Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Stadium skepticism


Photo by Claire P. on Flickr.
Soccer deal isn't popular: 59% of DC residents oppose the proposed deal to build a soccer stadium for DC United. Meanwhile, 6 councilmembers introduced a bill asking DC to study building a domed football stadium at RFK. (Post)

Geography influences opinion on fares: The WMATA board will soon hold hearings to discuss fare and fee increases. Expect opinions to vary between city and suburbs, as people differentially value paying for buses, rail, and parking. (Post)

Plows miss bike lanes: DDOT's Mike Goodno says the snow plows clear bike lanes with the rest of the road, but most bike lanes are still full of snow. (dave rides a bike)

On another waterfront: A 5-story hotel will be the first new building under Alexandria's waterfront plan. The hotel replaces a warehouse, providing new tax revenues and contributions to the city's affordable housing fund. (Post)

Lower rents by taxing land: 100 years ago, a San Francisco economist proposed taxing land rather than property. The tax would encourage development while discouraging speculation and could be the solution to high rents in expensive cities. (Atlantic Cities)

California appealing high-speed rail decision: California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to sell bonds to finance high-speed rail, but court rulings prevent that. Delays from those rulings could risk federal funds, so the administration is appealing the case. (WTOP)

Protesters target Google buses: The shuttles driving employees between San Francisco and Silicon Valley have become a symbol of gentrification and rising rents. But can buses be blamed when the highest earners bid up property prices? (The Observer, RPUS)

What lies beneath London?: Workers digging the Crossrail tunnels underneath London have found medieval graveyards and ancient coins in their quest to connect Heathrow Airport with Essex County. The project is set to open in 2018. (The Atlantic)

Novel solutions for unbearable pollution: Desperate for a relief from extreme smog in China, inventors are proposing to remedy it with filters, electrostatic rings, and artificial rain, but well-connected industries have blocked emissions reductions. (Post)

And...: The National Park Service might install parking meters around the Mall. (NPS) ... Interactive maps can now look like woodcuts. (Mapbox) ... A taxi slammed into a bus shelter on U Street. (PoPville) ... What did New York's old Penn Station look like? (NYT)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Matt Malinowski is a consultant advising government clients on improving the energy efficiency of consumer electronic products, but is interested in all aspects of sustainable infrastructure and community resilience. He lives with his wife in the Truxton Circle/Bates neighborhood of DC. 

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Penn Station link is going to an NYT login.Should be:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/magazine/photographs-of-the-old-penn-station.html

by Distantantennas on Jan 27, 2014 9:35 am • linkreport

Re: the bike lanes. I would say most of those geenral purpose lanes were cleared not by plows, but by the volume of traffic. Bike are not capable of doing that, and so the lanes stay covered.

FYI, the CCT, which Montgomery County has specifically said they will not clear, is pretty much a sheet of packed snow and ice the entire length.

by Crickey7 on Jan 27, 2014 9:45 am • linkreport

@Geography influences opinion on fares:

With the sophistication of smartrip cards, could there be a way to charge precisely the distance traveled? Say A traveler boarding at Vienna and disembarking at New Carrollton pays $11 dollars, versus a passenger boarding at Vienna and disembarking at Dunn Loring pays only .41 cents?

by Bill the Wanderer on Jan 27, 2014 9:46 am • linkreport

@Bill the Wanderer: I'm pretty sure that was always possible, since every pair of stations is mapped to a fare. But why would a fare based entirely on distance x rate be an improvement?

by Gray on Jan 27, 2014 9:49 am • linkreport

"Lew also said there could be stronger requirements to include affordable housing in the deal, most likely on the site of the Frank D. Reeves Center, the city building at 14th and U streets NW that would be swapped to the Akridge development firm in return for a key parcel of Buzzard Point land."

No, no no. You don't need more afforable housuing there. IN fact, that block is already chock full of affordable housing.

Office space would be nice, but the location is tough. I don't think the market woudl support more rentals, but more condos would be a start.

by charlie on Jan 27, 2014 9:51 am • linkreport

@ China Pollution

Great, so you burn more coal to produce electricity to run the fancy pollution control devices, which create more pollution. This way the wealthy can afford to breathe a little easier while the poor get scr$wed even more in true Chinese communist fashion.

by Richard on Jan 27, 2014 9:54 am • linkreport

@Distantantennas: I've fixed the NYT link. Thanks.

by David Alpert on Jan 27, 2014 9:55 am • linkreport

@Bill, what is the rationale for that? Metro posted a pretty good write up discussing their fare stricture a few months ago: http://planitmetro.com/2013/12/06/metrorail-fares-are-complicated-for-good/

Bike lanes, on the Hill, the N-S lanes of 4th and 6th St were cleared pretty early on. Large portions of the eastbound lanes on D St continue to be covered in snow and ice.

The co-sponsors of the silly domed stadium bill are no surprise: Bonds, Graham, Barry, Evans, and Alexander.

by dcmike on Jan 27, 2014 9:56 am • linkreport

With the sophistication of smartrip cards, could there be a way to charge precisely the distance traveled? Say A traveler boarding at Vienna and disembarking at New Carrollton pays $11 dollars, versus a passenger boarding at Vienna and disembarking at Dunn Loring pays only .41 cents?

Metro fares are already calculated as a base fare plus a per mile charge. There is a cap on the maximum fare that can be charged, however.

by MLD on Jan 27, 2014 9:57 am • linkreport

No, no no. You don't need more afforable housuing there. IN fact, that block is already chock full of affordable housing.
I can think of a lot of new yuppy apartments and condos that have gone in around the Reeves Center in the last 5 or 10 years. A whole lot. but I struggle to think of much new affordable housing. In fact I can't think of any.

by renegade09 on Jan 27, 2014 9:57 am • linkreport

But can buses be blamed when the highest earners bid up property prices?

The problem here is that private transit can only occur when public transit is too lazy to provide proper routes and decides to forgo the revenue that is can take from those routes.

Why doesn't SamTrans run buses along those routes? If they talk to Google, I bet Google is more than willing to subsidize some of the cost. Much easier than running their own system.

The current connection is atrocious:
https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=San+Carlos,+CA&hl=en&sll=37.526065,-122.255173&sspn=0.381193,0.565796&geocode=FVdQPAId1nO2-Cl3aPwA9KGPgDGIaRgknQ94-g&dirflg=r&ttype=now&noexp=0&noal=0&sort=def&mra=ltm&t=m&z=11&start=0

The same thing plays in DC. Why does Georgetown run the Dupont Shuttle, while there is the G2? Because WMATA does not provide the capacity needed. Why does the Kennedy Center run it's own private shuttle? Because WMATA does not run a bu by there.

People wonder why buses have such a bad rep. It's because buses don't run where people need to go.

by Jasper on Jan 27, 2014 9:58 am • linkreport

Separate tax rates for land and buildings (with buildings taxed at a lower rate) is a good idea for preventing speculation. Some cities already do this; Pittsburgh does I believe.

But I'm not sure how it's going to affect affordable housing - it might lead to more building on empty lots but it isn't going to stop the constant challenges to every building project and constant calls for "one fewer floor" from people who want to prevent development.

by MLD on Jan 27, 2014 10:00 am • linkreport

I don't see why the stadium needs to be built down by the waterfront. That area is already very developed and has a lot of momentum for future development. It's also not especially close to Metro. I have a different location in mind.

I would like to see the stadium built on Chillum Place. That's an industrial warehouse area that sits along the B&O tracks between Ft. Totten and Takoma. I've looked at the footprints that other stadiums have and there is room to put a stadium in there. The ideal location is just south of Van Buren and west of Underwood.

The warehouses currently there would be far cheaper than the land by the waterfront. They could use the savings to put in an infill Metro station at the corner of Kansas Ave and Chillum/Blair. That would be about a quarter mile from the stadium and the area between there would see a lot of development. With the Metro station and further development in the area, it would be a benefit to the neighborhood.

by NickCasey on Jan 27, 2014 10:05 am • linkreport

Alexandria hotel deal sounds like good one. I think the traffic argument is a red herring. People are going to be paying more to specifically stay in downtown Alexandria instead of say Crystal City. If they have a car I doubt they are going to use it to get around locally which is quite walkable. It would be nice if the hotel provided a shuttle to/from say King St Metro.

by BTA on Jan 27, 2014 10:05 am • linkreport

@Jasper

Amen to the lack of WMATA service. In general, but definitely along specific routes, as well.

Re: San Francisco, upping Caltrain frequency would make a HUGE difference. The fact that they're only hourly - or maybe even bihourly - is a huge impediment to making them a useful means of transit for those interested (I'm trying to remember the survey or article where I found this and am failing).

by LowHeadways on Jan 27, 2014 10:06 am • linkreport

@Jasper

Why does Georgetown run the Dupont Shuttle, while there is the G2? Because WMATA does not provide the capacity needed.

If WMATA thought for even a second about increasing G2 service to anything like the Dupont GUTS route (5 minute headways during rush hour), the reaction from the usual suspects (CAG - excluding Topher and Ken, naturally; ANC2E, etc) would be most unkind. As it is, they're already on the record saying that regular Metrobuses are too big and the G2 needs to use the smaller buses that WMATA used for awhile on the now-discontinued N8 and a couple of other routes.

by Dizzy on Jan 27, 2014 10:07 am • linkreport

Why doesn't SamTrans run buses along those routes? If they talk to Google, I bet Google is more than willing to subsidize some of the cost. Much easier than running their own system.

Actually, Google and other tech companies won't be open to that. They want their own buses so they can keep their employees in an environment where they can work away from other tech company employees, and they want buses that will deliver employees from downtown SF directly to their campus.

Alternatively, for your GUTS bus analogy, Georgetown provides transportation along a specific corridor with a bunch of demand so that WMATA doesn't have to waste resources running more buses along the entire G2 route. Anyone who is headed to GU can ride the GUTS bus. For the Kennedy Center, why would it be more efficient for WMATA to haul a bus out there from one of their properties just to make a few runs around specific showtimes? It only makes sense if your goal is "all transit should always be done by the transit agency."

by MLD on Jan 27, 2014 10:14 am • linkreport

@MLD I totally agree.

by Navid Roshan on Jan 27, 2014 10:17 am • linkreport

I actually think Ward 1 and 2 do need more affordable housing. There has been a huge loss in market rate affordable housing. As much as I will defend individual gentrifiers as having as much right to live in a neighborhood as anyone else. There should be some mechanism to avoid people wholesale having to move especially if they have been somewhere a long time. Affordable housing has problems but they aren't problems solved by not building any. Based on anecdotal evidence of my own renting / apartment shopping experiences, the price of an older one bedroom apartment in Columbia Heights has approximately doubled from about $700 to $1400 in the past 10 - 15 years which is a lot even taking inflation into account. Some of that was probably just a natural recovery in demand but there needs to be a way to smooth the curve for people that were already there.

by BTA on Jan 27, 2014 10:17 am • linkreport

@ Richard - you're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. This is a step in the right direction.

by Frank IBC on Jan 27, 2014 10:18 am • linkreport

I think the stadium location is an interesting question however it seems like a lot of places have used stadiums as an entertainment anchor (LA Live, downtown Pittsburgh, etc) so arguably the Waterfront is the best place currently to put it. I also doubt the local neighborhood in Chillum wants the stadium there given the externalities of living near one. I do still question why there is a need for such a complex deal. To me it's indicative of someone "helping" someone else out and trying to hide it in the details.

by BTA on Jan 27, 2014 10:21 am • linkreport

@MLD:

Most places have separate breakdowns on your tax bill for both the land and building values, of course every state is different though. For instance in VA you only pay taxes to a county, while in PA you have separate bills for county (which breaks down building and land), the township (the lowest share of the overall bill) and the school district (by and far the largest share of the tax bill). Of course having this in escrow through your lender makes it a lot simpler.

Another interesting thing of note is how even though assessments are done by counties, the system can vary significantly by state. In VA annual assessments are mandated by state law, while in PA some counties go years or even decades without re-assessing.

by Joe on Jan 27, 2014 10:25 am • linkreport

Indeed, taxing land instead of improvements is the KEY to density. Too bad the "smarter" people don't get this simple fact.

@renegade09- The whole rest of the block Reeves Center is in is low-income housing; Portner Place next to it and the high rise that used to be called Campbell Heights. Not new but certainly saturated.

by Tom Coumaris on Jan 27, 2014 10:29 am • linkreport

The proposal to put the meters in on NPS streets is great. I have always wondered why they were giving away some of the most valuable land in the city for free. It would be even better if they read up on performance parking and the experience in San Francisco, which was extremely positive.

by Michael Perkins on Jan 27, 2014 10:34 am • linkreport

@Joe

They are talking about not just different assessments on land and building values (agreed, most places do this) but levying a higher tax rate on the land value than the building value.

by MLD on Jan 27, 2014 10:42 am • linkreport

@NickCasey - I believe a significant portion (near 50%) of DC United's fan base lives in Virginia so the club would want to build in an area that's easily accessible to them.

by 7r3y3r on Jan 27, 2014 10:46 am • linkreport

@dcmike

The rationale would be that it would be the first step toward eventually leading the system to financial solvency. Even as it stands right now, the highly subsidized metro system is losing the battle to the slightly less subsidized automobile. And I had forgotten that fares are tied[somewhat] to each individual station, but the differences range in +/- (10%-30%) whereas a taxi traversing the same route the price differences would range between +/- (10%-200%).

by Bill the Wanderer on Jan 27, 2014 10:47 am • linkreport

@ Dizzy:If WMATA thought for even a second about increasing G2 service to anything like the Dupont GUTS route (5 minute headways during rush hour), the reaction from the usual suspects (CAG - excluding Topher and Ken, naturally; ANC2E, etc) would be most unkind.

So what? It's not like those clowns are any kinder to the GUTS bus. It's not like the number of people moved by bus is going changing.

@ MLD:For the Kennedy Center, why would it be more efficient for WMATA to haul a bus out there from one of their properties just to make a few runs around specific showtimes?

WMATA could incorporate the stop in normal routes that run through Foggy Bottom, and use the fares from Kennedy Center visitors to upgrade the service in Foggy Bottom. Same with the GUTS shuttles. G2 buses are empty and infrequent now. They could be full and frequent. Seems a lot opportunity.

It only makes sense if your goal is "all transit should always be done by the transit agency."

It would make transit more convenient, and yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Isn't that the idea behind WMATA?

To expand. There are many rental and condo complexes that run shuttles to (the outer) metro stations, because WMATA (and DASH, FFXC, etc) thinks there are not customers at night. Yet these shuttles are a necessity for those complexes to survive and get 'their people' home. And to make it more complicated, WMATA tends to keep these buses out of their bus stops, so that they end up blocking the regular street with their 'illegal' stops, much like the Google buses got in trouble in San Fran.

Running these things centrally should be more efficient, through economies of scale, and can benefit an entire neighborhood with improved bus frequencies, and more eyes on the street.

by Jasper on Jan 27, 2014 10:50 am • linkreport

@Bill the Wanderer: What on Earth are you talking about?
And I had forgotten that fares are tied[somewhat] to each individual station, but the differences range in +/- (10%-30%) whereas a taxi traversing the same route the price differences would range between +/- (10%-200%).
To use the two examples you gave, Vienna to Dunn Loring has a fare of $1.70/$2.10 (off-peak/peak), while Vienna to New Carrollton is $3.50/$5.75.

by Gray on Jan 27, 2014 10:54 am • linkreport

For any new stadium, why not just build on what is now one of the RFK parking lots? I would prefer a shift south. Already Metro rail, Metro Bus, etc.

Added bonus: demolition of RFK would provide a clearer sight line over what would be East Cap.

by Non LTR on Jan 27, 2014 11:06 am • linkreport

Yes I was wrong with the percentages, but correct with the ratios, using "taxifarefinder" a trip from veinna station to dunn loring averages $18 dollars, but a taxi trip from vienna to New Carrollton averages $92 dollars (well over 400%) and I suspect that the shorter taxi fare is distorted due to the initial base fare of $4 dollars. And that is not perfect as you can get off at eastern market, seven stations before new carrollton and you are charged the same amount.

by Bill the Wanderer on Jan 27, 2014 11:09 am • linkreport

@Frank IBC
you're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. This is a step in the right direction.

Just seems to me it would be easier to stop subsidizing auto and coal use, to decrease pollution country wide rather than make a few bright spots for the rich, paid for on the backs(or lungs) of the poor.

by Richard on Jan 27, 2014 11:19 am • linkreport

@Bill the Wanderer: So you admit that you were way off about the fare differences. I still fail to see your point, other than that metro fares should generally be higher.

Are you saying it's very important that the ratio of fares mirror those for cabs? I'm not seeing how that's a primary consideration when setting transit fares, but even if it is, the longer-distance example you give is already 2-3X the fare of the shorter distance. Why would it be a worthwhile exercise to try to raise that to 5X the short-distance fare?

by Gray on Jan 27, 2014 11:31 am • linkreport

And I had forgotten that fares are tied[somewhat] to each individual station, but the differences range in +/- (10%-30%) whereas a taxi traversing the same route the price differences would range between +/- (10%-200%).

Taxis are one of the only forms of transportation that charge strictly by the mile. The reason taxis do that is most of the operational costs largely vary by mileage/time. Most other forms of transportation (metro, other rail, buses, planes, boats, etc.) have a lot of their operational costs tied up in the infrastructure where customers embark, disembark, and perform other non-transportation activities (buying a ticket, visiting a website, calling customer service, etc.). In that case a base fare + mileage system more closely aligns fares with operational costs.

Looking broader at revenue models for other infrastructure heavy services and you'll similarly see a base fare + use fee model. For example, most cell phone plans don't charge strictly by the minute, rather there's a base charge which covers a certain amount of use and then additional fees beyond base usage.

by Falls Church on Jan 27, 2014 11:33 am • linkreport

@Gray

Because the use/purchase of an service/product should as closely resemble the actually operating/production costs as possible. That's why. When you start to allow manipulation by developers/lawmakers/etc. you have a system built to continue to financial fail, and service suffers.

by Bill the Wanderer on Jan 27, 2014 11:38 am • linkreport

The G2 isn't all that redundant with the Circulator. It's quite a hike from say, Trader Joe's to the G2 while two Circulator lines have stops are almost within visual distance from the store. A lot G2 traffic in off hours is between Dupont and Howard.

Interestingly, no link to the NYT article on Uber's many problems: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/technology/rough-patch-for-uber-services-challenge-to-taxis.html I rarely take taxis and have no great love for them but I haven't really gotten the excitement about Uber. As a "market solution" it's a good example of scarcity and market distortion, along with loophole jumping, more than anything else.

by Rich on Jan 27, 2014 11:43 am • linkreport

RE: United on Chillum Pl

I do think the neighbors (myself included) in Lamond/Takoma would support a stadium on Chillum Pl if it included an infill Metro station and resulted in shops and restaurants that they could easily walk to. Right now there's not much in the immediate area other than 3 Stars Brewing and we have poor access to transit. Ft Totten and Takoma are 2 miles apart and Lamond/Chillum Pl is in the middle of it. MLS games usually don't draw more than 20,000 people. 15-20 of those per year would be no problem if it came with Metro access.

As for the fanbase, the exact effects would be a bit of an unknown. However I do think Lamond would be easier to get to for many people in MoCo and upper NW DC. It would also be just a short bus ride up Kansas Ave from Columbia Heights/Petworth or down New Hampshire Ave from Takoma Park/Langley Park.

by NickCasey on Jan 27, 2014 11:45 am • linkreport

Re: Stadium

I think the best location is the decommissioned Pepco plant near 295 and the Minn Ave metro, along the Anacostia (great river views!). There are too many environmental problems with that land for it to be used in most other ways.

by Falls Church on Jan 27, 2014 11:47 am • linkreport

@Falls Church

Other forms of transportation that more closely charge by the mile, cars[how much gas you buy], Bicycling[how much water and food you need to buy], walking[same as biking]. And airlines have so thoroughly been mucked up by government subsidization, fees, bankruptcy forgiveness, free airports, that their pricing structure deifies all economic logic. Amtrak does a pretty good job of charging by the miles, Greyhound does too. Also, as you know, internet, cell phones , etc, all USED to charge by the what you used, but the costs trended so closely to negligible that the calculation fees, outweighed the buffet model. Running a metro train an additional 5 miles with no change in fees is not a negligible cost....yet.

by Bill the Wanderer on Jan 27, 2014 11:48 am • linkreport

@Bill the Wanderer: Oh, I see. Acknowledging that there are any fixed costs to providing transit (operating stations, plus others like those Falls Church listed above) is just letting the developers win.

And as we all know, developers are evil people with motivations completely unlike selfless non-developers, so allowing them to win--even when they have nothing to do with this--is pretty much the worst thing ever.

by Gray on Jan 27, 2014 11:49 am • linkreport

@Gray

We should all play by sound fair economic rules.

by Bill the Wanderer on Jan 27, 2014 12:00 pm • linkreport

Other forms of transportation that more closely charge by the mile, cars[how much gas you buy], Bicycling[how much water and food you need to buy],

Cars and bikes are also based on a fixed base charge (the cost of the car or bike) plus a variable fee (gas, food, etc.).

The bottom line is that I agree with your basic point that fare structures should closely resemble cost structures. My point is that a base charge + mileage is the way to do that for metro. Otherwise, you just end up subsidizing short trips at the expense of long trips.

Amtrak doesn't charge strictly by the mile. If they did, taking the train to from DC to Chicago wouldn't cost essentially the same as taking it to NYC.

Greyhound doesn't charge by mileage either. DC to Atlanta is $85. DC to Miami (close to twice the distance) is $110.

Cell phone companies have almost always had various forms of a base charge plus usage fee model. Even in the very early days when few people had cell phones (back then, you paid for every minute but still paid a base charge every month for service plus a base charge for the handset).

by Falls Church on Jan 27, 2014 12:10 pm • linkreport

@Bill the Wanderer: You say that like there are some objective "sound fair economic rules" necessitating that the price of providing transportation always be proportional to distance. No such rules exist.

In fact, there are plenty of reasons why this would not be the case, all sound and fair. To be sure, where there is completely free entry and exit, lots of firms providing a good, and no other market breakdowns, the price of the good should tend toward the marginal cost of providing it. But where there are few firms (or only one), or where there are huge costs to entry (as in transportation), other pricing structures may be optimal. Indeed, in all types of transportation we see prices generally increasing with distance, but varying as a result of all sorts of other factors as well. I don't understand why this strikes you as deviating from "sound fair economic rules."

by Gray on Jan 27, 2014 12:14 pm • linkreport

@Tom Coumaris,
It's true that there is affordable housing on the block, but DC has lost half of its low-cost affordable housing since 2000, even as multiple high-density, high-rent residential towers have risen directly opposite the Reeves Center. U Street is certainly not 'saturated' for affordable housing. More affordable housing helps preserve diversity, and provides more customers for local businesses. What's not to like?

by renegade09 on Jan 27, 2014 1:41 pm • linkreport

The problem with proposals for stadiums elsewhere in DC is the traffic problems caused by the likely vehicle traffic. Yes, a good number of people take Metro to baseball games, Verizon Center, and current United games at RFK, but vehicle traffic is still problematic. The stadium site along the waterfront has, for better or worse, many highway and bridge connections.

by Adam Lewis on Jan 27, 2014 1:46 pm • linkreport

The was already a lot of skepticism on the council about the soccer stadium deal, left over from the baseball public financing. And because of the number of games and other annual events, public financing of the baseball park was a more compelling case. Finally, the council has figured out that, aside from a few rich guys who may have an interest in the deal, a majority of the DC United fan base doesn't vote in DC. In fact, I'll bet a number can't even vote because they're not US citizens.

by Alf on Jan 27, 2014 1:48 pm • linkreport

I don't see why the stadium needs to be built down by the waterfront. That area is already very developed and has a lot of momentum for future development.
by NickCasey on Jan 27, 2014 10:05 am

I think one of the best arguments for the stadium in Buzzard's Point is that the opposite is proving to be true when it comes to tabled development in that area. Nothing has gotten off the ground (similar to Poplar Point where United were scheduled to build before being thwarted by a terrible Fenty decision). Developers seem to need an anchor concept to turn around relatively isolated neighborhoods.

---

I believe a significant portion (near 50%) of DC United's fan base lives in Virginia so the club would want to build in an area that's easily accessible to them.
by 7r3y3r on Jan 27, 2014 10:46 am

This is kind of a chicken/egg concept. United has a strong VA fanbase because RFK (their home for 18 years) is so much easier to get to for Virginia drivers and Metro rail users. Virginians supporting the team is kind of a consequence of location, not a stand alone fact in and of itself.

by Kev29 on Jan 27, 2014 2:47 pm • linkreport

Kev29,

Nothing has gotten off the ground

Well, this is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. One reason why nothing has gotten off the ground at Buzzard's Point is that property owners have been holding the land with an eye on a future soccer stadium. They have not been trying to sell or develop it. So, without the soccer stadium, other plans might be farther along.

In addition, PEPCO didn't decommission the generating units until May of 2012. As recently as March of 2012, PEPCO was saying that the land would not be made available.

by David C on Jan 27, 2014 3:12 pm • linkreport

One reason why nothing has gotten off the ground at Buzzard's Point is that property owners have been holding the land with an eye on a future soccer stadium.
The lack of a velodrome is DC United's fault? That CaBi storage area and junkyard were really milking it. This isn't the first time you've forgotten Akrdige was hoping for a federal office building, but it wasn't close enough to a Metro station to meet bid requirements. The DC United development pushed talks in that area farther than anything in the recent past.

There was only a single question regarding a potential stadium for DC United in the poll.

On another subject, generally speaking, do you favor or oppose using city funds to help finance a new soccer stadium for the District's Major League Soccer team, D.C. United?
With that phrasing, who would be surprised by the responses? It's amazing The Post made an article out of that.

by selxic on Jan 27, 2014 3:51 pm • linkreport

@ Richard -

"Just seems to me it would be easier to stop subsidizing auto and coal use"

Is auto and coal use subsidized in China? That article is about China, not the USA.

by Frank IBC on Jan 27, 2014 4:10 pm • linkreport

The lack of a velodrome is DC United's fault?

No.

That CaBi storage area and junkyard were really milking it.

Not sure what you're talking about.

This isn't the first time you've forgotten Akrdige was hoping for a federal office building, but it wasn't close enough to a Metro station to meet bid requirements.

I've actually never forgotten that, and I'm not sure what would make you say that. I'm like an elephant. I even know the article you're referencing. But here, in my opinion, is the money line

"Once a stadium deal looked possible, Klein said he abandoned seeking major federal facilities for the area."

by David C on Jan 27, 2014 4:17 pm • linkreport

@ Jasper

You do know that there is a Metrobus that goes to the Kennedy Center the 80 right ?

-----------

Stadium on Chillum Place; why what purpose does it serve other than pissing people off that living in the area. I have family members that live near RFK and they hate the stadium as all the streets around it get clogged with traffic on game days and the same for areas around East Capitol ST NE/SE east of the Anacostia River during Redskins games or big concerts at Fedex Field.

I agree with the Pepco plant on Benning RD as a location hardly anyone lives within a mile of it in almost all directions. I say place it there with a dedicated on/off ramp from 295 so that the traffic does not drive through all the surrounding neighborhoods. Deck over Keniworth Ave/295 from Benning RD to either Foote or Hayes Street so that people could walk from the Pepco site to the Minnesota Ave Station. A map of the site can be seen here http://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=250024

Another option could be near Deanwood Station with a map of the area where a station could be http://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=250023

by kk on Jan 27, 2014 7:24 pm • linkreport

Are you willing to go along with a time frame or should we pretend quotes are in a vacuum, David C?

by selxic on Jan 27, 2014 7:29 pm • linkreport

Whatever became of the DC United site next to Union Market? A stadium there would've made more sense for many reasons: it's Metro accessible; it would be visible off major highways, as well as the commuter and long distance trains coming in; it would have been in a developing part of the city with a public .amenity and gathering spot at a redesigned Union Market. All of these are within easy walking distance of hotels and the future Barnum Place development as well as Union Station. How can you beat that compared to the hidden site they chose in Blizzard Pt.? I Think, like the baseball stadium site, United owners should let the public weigh in on a site we can be proud of. That being said, the Blizzard Pt. site will be getting light rail connections. I think Metro station can also work there with a line coming down Main St. in SW Waterfront off the Smithsonian station

by David B. on Jan 27, 2014 8:25 pm • linkreport

Cont...
with a stop at the yellow and green line, a Waterfront-West station. It would travel to the site of the light rail site at 2nd and Potomac Ave. SW, and under the Anacostia down The I-295 to S. CapitaliSt. to National Harbor.

by David B. on Jan 27, 2014 8:33 pm • linkreport

I don't understand your question.

by David C on Jan 27, 2014 8:33 pm • linkreport

The Crossrail project story makes me sad for what we could have in the District with political will and coordination - 1 kilometer of tunnel every two weeks is astonishing.

by Craig on Jan 27, 2014 8:55 pm • linkreport

We need a neighborhood at Buzzards Pt. With housing, riverfront amenities, a museum, etc. There is no room for a space consuming largess like the stadium in this part of DC. Put it elsewhere, and build a thriving neighborhood at Buzzards Pt.

Use minimal public financing on the stadim as DC United has said they have the necessary finances themselves.

by David B. on Jan 27, 2014 8:58 pm • linkreport

@ kk:You do know that there is a Metrobus that goes to the Kennedy Center the 80 right ?

No, I did not. Probably because it does not connect to the most logical metro station (Foggy Bottom). Thanks for pointing that out to me.

Looking at the schedule, it also does not look like a bus that goes frequent enough to replace the Kennedy Center shuttles.

Could be fixed easily though. Bit more frequency at night, and an extension of the line from Kennedy to Foggy Bottom and we're done.

by Jasper on Jan 27, 2014 9:43 pm • linkreport

@David B.

You cant see no Union Market from no highway; there are no highways near it in any direction.

by kk on Jan 27, 2014 9:44 pm • linkreport

Matt Yglesias points out that vacant land isn't really the issue in San Fransisco. It's rules that say that you can't hardly build anything taller than what was on a spot previously,

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/01/23/land_value_tax_it_s_great_but_it_won_t_save_san_francisco.html

Which ties in to the overall issue for issue in SF re; the google buses. It's not about the buses. It's about who the city is for. With urban living becoming popular again its changing the dynamic in SF (and DC). However, in an attempt to preserve the city it created a situation where the city isn't allowed to grow. But that doesn't mean the city won't change.

The google bus protestors need to step back and actually examine what it is that created the situation that they're in. It's not google, and it's not the buses. Its the decision that the current built form of San Francisco is adequate and there's no reason to keep building except on an assortment of diminishing vacant industrial lots/older commercial properties.

tl;dr just because the buildings remain doesn't mean the neighborhood hasn't changed.

by drumz on Jan 27, 2014 9:45 pm • linkreport

I mean, I agree that San Francisco's anti-density policies are bad but the other municipalities nearby aren't great either. It's not as if San Mateo, San Jose, or Berkeley are any better about Smart Growth.

Couldn't a huge amount of new housing stock be assembled in a nowheresville like San Bruno or South San Francisco? They're driving out to Mountain View anyway...

by Neil Flanagan on Jan 27, 2014 10:33 pm • linkreport

Yes, all the Bay Area cities seem to have policies that naturally lead to incredible prices but they all get there from different places. Berkley with its enviro hippy vibe and many other towns that want to remain at suburban densities because they adopt the tautology that they are suburban because they are a suburb.

Its weird all over the place.

by Drumz on Jan 27, 2014 10:50 pm • linkreport

@ Jasper

You must not go into DC a lot cause I'm very surprised you have never seen a 80 bus; the route crosses the city and goes straight through downtown and is the only bus along North Capitol which is a major street.

by kk on Jan 28, 2014 12:08 am • linkreport

@ kk,

If the stadium were put between Florida Ave. and N.Y. Ave., to the immediate east of the train tracks where I thought United wanted to put it, then it would be seen near the culmination of 2 main thoroufares-the avenues. though it looks like that wont happen. The market would be between the stadium and Gallagher University.

by David B. on Jan 28, 2014 4:17 am • linkreport

@Frank IBC:

"Is auto and coal use subsidized in China? That article is about China, not the USA."

I guess you haven't tried to breath in China?

by Mike on Jan 28, 2014 8:06 am • linkreport

@David B

That still does not explain what highways you were mentioning cause you can not see that area from 295, 395, 695 or BW/Spellman Pkwy

by kk on Jan 28, 2014 9:07 am • linkreport

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