Housing Complex

Something Better for RFK Parking Lots?

The plan. (http://www.capitolriverside.org/)

On Saturday night, the Fall Massive electronic music festival on the parking lot south of RFK Stadium roared throughout the surrounding neighborhood of Hill East—and the neighborhood roared back, forcing them to turn down the volume way earlier in the night than planned.

A small victory for residents, perhaps. But they know it'll probably just happen again. This is where the city's special events arm tends to dump noisy shows and competitions that may generate revenue but not much else. Many residents still remember when the city signed a ten-year contract in 2002 for a Grand Prix track on two of RFK's parking lots, and had to back off the plan when residents discovered no environmental analysis had been done before 200 race cars were welcomed three days a year.

Just yesterday, though, a new proposal cropped up for the north parking lots: Rip out the concrete and lay down grass for kids to play on. A group calling itself the Friends of the Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park just launched a website with a sketch of what the new park could look like. Actually, it's not a new idea at all; the National Capital Planning Commission proposed it five years ago as part of a planning study for all the areas around RFK. But it gained traction through the Mayor's SustainableDC initiative crowdsourcing website thingy, receiving more votes than any other proposal (there's a meeting tonight where the idea will likely come up again).

There are broader ambitions for Hill East, of course, including a new mixed-use neighborhood that's been extensively discussed but probably won't get rolling in earnest until developments like the Southwest Waterfront and McMillan are out of the ground. Focusing on one piece of it could be more feasible, and build the case for more capital-intensive development on the west side of the stadium—not to mention get existing contamination out the ground and stop chemicals from running off into the river in the mean time.

  • r. u. kidding

    Trolley cars, a dog park, a bar that serves over priced craft brew and a cafe - that's what it needs.

  • no.im.not

    Public housing, abandoned buildings, some crack ho's and a liquor store carrying singles -- that's what it needs.

  • Kingman Park Resident

    Hey! All of this is being proposed and the Kingman Park
    Community has NOT been involved in the discussion.

    Something is wrong with this process. Please involve the community that will be affected! We in Kingman Park has to be included in this conversation.

  • Art

    It is always interesting to see non-revenue generating uses proposed for the RFK site. Do people realize that it costs money to maintain that property? Further, who's going to pay to design and construct the park?

  • Carpool

    The group proposing this park came from??? I agree with Kingman Park Resident, there's has been no prior discussion of such "Proposal." The soil under the parking lot surface is heavily contaminated and has been for 50+ years, removing the asphalt will allow the toxic soup to become airborne. How "Healthy" is THAT???

  • Scotte

    If the comments will read a little deeper than you'll see a number of resume generating amenities. The conversation has only just begun so those of you for Kingman don't fret. The community WILL have a voice. The proposal is a great start will a foundation based on current and proposed plans for the area.

  • Scotte

    Commenters not comments and revenue not resumes. That's what I get for auto correct

  • trulee pist

    Sports on the Hill is a great organization, and this is a great plan for part of the Anacostia Waterfront. Here's hoping all the neighborhoods and organizations get behind this and promote it to its completion. Kids need more teams, more sports, more ball fields.

  • D

    Great idea and also an excellent initial rendering. It makes much more sense to better serve the existing neighborhood (and all city residents) with a sports park than to try to build another neighborhood from scratch here.

  • GF

    they should build a velodrome there. Track cycling, that's what we need.

  • Janette

    I'm a Kingman Park resident and this sounds awesome. It's boggled my mind that nothing has been done to develop the land in the northern area given the access to the nearby Island parks make it ideal for some sort of park area. Love everything about it. Will we see any movement on it in the next few years though?

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