Youth Sports Park Near RFK Stadium Gets Boost in Support

by Andrew Ramonas March 4, 2015 at 3:50 pm 13 Comments

Capitol Hill residents are ratcheting up pressure on the D.C. government to bring playing fields, bike trails and a farmers market pavilion to parking lots near RFK Stadium.

Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park, which has been in the works since at least 2011, would bring the fields and other outdoor amenities to the parking lots north of RFK — if the District will fund them.

The development “could be a potential boon to Hill East,” ANC 6B chairwoman Kirsten Oldenburg wrote in a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. The commission’s planning committee approved that letter last night.

“The CRYSP vision is to turn environmentally unfriendly and wasteful surface parking lots into an active gathering space for youth and adults sports,” Oldenburg wrote.

Bob Coomber, a board member of Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park, said the park on federal land that the District now leases would fulfill a “great need” in the District: outdoor space for children.

“I have a very active almost 4-year-old and an ever-more-active 1-year-old who are going to need space to run around and play,” he said. “Frankly, they don’t have enough room right now.”

A representative for Bowser didn’t respond immediately to an inquiry. As councilwoman, the mayor endorsed a resolution in 2013 in support of the park. Charles Allen, Ward 6’s councilman, also has backed the project.

All ANC 6B commissioners are expected to vote on the letter at the group’s full board meeting March 10.

Photos via Facebook/Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park

  • tryagain

    Wow. That is a horrible design. First off, why on earth would you put the outdoor market portion of the design closest to one of the busiest roads coming into the city. That was not a smart move at all. You are just asking for a pedestrian to get hit by a car. Secondly, the path closest to the Anacostia River seems incredibly narrow. How do you expect bikers, joggers, and dog walkers to share that path. Plus there seems to be no rest areas to enjoy any of the vistas this area has to offer. Lastly, I see only one baseball field and 4 soccer fields. Last I heard DPR was screaming for more baseball fields to accommodate the needs of all the softball leagues and kickball leagues that seem to be popping up in the area. Soccer leagues have never seemed to complain about a shortage of fields in the city. I think you need to start again. Maybe this time you will come up with a design that makes sense. Not one that wastes everyone’s time and money.

    • Willie

      seriously debbie downer? have you been to the site before? do you know what’s there? wasted space and concrete. this plan looks amazing and would be great for the neighborhood.

      • Nelson

        I second Willie’s comments. It’s nothing but wasted space now. ANYTHING would be an improvement. I’m guessing Tryagain would rather enjoy no vistas at all while sitting on a concrete barrier.

        • Willie

          Thank you Nelson. SF makes great points as well. Great plan. Fields are multi-use, and the market would have to be next to a road. I think tryagain is a spy!

      • Not this design

        Live right next to the area. I completely agree with tryagain. Horrible looking design. Do you have any idea how much topographical changes there are in the parking lot alone? I am a contractor. I know. Take way too much dirt, time, and money to make this thing worth trying. There is not even a playground for kids. There is one there now, but apparently the designers have chosen that the kids do not deserve to have a new playground put back in. Nice.

        • Nelson

          Not this design – as a contractor, what would your recommendation to the ANC be?

          • Not this deign

            I am not a designer. Just a contractor. I can build whatever you draw for me. But I can tell you that there are quite a few parts of this drawing I question and do not like. I can also tell you that this design shown will cost close to $18 million to complete. That figure I am completely confident with.

        • okayavenue

          If you look carefully, the proposed plan calls for a renovation of the existing playground. So, not only do our neighbors’ kids deserve to have a playground, they deserve to have a new—and hopefully much safer—one as a part of this new park.

    • SF

      I don’t understand your points. The farmer’s market pavilion is near the road to be, you know, accessible. Why would people be getting hit by cars in this area, where there are plenty of crosswalks and the pavilion is clearly separated from the road? Also, the path next to the river already exists, and is plenty wide enough for the uses you mention. It’s wider than most parts of the Rock Creek Park trail that sees far greater traffic. Finally, the soccer fields are multiple-purpose and a good use of space in the otherwise strangely shaped parcel.

      This comment is so nonsensical I’d almost think it was planted here to increase comments and page views.

  • notagain

    I am going to have to say that I live 1 block away from this area. I agree something needs to happen here. Especially since DC United and the Redskins have moved out of this stadium. For those that do not live in the area, the point made earlier about severe topographic changes are correct. To try to make this area flat for sports fields will be difficult. Even if you are in the middle of the parking lot, you can see the difference in height as close as two drive aisles away. I think try again was trying to point out is the current farmers market is in the middle of the parking lot, under the metro tracks. This design moves it right next to Benning Road. I have heard good an bad comments about this for years. Where’s a dog park? Where’s a new bike share station? Where’s a playground? I will say it again. Something does need to go here. But keep in mind that design is to solve a problem. I do not think this design solves any problem. All it seems to do is just put fields down in an open space.

  • Lolo

    Events DC currently rents out the parking lots — they call them “festival grounds”. http://eventsdc.com/Venues/FestivalGrounds.aspx What is the incentive to give up this revenue stream? Have they been involved in the project at all?

  • okayavenue

    Live directly across the street from this park area, but not affiliated with the project creators. For those of you pointing out that Capital Bikeshare and the playground are missing from this design, the rendering is 6 pages and those amenities are featured on subsequent pages.

    • notagain

      The one thing I don’t see on page 6 is how much crime will go up with so many places to hide and all that low income housing just a block away.


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