Latest Comments

  • I don't want to comment on the merits of any particular plan or use for the RFK site. I do want to remind everyone that the reason for locating the parking lots+stadium on that location in the first place was in part due to the location of the Anacostia flood plain.

    Here's the relevant map, from FEMA. Note that the flood level for a 100-year flood would submerge precisely the parking lots. Any proposed (re)use of that space had better be prepared to be submerged. A stadium with parking lots makes some sense; playing fields with minimal infrastructure on them do too. In addition to the risk to whatever you actually put there, if it's something that occupies a large part of the volume (like a building) or could sit in the way of flood flow (like a building), there's a risk to everything else along the river as well, as the development there could raise flood levels and put more locations at risk of flooding elsewhere along the Anacostia.

    A commenter above suggested that using the space for mixed residential/commercial development would be as simple as changing the rules. That statement is literally true, but misses the (good) reason why those rules were adopted in the first place.

  •  DC's beloved RFK stadium has had its day back when the team had values. It is now a team that seems aimless with no real attachment to the city - other than colluding with the District government and the Feds to get back into the city. I won't go into that name/logo or the team's hiring practices.

    The citizens of Wards 6 & 7 deserve more than another 50+ years of football that causes headaches in parking for residents, public drunkenness, traffic congestion, and other ills associated with a stadium that will be used only 8-12 times a year. All that wasted space in the form of massive parking lots.

    RFK campus is just beginning a new redevelopment of the entire 190 acres ( It is geared toward a campus that is alive with local sports, entertainment, a food market, natural green spaces, pedestrian bridges, a research center to study RFK, and more. All for residents and visitors to our city to use DAILY.

    Oxon Cove - near Blue Plains/Naval Research Lab - is a good choice. A 20,000 seat arena at RFK campus would fit better.

  • For years the city has contemplated the return of our football team to its rightful place, DC. Why can't the RFK site be home to the football team and a place for community activities.
  • Interesting how many counties get the location almost exactly right. The exceptions (other than Prince George's County) being...

    -Anne Arundel - Crownsville instead of Annapolis

    -Cecil County - North East instead of Elkton

    -Garrett County - Swanton instead of Oakland

    -Howard County - Columbia instead of Ellicott City

    -Somerset County - Westover instead of Princess Anne

    -Worcester County - Berlin instead of Snow Hill

  • Would it surprise you that Mayor Platitudes and her friends are pushing secret bill in exchange for getting a generous piece of the action?

    Bowser is Marion Barry in a skirt.

  • Bethesda to Tyson's it 11 miles, while the silver line travels an incredible six miles berween Whiele-Reston and Spring Hill. Extending the purple line 11 miles,, with a couple of intermediate stations, would no doubt cost less than Silver Line phase II because the stations are so much less massive.
  • Nick, I’m not surprised to read that you’re a Texas native as you’re clearly not from around here.  In a place as divided as Washington nothing catalyzes unity like our professional sports teams.  When the Caps won the Stanley Cup in July the city was electrified and overjoyed; our differences were transcended.  Strangers hugged and wept in the streets.  A stadium or arena can either be the epicenter of an urban neighborhood, served by public transit (see Capitol One Arena and Nats Park) or a desolate monstrosity in the wilds of PG County adrift in a sea of parking lots (see FedEx Field).  I for one, overwhelmingly prefer the former to the latter and I’m not picky about how it happens.  RFK Stadium is a beloved icon of the community that has played host to some of the most thrilling and cherished moments of DC sports history.  Bringing the Redskins back to DC would be an epochal and unprecedented boon to the civic life and morale of our city.
  • Of course there needs to be something between Bethesda and Tysons, but it would not be feasible. First, wherever it went, it would have to be BRT because there is simply no cost effective way to lay tracks through Mclean. Since there aren't any places I can think of between Bethesda and Tysons, it would have to operate as essentially an express service which would limit ridership. I could see it working as part of an Alexandria-Tysons-Bethesda project, but it would be difficult to get the funding for.
  • I wrote this 20 years ago in a letter to The Gazette and it was countered with the "tradition" argument.
  • The Redskins return to the RFK  site would be a dream come true for me for a host of reasons. The team has never been the same since they moved. I hope a deal can be struck to make it happen. The Landover site never worked but the extending of the blue line to Morgan and Largo made it less of a pain to get to. There is also another "Washington professional football team" coming via Vice McMahon and the XFL in 2020 at Audi Field.

  • Re: Nats Stadium--there was so much more land available to be redone over there, and baseball has a ton of games with a season that's 6 months long. That isn't comparable to bringing an NFL to Reservation 13 for a whopping 8 games every fall.

    If Skinsland was restricted to the same footprint as Nats Stadium, I'd be against it, but not vehemently. But there's zero chance of that happening, so vehemence it is. 

  • Re: Nats Stadium--there was so much more land available to be redone over there, and baseball has a ton of games with a season that's 6 months long. That isn't comparable to bringing an NFL to Reservation 13 for a whopping 8 games every fall.
  • Even when these deals claim to have no up tax payer money, they usually do contain a significant amount of public money going into them.  

    The stadium might be privately financed, but the roads and infrastructure around them are usually funded by the public

    The stadium might not contain any public money for construction, but the stadium might get to keep a portion or all of the sales tax collected at the site.  Or it might contain a hotel where the stadium gets to keep the hotel tax.  Both are 365 day a year holes in the public budget.  

  • that particular guy's plan seems all over the place

    This is a significant problem in articles like this. They're aimed at amplifying anger, not at representing reasonable viewpoints. It's easy for a reporter: repeat the lie that everybody pays for using I-66, get some angry quotes, and article done. People will nod and agree or disagree, but the discussion does not get moved forward.

  • @Dave

    Not necessarily. Senators and congresspersons surreptitiously slip provisions into spending (and other major) bills all the time that would be widely supported by their constituents. Riders are controversial because they're under the radar and have little in common with the actual legislation being passed, but are very common.

  • Yes, for all intents and purposes the previous county executive Rushern Baker basically made [Largo] the county seat for everything except the courts (which is the jurisdiction of the state). So yes, the article is out of date, as acknowledged in the intro.

  • Agree with @cmc and @Tony: raise the height limit away from the monumental core. There's a reasonable case that we don't want skyscrapers looming over the Capitol or blocking the views of the Washington Monument, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have tall buildings in neighborhoods where you can't see the Capitol dome anyway.
  • I have been to Buffalo, and can confirm that it is indeed in America, if only because you can see Canada from there.
  • I agree; the Minneapolis zoning change seems huge.

    Those of us who would love to see changes like this in DC will need to do much more effective organizing and messaging to defeat the entrenched "I got mine" NIMBYs who have the ear of the office of planning and the mayor's office.

  • @cmc

    I agree 100%. This is the most intelligent way to keep the character of the city, while also allowing for more density and population. Everyone wins. Plus, the bowl design would actually make for better views of the National Mall from every part of the city. 

  • For once, let's focus more on the benefits of building a new Stadium for the Redskins and less on the political party of the people proposing it. 

    I don't think anyone in the comments has mentioned political parties. Since the negotiations are between the Democratic Bowser administration and the Republican Trump administration, there is plenty of blame to go around.

    The discussions have been primarily over whether football stadiums are a good deal for cities.

  • It's great news and gives Minneapolis the ability to grow incrementally for decades and adopt to a growing population.  I firmly believe it will pay dividends for Minneapolis within the next 10 years, especially in terms of attracting new residents and businesses. 

    It should be interesting to see what happens once everything is set. DC NIMBY's will learn from the failure of Minneapolis NIMBYs. What can we learn from the process?

  • I invested in heated vests/gloves that runs on portable USB power banks.
  • I have long discussed that DC height limit should shaped like a bowl. The further you go from the the center of the bowl, in this case, the National Mall, the taller developers are allowed to build, so the tallest buildings would hypothetically be at DC borders. Exceptions would be made to maintain sight lines and to increase density near metros. 
  • Not so fast, I think those other projects are still slated to be built.  Notice the market hall is far to the north of the rec fields and the RFK Memorial.  But at this point, who knows?

  • "Even if townhome prices dropped by 10% in Arlington, most of the poor/middle class won't be able to afford them."

    If that happened because we allowed enough density to make it happen that'd be a huge success far beyond any of the good news we've gotten in recent year where we've seen prices staying steady or just declining a little bit. 

    So I say let's go ahead and do that. 

  • I'm arguing that increases in density won't have that much of an impact to the poor and middle class. They still won't be able to afford the urban core. Even if townhome prices dropped by 10% in Arlington, most of the poor/middle class won't be able to afford them.

    And this is due to decades of anti-density policies, not hypothetical congestion prices. Outside of a recession, prices will likely not reverse, but there's a lot that can be done to slow down price increases through increased densification and urbanization, which requires reducing the space needed for cars. 

    For those having to leave outside the core, improving mass transit makes the core more accessible. One of the best ways to do that is using market mechanisms to charge single occupancy vehicles for the negative externalities they push on to the city. 

    As for London, I would love to see some data. The transport system makes much larger swaths of London metro-area accessible for a population over twice as large. 

  • I'm arguing that increases in density won't have that much of an impact to the poor and middle class. They still won't be able to afford the urban core. Even if townhome prices dropped by 10% in Arlington, most of the poor/middle class won't be able to afford them.

    It seems to me the argument that "increases in density won't have that much of an impact" because "poor and middle class people won't be able to buy in Arlington" misses the point. 

    Population growth is going to continue. The competition for housing that's more accessible to the region's job centers is going to increase. In a world where we don't build denser, an even smaller percentage of the region's population would be able to afford them. And of course there'd be fewer units. So the region's poor and middle-class would be pushed even further to the periphery.

    I feel a bit about congestion pricing in the core the same way I do about congestion pricing on I-66. It's probably one of the few things that might address problems facing suburban car commuters, but you can lead a horse to water, etc... It'd be much easier politically to just continue urban traffic-calming measures and repurpose lanes for buses and streetcars. As the population of DC gets more urban that's inevitable, and the end-game is total gridlock downtown.

  • That's exactly what I thought too. Damn. The plans seem actually really, really good for the city and community. Too bad.
  • And they have already started construction on that plan.   There are teams ripping up the north parking lots as I write this.   
  • Duponter -

    I prefer a much more balanced, "wait and see" approach as opposed to a knee-jerk reaction either way.  And yes, you are correct, federal law prohibits the parcels in question being parsed out for private development.  While I don't have skin in the game--pun intended--I can see this development being positive for the District.  Or negative.

    Perhaps it would behoove folks to hold off on advocating one way or another until the public learns more.

    But I have to say it, many of us (including myself) suspected for years that Snyder was making moves to get the team back to D.C. and Bowser being receptive to that.  So I am not surprised.

  • When will my fellow Ward 2 citizens and residents grow tired over the games that Jack Evans plays. 

    It is long overdue for Ward 2 to have a new Council Member. 

  • How can it be done 'in secret'?  Won't it take an act of Congress?
  • The county has already moved a lot of county offices to Landover, haven't they?
  • Tracy Wilkins sure hopes to see it moved closer in.
  • "Are you arguing that keeping the existing anti-density policies are going to help with affordability?"

    I'm arguing that increases in density won't have that much of an impact to the poor and middle class. They still won't be able to afford the urban core. Even if townhome prices dropped by 10% in Arlington, most of the poor/middle class won't be able to afford them.

    Density isn't the silver bullet many on GGW think it is. 

    "In an anti-GGW world, you're condemning *more* people to that long, expensive commute."

    Except that long, expensive commutes are the hallmark of large, urban dense places. The transport mode may be different but average commute times in London (which is more dense and has a vastly better transit network) are similar to DC. And London isn't known for it's affordability...most of the poor and middle class are pushed to the outskirts. Congestion pricing hasn't done much to help them despite all the self-congratulations from those in GGW-type circles.

  • For once, let's focus more on the benefits of building a new Stadium for the Redskins and less on the political party of the people proposing it. 
  • Pfft.  In America, plans can always be tossed out the window if a Rich Business Owner wants them to be.
  • If this plan is being done in secret, then it involves something that the dealmakers fear the public would loudly oppose if they knew about it.  About the only thing I can think of that the public would loudly oppose is tax dollars being used.
  • "You have to make choices. "

    Do we? Where do you see DC politicians saying they'll take one but not the other? DC is a city that both has a vision zero policy on the books and just passed a pretty major clean energy bill. 

  • @drumz 

    You have to make choices. 

    Are you better off, politically, enacting an aggressive congestion pricing, and try for targeted reductions in MV use?

    Or are you better off pushing for a broad carbon tax as a way to shift people to more sustainable transportation alternative?

     Can you do both, politically, a carbon tax and congestion pricing of MVs?

  • A city-financed amusement park would arguably be a better use of funds and land. You'd still have a footprint of anti-urban devastation that couldn't even begin to heal for a half a century, but at least there'd be decent revenue, some job creation, and the space would be activated more than a handful of times a year. 

    Counterpoint: SKIIIINNNNNZZZZ!!!

  • Also, while I don't disagree there are example of stadiums being bad bets for cities and I long thought that Nats Park was going to be just that, I think I was wrong on that. 

    It's not a matter of "examples"; football stadiums, in general, are bad bets. Baseball stadiums are a more mixed bag, though I still think giving them public money is a bad idea.

  • A good compromise would be 20 floor buildings in parts of DC that are not in close proximity to the National Mall. The current height limit is kind of extreme to the point of making no sense. 
  • Again, vision zero includes vehicle occupants as well plus injuries so its not true to say that vision zero is only about pedestrian and bike fatalities. 

    Even then the fact that the link between safety and emissions is implicit rather than explicit doesn't take away the merits at all and certainly doesn't mean that congestion pricing is all of a sudden a "beating" for area drivers (who again, will also benefit if we can acheive vision zero). 

  • As long as the city doesn't shell out taxpayer dollars, and as long as the stadium is limited to the same parking footprint as, say, Nats stadium or Audi Field then I say, "Let's do it."

    Of course, that will never happen in a million years, because it'll be a deal-breaker for Snyder. 

  • Buffalo's a solid mid-major. Not in the big conference, but still in the conversation. 

    Buffalo should get a lot of credit for abolishing their parking requirements in the zoning code, but they did not abolish single-family zoning. Their new code is quite favorable to 2-unit lots and ADUs, however.

  • Didn't Events DC already unveil a plan that included input from the community and local stakeholders to redevelop the area into community sports? There was even going to be a farmer's market and a ton of other things:

  • This is actually good news, as long as the city doesn't shell out tax payer dollars. I've long thought that the RFK site was the best for a new Redskins stadium. Proven location, easily accessible by transit and automobile, can't be used for mixed-use (without the stadium), and centrally located.
  • Not at all; I am, however, suggesting that the guy who said he can't take transit because the park and rides are all full is perhaps not looking hard enough; perhaps he has other factors behind his transportation decisions. 

    Yeah, that particular guy's plan seems all over the place.  He says he used to time his drive so he'd get inside the beltway around 6 am.  I doubt the Vienna metro lot has been full at 6 am once in the past 5 years.   

    He just doesn't want to ride metro, nor pay the $15/day it'd probably cost him in parking and fares.  

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