • linkreport

Jazzy: You mean the old convention center? They've got plans for that, man. The SE Waterfront site is great for spreading out the density.

by цarьchitect on Mar 9, 2009 5:48 pm • linkreport

BDC: I sent it to you mainly as an "FYI", in case you didn't catch it earlier. Agree it's not really new news (though this is the first time I've heard about them trying to go to the Governor). If I was expecting to see it anywhere, it'd have been on thewashcycle. From what I've seen of the way David does Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Links here on GGW, it'd have been a wash either way (i.e. 50/50)...

by Froggie on Mar 9, 2009 7:22 pm • linkreport

I guess that was the old convention center (although I thought that was on the southside of NY Ave, and the space I'm thinking of was on the left side of NY Avenue, traveling away from the White house). Anyway, it doesn't matter - it was just a fantasy. It seems like a centrally located stadium would be guarantee success (attendance and winning).

by Jazzy on Mar 9, 2009 9:24 pm • linkreport

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