We are down to the Elite Eight in our Washington Region Parking Madness! This week we will see who will become the champion in each of the four divisions.
Today, we showcase the winners of last Monday's poll to find the champions of the Capitol and Virginia divisions: the US Capitol Complex vs. the RFK Stadium site, and Bailey's Crossroads vs. Potomac Yard.
Voters deemed the US Capitol Complex a worse parking creater than the Pentagon, despite Pentagon's much larger parking crater (49 acres vs. 83 acres, approximately). But the Capitol's use of prime real estate in the middle of the city may have been the tipping point in that race.
There are over 5,800 staffers and about 2,400 Architect of the Capitol employees, and 2,200 US Capitol Police employees for a total of about 10,400 federal employees at the Capitol. Whereas the Pentagon has about 26,000 employees (including 3,000 non-DoD staff), but despite having fewer total parking spaces, the Capitol has more per employee.
In other words, assuming an average of 150 parking spaces per acre, for every 10 employees at the Pentagon there are about 4.8 parking spaces, whereas at the Capitol, there are seven parking spaces for every 10 employees. And that's not even including the Capitol's ample underground parking.
Another plot on government land advanced to the second round as RFK overwhelmingly took the vote over Navy Yard in the Battle of the Stadiums. RFK will see development far sooner than the Capitol lots, but it is much, much larger and will continue to be even after the current parkland is constructed on a large chunk of the site.
Just this past Friday, Eleanor Holmes Norton began drafting legislation to hand federal control of RFK over to the District. If passed, this will likely speed up development at RFK. Until then, RFK will continue to be a 'national park dedicated to asphalt.'
Which one will take the title of worst parking crater in the District of Columbia?
Bailey's Crossroads proved to be more of a disgraceful glut of parking than Seven Corners, despite it being a little smaller and a little further from a Metro station. Perhaps Bailey's Crossroads' location along the transit-rich Columbia Pike corridor makes it a more pressing site for a makeover.
Virginians pan Bailey's Crossroads for its poor navagability, even more so than Seven Corners or Annandale, exacerbated by the freeway-style interchange at Columbia Pike and Leesburg Pike, plus the many curb cuts that obfuscate traffic flow.
Potomac Yard upset another larger crater when voters chose it over Annandale. Despite impending plans to completely redevelop the big box corridor and add a new street grid, the gateway between Arlington and Alexandria languishes in parking purgatory as we wait for the North Potomac Yards Small Area Plan to unfold.
By the time the Potomac Yard Metro station is completed, the area will look very different. In the mean time, its central location and traffic-clogged streets drew more ire than Annandale's mess of strip malls. Will it be Virginia's worst crater inside the Beltway?
Virginia has several parking craters inside the Beltway. Which do you think is the worst?
On Friday we will take another look at the worst Maryland has to offer. Thank you for voting!