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“This project will bring thousands of additional cars and shuttle buses to our already congested residential neighborhood”

by Prince Of Petworth August 25, 2015 at 3:10 pm 132 Comments

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Lucas Keene

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to share a petition that many neighbors of Perry Place NE in Brookland have put together in opposition to the parking garage for Children’s Hospital that is set to be built right behind our block, next to the Brookland Metro.

Please see below for more information as well as a direct link to the petition:

Several Perry Place Neighbors have joined together to stop the development of a garage in our small, family oriented community.

We have schools nearby and many children who play in parks near the proposed garage. Like many other urban areas, our children suffer from respiratory ailments, like asthma which will be made worse by the huge influx of cars to the proposed garage.

That’s why we created a petition to Kurt Newman, MD, President Children’s National Medical Center, Ramu Potarazu, Secretary-Treasurer, and 8 others.

If you are interested in signing the petition, please click here.”

  • brightwoodess

    So much NIMBY, so little time.

    • Q-Street

      Yeah, who cares about people who actually live in DC amirite!

  • eggs

    “Won’t somebody think of the CHILDREN??? Well, OUR children, not THOSE children who need to get to and use the Children’s Hospital…”

    • +1

    • SomePeopleOnThisSiteSheesh

      The ironing is delicious

  • 11luke

    Why isn’t this retail or residential? Seems like that would be a better fit, no?

    • neighbor

      All that retail and food needs to daytime traffic if it’s going to survive.

    • Eponymous

      Because the parcel is tucked behind the Comcast building, and Comcast won’t sell to the developer so that they can do a bigger mixed-use project there.
      .
      Just in case anyone needed another reason to hate Comcast.

    • anonymouse

      Pretty sure there was a small residential building proposed that was shut down by neighbors because traffic and parking. :)

      • Eponymous

        See below. To my knowledge, that’s not true. There are definitely other residential proposals on other parcels that have the NIMBYs out in full force – 901 Monroe, 901 Evarts, the redevelopment of the WMATA bus loop, etc. But I’m not aware of anything like that here – especially not in the recent past.

  • Melbot87

    Those families of sick children and their disgusting cars. They are the worst.

    /s

  • transplanted

    “Several Perry Place Neighbors have joined together to stop the development of a garage in our small, family oriented community. We have schools nearby and many children who play in parks near the proposed garage. Like many other urban areas, our children suffer from respiratory ailments, like asthma which will be made worse by the huge influx of cars to the proposed garage.”

    Ah, yes. Nothing says “think of the children” quite as clearly as opposing a parking facility for the Children’s Hospital.

  • Katie

    A Children’s hospital wants to build a parking garage?! What a travesty! Think of the children!

    • el

      +1 I think the people coming to Children’s should have to drag their sick kids on public transportation! Or park on the surrounding residential streets? bc that is better for these NIMBY residents than a dedicated garage?

      • Caroline

        +1 because the first thing the parents of sick children need is to make the block a dozen times before getting into the hospital.

      • Q-Street

        Or just use the existing garage? Or just use the existing valet service?

  • HerrDurrr

    Is this a joke? haha. Take a lap…

  • K

    “Don’t help the sick children because the children might get sick.”

    • A Better Way

      It’s about cars and responsible planning, not sick kids. Everyone wants to help kids, but adding cars to the detriment of our kids and neighborhood warrants neighbors objecting to this development. If you lived here, you would agree.

      • Anon

        Then what is your proposed solution? Do not assume everyone would agree with you.

        • Q-Street

          Actually, I think you can generally assume people will be reactionary douches and label any residential consideration as NIMBY.

  • Kelly

    Usually the argument is “think of the kids”

    But now its, “f__k the sick little hospital ridden kids”.

    Classy…

  • Ronnie

    “snarling traffic, spewing pollution and threatening pedestrian safety” – Who wrote this…a realtor?

  • Duponter

    This is too hilarious to be real, right?

    “Like many other urban areas, our children suffer from respiratory ailments, like asthma…” Um, what a wildly generalized and unsupported statement. Good thing you live near Children’s Hospital, I guess.

    • el

      They could move their children out of urban areas if they truly believe living in an urban area makes their children sick…

  • anon

    They have to be trolling us, right?

    • The Enabler

      God, I hope so.

  • anon

    They have to be trolling us, right?

  • Anon

    They are worried about asthma and they live in a city? If you really cared about your child’s asthma you would move to the country. But then they would be petitioning for the parking garage because they might have to drive to Children’s Hospital once they moved out of city.

    • This is the same kind of person who goes to a steakhouse and writes a bad Yelp review about the lack of vegan options.

  • C

    i wish there was a way for me to subtly upvote all of these comments without interrupting the thread with lots of +1s

    oh well, you get a +1! and you get a +1! everyone gets a +1!!!

    • BRP

      +1

  • Anonymous

    NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY

    • A Better Way

      You are correct. But it is also a poor use of land. And poor use for the entire neighborhood.

  • wdc

    Wait, why does a parking garage need to go near a metro? In order to shuttle those drivers a mile down the road to Childrens? Doesn’t make any sense. Metro-adjacent real estate is too valuable to put a parking garage on, no?

    • Anon

      First, the parcel is as valuable as its owners decide it is. If Children’s owns it or has an option on it and decides that its best use is as a garage (and the property is zoned for it), it’s no one else’s job to decide otherwise. Second, if a garage/shuttle stop next to the Metro allows people to take the metro and then a shuttle to the hospital, it might make things more convenient for their staff and patients — certainly a worthwhile thing for the hospital to pursue, no?

      • anon

        They have a shuttle already from Columbia Heights, don’t know about Brookland.

        • Anon

          OK, but if they’re planning on building more parking somewhere, doesn’t it make sense to combine it with a decent shuttle location?

        • wdc

          There’s already a shuttle from Brookland metro.
          Just seems like they’d be a LOT better off building a multi-floor garage on one of the many surface lots that surround the hospital.
          But ultimately, I have no dog in this fight.

          • jonah

            All the surrounding lots are full to capacity. Taking one out of commission to build a multi-level garage means relocating those cars somewhere. My guess is they will build this in order to offset those cars, then develop their other off-site surface lots into multi-story garages as well.

          • ron

            +1 to Jonah comment
            Good insight. That is precisely how admins think about these things.

      • Hmmm

        “First, the parcel is as valuable as its owners decide it is.”

        In this case the region, and the nation, made a major investment in heavy rail. It seems like there is a legitimate public interest in leveraging that investment to get the most riders, and hence get more people off the road, and also to maximize walkable housing.

        OTOH if most of the folks using the shuttle will be metro riders that might be a good thing. It seems okay to ask for relative shuttle use vs parking usage. Also of course private shuttles often undermine ridership on public buses – maybe the hospital could subsidize more metrobus service instead?

        • Eponymous

          @Hmmm. No, no. Slavish compliance with landowners’ desires is the American Way. If we make them build walkable development, the terrorists win.

    • Duponter

      So as long as parents can take their sick kids on the train to get to a hospital, there is no need for a much more convenient option? Just stop.

      • wdc

        There is a garage UNDER Children’s for patients. Have you taken a sick child to Children’s? I have. Ever visited a pediatrician associated with Children’s? I do, regularly. This garage is not for those people. You can back the hell off now.

      • Eponymous

        Huh? What’s convenient about driving to a parking garage, sitting in traffic to get in (there’s only going to be one very narrow access point for this garage), then waiting for a shuttle to take you and your sick child to the hospital?
        .
        Children’s has a massive surface parking lot on their land. There is absolutely no reason why they can’t build more parking on site, where it would be more convenient for patients and less disruptive to infrastructure. They just don’t want to, likely because they want to build something else on that surface lot, and digging a parking garage beneath it will be more expensive. I get that, but D.C. is a city and at some point we’re going to run out of land – especially near the Metro.

        • jonah

          “There is absolutely no reason why they can’t build more parking on site”

          I can think of at least one reason. Where do they move those spots they lose while they do this work? Seems they need to build a garage somewhere to move cars to temporarily if their master plan is to develop their existing “massive surface parking lot” into a parking garage.

          • Eponymous

            There are logistical issues with any construction project. Are you suggesting that they never develop that land because they would temporarily lose one level of parking (while possibly increasing it several times over once the project is complete)?

        • Former Children’s Employee

          The “huge surface lot” on Childrens land is completely incorrect. First off, Childrens does not own it’s land, MedStar does and they lease it to Children’s. All of the surface lots on the grounds are utilized by MedStar for their employees, not by Children’s. Only nurses, doctors, and a handful of other employees are able to park at Children’s. All others can park offsite and take a shuttle (there are several, and yes there is one to Brookland). Currently, the closest option for parking for employees is at DCUSA. I would imagine that this garage is to give even more close parking to the many workers who commute from far afield to work at Children’s. It most likely is not for patients. I have worked previously at MWHC, and I can tell you that Children’s has far fewer options than other hospitals when it comes to employee parking. While it would be really great to sit back and tell people to take metro, this simply is not an option to many people who live far outside DC. Also, if you want to recruit the best health care professionals, you need to be better than your competitors at something, and as an employee, children’s doesn’t have much (aside from the feel good factor).

          • anon formerly associated with children’s

            +1

        • Chris

          I love it when someone says “there is absolutely no reason” as if the people running children’s are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses and can’t list a hundred reasons why that’s not the case.

          “Oh, we never thought of building on our parking lot. Thanks, Eponymous!”

          • Eponymous

            Give me a break. If Children’s is leasing all of their land from WHC, they can figure out some arrangement for more parking, just like they figured out this current arrangement with Douglas. There’s an obscene amount of under-utilized land on and immediately around the WHC complex–some owned by the hospitals, some by CUA, and some by the AFRH (which needs funds in a bad way)–someone within walking distance will take Children’s money given the right incentives, and that would be a lot better for congestion in the long term. The truth is, it was cheaper and more convenient for them to screw the neighbors in this instance. Good for them, I guess.

        • Former Children’s Employee

          The “huge surface lot” on Childrens land is completely incorrect. First off, Childrens does not own it’s land, MedStar does and they lease it to Children’s. All of the surface lots on the grounds are utilized by MedStar for their employees, not by Children’s. Only nurses, doctors, and a handful of other employees are able to park at Children’s. All others can park offsite and take a shuttle (there are several, and yes there is one to Brookland). Currently, the closest option for parking for employees is at DCUSA. I would imagine that this garage is to give even more close parking to the many workers who commute from far afield to work at Children’s. It most likely is not for patients. I have worked previously at MWHC, and I can tell you that Children’s has far fewer options than other hospitals when it comes to employee parking. While it would be really great to sit back and tell people to take metro, this simply is not an option to many people who live far outside DC. Also, if you want to recruit the best health care professionals, you need to be better than your competitors at something, and as an employee, children’s doesn’t have much (aside from the feel good factor).
          Also, someone mentioned Walter Reed – first off, that had not been finalized at all, and there are still fights going on between the Feds and DC about how Walter Reed should be developed. I would love to see the entire Children’s campus relocated to Walter Reed, but it’s not happening. Even if the deal goes through, it will take years to happen. The only thing moving at this point would be the research facility.

        • Former Children’s Employee

          Eponymous, perhaps you aren’t familiar with the machine that is MedStar.

  • anon

    I get it though, why isn’t Children’s Hospital building the garage onsite? This location is not at all close to the hospital, and yes, there are still surface lots at the hospital that could be turned into a garage. It just makes more sense to build parking at the hospital rather than a remote location since the room is available. I don’t understand this – they’ll still have to shuttle employees back and forth. And frankly, that means each employee is going to have to arrive, what, an extra 20-30 minutes early to park, wait for a shuttle and then get bused over to work. Then the reverse in the evening. I guarantee those making the decision will reserve parking for themselves and inconvenience those lower on the totem pole.

    • GBinCH

      I’m also not entirely sure where they’d put a garage over there that would cause an issue to Perry Place, which is a dead-end road that backs up to the metro-line. Just looking at the map, it doesn’t appear like there is much space for a garage over there.

    • Truxton K

      I don’t think Children’s controls much of the open land around them to build garage deck. You’ve got VA, privately owned medical practices etc. There is already a lot of high-density parking that is accessible to Children’s so I am guessing this will be overflow/a pressure release on parking being used by the Dr. offices etc.

      As a dad who has had to turn to Children’s in an emergency for my kid, I am very glad to have it in the neighborhood and more than happy to accommodate their parking needs to keep them nearby.

      • anon

        I know the VA owns quite a bit of the land over there, but the hospital still has surface lots that could be turned into parking decks. It would definitely disrupt their ability to provide parking for their staff and people visiting patients while it is being built, but I feel like they should exhaust that option prior to building one a mile or more away.

        • Anon

          How do you know they don’t have plans for that space? Or who actually owns it? Or that they didn’t exhaust that option before turning to this plan?

          • anon

            Well, if they did exhaust all those options or have other expansion plans then I guess they should publicize it so people understand their reasoning a little better. I can be a very reasonable person if such things are fully explained. I’m not opposed to a hospital building a parking garage, I’m opposed to what seems like a very illogical location for it.

          • Eponymous

            They’re not running out of space. Children’s actually managed to get Congress to give them a big chunk of Walter Reed FOR FREE recently. I totally support the hospital and it’s mission, but I don’t think we should be giving out free land. And if we are going to give them free land, we should demand half-sensible land use.

  • textdoc

    I don’t understand — why would a parking garage for the Children’s Hospital be located near Brookland Metro? Is the hospital itself staying at its current location, and they’re going to have a shuttle from the garage to the actual hospital?
    .
    I wouldn’t be thrilled about this either. At least a parking garage is more efficient than a surface parking lot, but they’re still unsightly and encourage driving/car traffic. It’s a shame that the entire Washington Hospital Center is set up in such a car-oriented way.

    • anon

      Because hospitals need a lot of space. Isn’t GW the only hospital close to a metro (those I suppose Howard is too, sort of, but I don’t know anyone that has gone there). Georgetown is pretty car centric, I know for me to try to get there via bus would take well over an hour and I can drive in 15-20 minutes. WHC is much closer and much more feasible for me to get to via bus, but the staff at Georgetown is better (for the types of things I’ve needed anyway).

    • Doc

      Depending on the purpose of your hospital visit, lugging a sick child on public transportation isn’t always desirable (i.e. you need to have parking options at a hospital).

      • textdoc

        I’m not saying they shouldn’t have ANY parking. Obviously sick kids, people with mobility issues, etc. shouldn’t have to get there by bus/Metro. But the site is set up in such a way that it’s like a little bit of suburbia in the middle of a city.
        .
        It would be good if employees and visitors had better public-transportation options for getting to the site.

        • anon

          The H buses run across town and connect Brookland and Columbia Heights. There is a designated shuttle for the hospital from Columbia Heights, again not sure about Brookland. My guess is people can drive there faster with a more reliable commute than what this city’s public transportation system can provide.

        • Eponymous

          +1. The WHC campus is actually one of the biggest job centers in the area in terms of # of employees. And McMillan is supposed to be built sometime in the next decade (I hope). They need a Metro station there. Period. Children’s will always need parking for patients either way (it doesn’t usually make sense to deal with Metro AND a sick kid!), but between WHC, the Veteran’s hospital, and Children’s there has to be an urban-format parking option that works.

          • AnonPetworth

            There will never be a metro stop there. Period. No train currently runs under/near the hospital so it would require digging a new tunnel connecting Brookland and Columbia Heights, which makes no sense when there is already free and frequent shuttle service from the hospital to both of those metro stops AND 2 WMATA bus lines between them that drive into the heart of the medical campus.

          • Eponymous

            Gosh, digging a tunnel you say? Sounds like something no city has ever done before! Also, why Columbia Heights? Navy Yard-North Capitol Street-WHC-Silver Spring would make a lot more sense. It’s almost impossible to get WHC to 395 without sitting through a half dozen light cycles getting onto NY Ave. Once NoMA is built out and Capital Crossing and McMillan are finished, there won’t be enough buses in the world to move people through there in an efficient manner.
            .
            Also, if you think the shuttles and Metro buses are going anywhere fast once you dump thousands more cars into the area around the Brookland Metro, think again.

      • anon

        +1 haven’t had to lug a sick child to the hospital, but I did have to shuttle clean clothes and food back and forth for my sister when my BIL landed there a few years back. The trip from southern Alexandria to there would not have been enjoyable via public transit.

      • As others have noted, there is parking available underneath the hospital. I have to take my child semi-regularly and have always utilized the garage below the hospital. However, I will note that it gets very full quickly.

    • K

      Children’s already runs a free shuttle from the Brookland Metro for staff and patients and they run shuttles to their other offsite staff parking lots. Maybe this garage is a way to consolodate parking into one garage. From what I’ve been told Children’s has several small staff lots offsite currently.

  • K

    Their may very well be some legitimate reason’s to oppose this parking garage. But the way it is written makes it seem so NIMBY and out of touch. Who thought it be a good idea to frame their opposition to a parking garage for a Children’s Hospital the way they did.

    • anon

      +1

  • Doc

    It’s not entirely clear to me *exactly* where this proposed garage would be located…can anyone clear that up? Based on google earth, I’m guessing in the in “industrial” area near comcast. If that’s the case, it’s not clear to me why a parking garage for the hospital is less desirable than what is there now. It’s not like they are clear cutting a forest for this project.

    • ANON

      yes, near the comcast facility

    • CODEL

      +1 Yes, it seems like the industrial area behind the comcast. A parking garage might even be an improvement over what is there now.

    • Eponymous

      I don’t think the issue is desirability. It’s practicality. I don’t live right near the site, but I have been there and basically it’s tucked behind Comcast with just one really narrow road leading in. There are no plans to add any other access points – and in fact they can’t because of the way the parcel is shaped.
      .
      I don’t see how 1400 vehicles are supposed to get in and out of there without backing up traffic all the way down MI Ave in both directions. Personally I don’t drive so I don’t even care that much about that, but it’s going to suck for people who have to drive, and with all of the other development coming to the area it could cause serious problems moving people.

  • P

    I think a parking garage is a terrible way to use Metro-adjacent land and this would have a terrible effect on the Michigan Ave traffic problem which already exists. I also think the “think of the children” argument is nonsensical in this instance.

    Would make much more sense to build parking closer to the hospital. Old Soldier’s Home, McMillan, CUA, Trinity didn’t have anything to offer?

  • Neighbor

    I must say that I don’t understand why the parking garage would be near the metro. And there is a lot for WHC way out at the border with Maryland. There seems to be so much excess, closer land in that parcel.

    I am not against it, just confused as to why the hospitals don’t build closer parking. Clearly, they would if they could, but why can’t they?

    Also, Brookland is not particularly congested. It would optimally be a bit more densely developed, in my opinion. All those convents and seminaries make the area feel a bit empty.

    • wdc

      I have to drive past WHC, past Catholic, through the new development, and up Monroe a couple of times a week. At rush hours, that entire route is VERY congested, especially the bit from the edge of CU to 12th St. A parking garage in the midst of it would be nightmarish.

  • Brooklander

    I’m a big supporter of more development and density in Brookland (as many people are who have recently moved to the area), but am staunchly against this parking garage. Putting a parking garage right next to Metro is backwards thinking and is a band-aid to fix the larger issue, which is poor planning around the hospital center area.

    Let’s remember, this garage is NOT for patients, it’s for employees outside of DC to drive to the hospital (or a mile+ from it). Smart growth in a city doesn’t occur by inviting more cars, it occurs by creating public transit friendly communities with walkable retail.

    • Dupont Resident

      So, you moved to a rapidly developing area presumably to take benefit in the fact that it’s rapidly developing but now you don’t like the development? Did you not think about how undeveloped land could be used for purposes other than your own desire?

      Also, are you a doctor or nurse? Do you work the hours they do? I believe those providers deserve parking near the hospital and shouldn’t be forced to use public transportation particularly when the public transportation doesn’t run 24 hours and is unreliable. I hope it isn’t your child who needs emergency care when the doctor is stuck on the metro.

      • Eponymous

        I believe those providers should have access to on-site parking AND good transit options. I don’t think they should have to sit in traffic for 20 min to get into a garage and THEN take a shuttle on congested roads for another mile.

  • I Dont Get It

    Don’t forget to complain about the shuttles Washington Hospital Center that have been running from the Brookland Metro snarling traffic, spewing pollution and threatening pedestrian safety for years.

  • ANON

    why can’t they use the parking facilities that already exist at the hospital center? I’ve been numerous times at all hours (morning,noon,night) and the parking garage has never been at capacity

    • I too have been there numerous times at all hours, and have seen a number of times where the garage is completely maxed out in the morning. Adding all of the staff parking to that would make it unbearable. Not necessarily advocating for the proposed garage, but that’s likely why they can’t use the current one available for patients.

    • Chris

      You haven’t been there that often or are lying.

      I’ve spent far more time at that hospital than I’ve ever wanted to and the lot is over capacity all the time.

      • Anon

        I’m referring to the parking garage next to the Washington hospital center I was there daily for 2 wks in April and it was never full.

        • I’m guessing you were there to be at WHC and not Children’s. WHC and Children’s are not the same hospital system. Staff of Children’s cannot use the employee parking for WHC, and if they started taking up the WHC patient parking, well, that garage would be over capacity as well. And yes, I have frequented both, and I parked daily at WHC for longer than 2 weeks.

    • Hard choice!

      Total BS. It’s full by 9:30 AM every morning. I go once a week.

  • Anonymous

    Children’s only owns the land it sits on. The rest is owned by Washington Hospital Center. I believe this proposed garage will be primarily for staff parking. Only docs and higher up admins are allowed to park on site currently (and night shift, when parking is not an issue). The rest of day staff have to park off-site in various garages and lots leased by Children’s and then take shuttles to the hospital. Staff pay a nominal fee to park in these lots, but most of the parking cost is subsidized by the hospital. Employee parking has long been a major complaint. Patient parking is also an issue due to high demand, low supply.

  • JJ

    This garage is for staff of Children’s Hospital I believe, not families of the patients.

    With the extensive construction of the McMillan project, it would make a lot more sense to have the Children’s hospital employee garages built right by the hospital…or have metro programs. Why not shuttle from Brookland Metro vs putting in a garage. The area has become a gridlock set of streets since the overhaul.

    • anon formerly associated with children’s

      There is a shuttle from Brookland Metro

  • jonah

    Very educated guess based on knowledge from a friend who works on this campus. All the parking lots between VA, WHC, NRH, and Children’s which are for hospital staff are maxed to capacity. There is patient parking that is different than the staff lots. There are several off-site parking lots around Catholic that are also full. Several of these hospitals also rent spots in high-rise apartment buildings when they are not filled. There are a few in Columbia Heights, though at least one of those has not renewed their lease. They try to put lots east and west of the hospital campus to accommodate staff driving in from those sides of DC to avoid congestion right around the hospital. They also run shuttles to both Columbia Heights and Brookland metros to encourage staff to use the metro. Since the shuttle is already running it likely is resource savings to build commuter lots near their shuttle stops. Also realize that hospitals are open 24 hrs so many workers do not have shifts that perfectly coincide with the metro running which means they likely have to drive to the campus or an off-site lot to get to work to provide care.

    • LittleBluePenguin

      This. Exactly this.

    • Hard choice!

      Too thoughtful, go elsewhere :-)

  • anon

    I estimate that between WHC, VA, and CHC they’re on about 60-70 acres, surely they could work together to provide enough parking to accommodate all their staff and patients

  • Eponymous

    I don’t oppose parking garages in general, and I’m all in favor of development. But this is just horrible, horrible urban planning and land use. Look at this site on Google Maps and the way the streets intersect at the access point to this garage, then picture 1400 cars moving through there 3x/day when employees change shifts. It’s REALLY going to suck for anyone who has to move through that area on a daily basis. And that’s even before you consider all of the other (thankfully more transit-oriented) development in the pipeline in this part of Ward 5.
    .
    We constantly make idiotic decisions in D.C. when it comes to transit (Streetcars with no dedicated right of way? Gazillions of $ in “studies” on a dedicated bus line on 16th St with no progress? WMATA?), and it makes getting around SO much harder/more frustrating than it needs to be.

  • Rich

    Everyone has an opinion and they’re mostly uninformed. It’s amazing how long it takes in reading this thread to actually find out where the site is (a landlocked parcel that doesn’t sound like a great candidate for other uses), who would use the garage (hospital staff), and what alternatives exist (none, at present in a practical sense; Children’s doesn’t own proper space and I would guess that working out something with the VA & WHC would take longer than building the structure). OP’s arguments are just hyperbole and easy to dismiss on their face in their exaggeration. There’s no mention of height or anything else that would make it an eyesore or a blight. It’s not clear what 1400 cars would actually translate into in terms of traffic engineering. If they owners rely on shuttles, then it seems likely this reduce make the traffic flow better than if someone was proposing that 1400 cars come and go at shift change, all at the same time. Normally, I’m all for transit-oriented development and putting garages where they belong (next to the users’ building), but this seems much more complicated and other than waiting (possibly forever) until McMillian Park begins to be redone, I haven’t seen anything resembling a likely alternative.

    • anon formerly associated with children’s

      +10000

      • LittleBluePenguin

        Exactly.

  • Brookland Resident

    I live in Brookland. I’m about 4 blocks away from the proposed location (I’m at Taylor and 10th, NE). Where do I sign to say I support this. I don’t know what traffic everyone is complaining about. I mean, I’d rather the space be turned into something useful, like housing or a grocery store (I mean, can we please have a real grocery store? Some of us aren’t wealthy enough to shop at Yes). But, this petition is kinda ridiculous.

  • Planner

    First of all, the location of the garage is not necessarily bad planning. It is pretty common to flank active railroad tracks with garages and warehouses, so as to buffer the surrounding neighborhood. In this sense, a garage can be an ideal use for the proposed location, in the way that residential might not be – not many people want to live right next to the tracks. (I believe hat these are not just metro tracks but the line connecting DC to the northwest, with freight rail traffic.)
    Also, I would be interested to learn more about the potential traffic access plans. The number 3,00 cars & shuttles has been cited; but if this is an employee garage, which will be open 24 hours, that could translate to 1000 cars per shift, which is not low, but also a very different impact than if that total were not spread out over time. (I’d also like to know more about the split between cars & shuttles in that count.) It also isn’t clear how the users will access the garage – if via Perry Place (which would seem unlikely), that could be very impactful. If it’s via the other streets bordering the site, including Bunker Hill, Otis, and Michigan, that could be a very different impact to the neighbors.
    In this case, as in so many, it’s the details that count, but rather than fomenting complete opposition, it would seem that the best approach would be to influence the details, rather than trying to quash the project altogether.

  • Steve

    Interesting to see the NIMBYs and popville know-it-all/know nothings weigh in on this. The VA was maxed out on parking space in the 70’s, when the politically connected VA chief Aladino Gavazzi got one of the only parking structures in the VA system built at the Wasington DC VA built. They have their second parking structure built now, but still have free valet parking for vets to come to their appointments. Almost all VA staff park at the Soldiers’ Home and take a shuttle to work. Did you know that many nurses work 3 12 hour shifts back to back? These are middle income employees who often live a distance away from the hospital and need to get there to work 7 to 7. How is that going to work if they take metro? Just build this parking so the staff can take care of the kids and their parents can park under the hospital when they want to.

    • Eponymous

      I love, love, love how many people from other areas of the city are calling those of us who are against this NIMBYs. Ward 5 has more undesirable industrial land use dumped on it than any other ward. There are TWO trash transfer stations here. Too many chop shops to count. Paint shops, bus garages, animal shelters. Please, oh dear Ward 1/2/3 residents. Tell me more about all those darned NIMBYs in Ward 5.

      • anon

        Chop and paint shops aside, those are important municipal functions that have to go somewhere. I’m pretty confident that real estate pressures will force them elsewhere eventually.

        • anon

          (as in, because Ward 5 is starting to see all kinds of development)

  • JohnH

    As a couple others have stated, this is most likely for employee parking. My friend who is a nurse there drives to a parking garage near Union State and takes a shuttle from there – pretty much adding 30 minutes to her commute. Now, the logic of them buying a plot near a metro station – seems a bit illogical (and doesn’t seem cost effective if this is for employees commuting with their cars – they can get a non-metro accessible plot for cheaper). This letter, though, is absurd.

  • It’s Just Me

    I love all the comments that hospital workers should take public transportation. Many hospital workers work 12 hour shifts – so how are they supposed to take public transportation? They need to get to work somehow, and metro often doesn’t work.

  • Brooklander

    I live close to where the garage is proposed. Along with several neighbors who worked on this petition, I met with Douglas Development about this project before the petition was drafted. We all recognize the developer’s right to build on and profit off of their land. That/NIMBY isn’t the issue here. In fact, if Douglas chose one of the options they considered for this land before settling on a parking garage, including a grocery store, a Capitol Bikeshare warehouse, a mixed-use development—pretty much anything BUT a huge parking garage—most of the people behind this petition wouldn’t have opposed those projects. What we DO oppose is a 1,200+ parking garage at an intersection that is already a traffic nightmare given that the intersection is already (1) a thoroughfare to Providence Hospital, (2) a busy Metrobus route, (3) a hospital/Trinity shuttle stop, (4) a Metro kiss and ride stop, (5) very close to a newly opened middle school.

    I support Children’s Hospital ‘s mission and the developer’s right to build on the land. But the developer can build something else here and make money and Children’s can pursue other parking options that are closer to the hospital and more convenient to their employees.

  • Brooklander_83

    I live close to where the garage is proposed. Along with several neighbors who worked on this petition, I met with Douglas Development about this project before the petition was drafted. We all recognize the developer’s right to build on and profit off of their land. That/NIMBY is not the issue here. In fact, if Douglas chose one of the options they considered for this parcel prior to settling on a parking garage, including a grocery store, a Capitol Bikeshare warehouse, a mixed-use development—pretty much anything BUT a huge parking garage—most of the people behind this petition wouldn’t have opposed those projects. What we do oppose is a 1,200+ parking garage at an intersection that is already a traffic nightmare given that the intersection is already (1) a thoroughfare to Providence Hospital, (2) a busy Metrobus route, (3) a hospital/Trinity shuttle stop, (4) a Metro kiss and ride stop, (5) very close to a newly opened middle school.

    I support Children’s Hospital ‘s mission and the developer’s right to build on the land. But the developer can build something else here and make money and Children’s can pursue other parking options that are closer to the hospital and more convenient to their employees.

  • 10th Street

    I live four blocks away. What the petitioners will not mention is that the owners of the lot wanted to make it into something more useful – residential, or mixed retail/residential – but the Perry Place Protesters shut that down. I heard the developers’ presentation and thought that they were going out of their way to make it visually appealing, maintain green space and trees, and build it in such a way that it can be converted to residential at a later date. Other than the Perry Place Police – who seem to oppose any change in the neighborhood, even when it is turning a nasty trash heap vacant industrial space into something / anything else – the biggest neighborhood concern is the traffic flow at the intersection of Michigan, 10th and Bunker Hill which is pretty awful already. The increased car and shuttle traffic will either make a bad intersection worse, or – ideally – will be the push DDOT needs to change the light timing and traffic flow for the better. The argument about air quality at “nearby” parks is a grasp at straws and kind of embarrassing for my neighborhood. I am waiting for the traffic study to form my opinion for or against.

    • Eponymous

      Uh, I don’t know which meetings you went to – but the only thing I’ve heard is the DD wanted to purchase the Comcast land to put the land to more productive use, but Comcast wouldn’t sell and they now don’t view anything else as viable in that space. TBH, sounded like the request from CNMC fell into their lap and they jumped on it. Makes sense from a business perspective, but let’s not pretend they care about the community. It’s all about money.
      .
      Also, the traffic study is done by the developer, who of course has a vested interest in seeing the project go through. I wouldn’t count on an honest assessment. And they aren’t putting greenery and trees in the plans out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s meant to comply with city rules and recommendations, including the required environmental impact study (which looks at runoff and things like that). In the end, I would bet money that they don’t even follow through on that stuff. Who is going to enforce it?

  • KS

    I live in Brookland, though on the other end of the neighborhood from this development, and there was quite a bit of discussion on the community listserv about this a couple of months ago. I admit that I rolled my eyes a bit at the “think of the children!” rhetoric, but there is a valid point about the traffic. Granted, I’m no traffic engineer, but it just doesn’t seem like Michigan Ave. is going to be able to handle that much extra traffic. I understand that they need to put parking somewhere, but I hope someone is making actual plans for how to deal with this many new cars headed into the neighborhood.

    • jdre

      Just throwing it out there – and it might not be correct: presumably if it is parking for an existing hospital (which is how I read it, I can’t quite picture where the hospital is), the traffic is already there, just unable to park near the hospital. A hospital isn’t exactly a tourist destination.

  • A Better Way

    Children’s needs to be responsible for parking of their employees. We live in a transit heavy city – why is Children’s dumping it’s cars in our neighborhood, instead of stressing transit and less-pollution alternatives. Don’t add 1500 cars and their pollution. It’s irresponsible and stinks – NW dumping it’s cars in NE.

    • Anon Spock

      Because stressing transit for people who work off peak, long hours isn’t fruitful. If you’re getting off at 2am on a weeknight, you’re not catching the metro home. See also how unreliable metro and bus can be. Simply adding a garage doesn’t mean every spot will be filled. The cars are already there anyway. You chose to live in DC near a hospital; those are the breaks.

    • jdre

      I’m not sure I follow the logic that building a dedicated garage “adds” 1500 cars. I don’t think hospital demand (or staffing) goes up because of available parking. I’ve never wondered what to do on a Saturday and thought, “hey, maybe I’ll go to the hospital, they’ve got so much parking, it’ll be great.”

  • Reality

    wheres the petition to support the garage?

    • d

      A petition in support shouldn’t be necessary. As Brooklander said above, “We all recognize the right of the developer to build on and profit off of their land.” Thankfully, so do the courts. If this is by-right, as it seems like it is, then Douglas can and should toss this silly NIMBY petition in the trash.

  • Sandra

    I would wager that the main issue here is not Children’s hospital and their staff’s parking needs but rather Douglas Development’s needs and restrictions on potential buildings on that site.

    I live in Woodridge, near to Brookland, and would be hastily dismissed as a NIMBY by certain posters here because I appreciate New Urbanist ideas more than unfettered development, meaning that I support housing density, mixed-use developments, urban regeneration, urban forestry and wildlife concerns, etc.

    Good urban planning involves foresight regarding traffic issues. The city’s goal should be to develop parking areas that are relatively compact (i.e., structures rather than lots) and adjacent to workplaces.

    Someone should try to elucidate what DD is up to with this plan–I believe the intent is to build the parking structure then get the zoning changed later and transform it into housing.

  • jdre

    I’m inclined to dislike sprawl and “development” as much as the next guy, but letting (caregivers for) sick children park at a hospital is hard for me to be angry about.

  • Lisa

    I just want to be the 100th comment

  • anonymouse

    These same neighbors successfully blocked a residential building planned for the same lot because it would increase traffic. To them I say: bwahahahaha

    • anonymouse

      Okay… can’t find info about this online. I attended on civic association meeting where the parking garage was brought up and it was stated in the meeting that originally they planned to do residential or retail space. Not sure why the plan changed but the meeting attendees did not support residential or retail space on that lot, either.

      I don’t think parking garages are great, but when oppose all development, you end up with developers going for easy by-right projects like this one, instead of dealing with the zoning board/constant opposition for something that would be better for the community.

      • Eponymous

        I’m curious about this meeting. When was it? I’ve been to a few meetings about the garage, and there was widespread support for residential or basically anything in that space that’s more productive than a parking garage. Some people even noted that CaBi is looking for facilities to expand its operations. Are you sure you’re not thinking of 901 Evarts? That developer is proposing a ~300-unit residential building there. And yeah, the neighbors ARE being ridiculous about that one – basically trying to get the developer to build a handful of row homes on a huge space a few blocks from the RIA Metro.

        • anonymouse

          It was a Brookland Civic Association meeting in July… The garage was discussed at the meeting and others mentioned that they had originally planned something different for the space. But, looks like this was probably a misunderstanding about which space it was.

          • anon

            I was also at that meeting. Both the garage and 901 Evarts were discussed. There was some talk about the developer maybe converting the garage to apartments after 15 years? It seemed like a soft promise and it wasn’t really clear how people felt about it.
            .
            TRUE STORY: I wrote this forum post after attending that exact meeting. https://www.popville.com/2015/07/from-the-forum-fighting-nimbyism/

  • Kathryn-DC

    I just…the self-absorption is breathtaking.

  • Hard choice!

    On one hand, we have an outstanding children’s hospital that draws patients from all over the Mid-Atlantic due to its superior level of care and exceptional providers, who happen to need a place to park. On the other hand, we have some people who have a problem with traffic in their urban area and would rather see some greenspace than a parking area for hospital staff.

    Wow, that’s quite a pickle. NOT.

  • Holly

    Nurses, techs, respitory therapists and all the many people involved do not get to park at the hospital during the weekdays. They must take a shuttle, adding 30 minutes to their commute. This makes a 12 and half hour day even that much longer. 15 hours then turning around and doing it the next day. Personally, I want it to be as easy as possible for the ones taking care of my child. They lengths that these people get to work in bad weather is nuts and the logistics to get there, on time, at seven goes above and beyond most people. Thankfully I can walk to work, but DC is becoming way too expensive for the nurses, social workers and everyone else that takes care of these kids.

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