At tonight's TOPP (Traffic Operations and Parking Plan) meeting hosted by Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells, there were supposed to be representatives from ANC 6D, the Nationals, DDOT, MPD, and DPW. However, DPW and MPD were missing when the meeting finally got underway more than a half hour after it originally was supposed to begin. Most of the meeting was dedicated to questions from audience members about the lack of enforcement of parking rules on residential streets in Southwest near Nationals Park. Since DPW wasn't present, most of the complaints couldn't get a direct answer because DPW is responsible for ticketing and towing illegally parked vehicles. Some of the culprits behind illegal parking are employees of the Nationals, who somehow have obtained Ward 6 visitor parking passes in order to park on residential streets. Towards the end of the meeting, I posed the following question to Greg McCarthy from the Nationals:
In response, McCarthy said the Nationals organization doesn't currently offer an incentive to its employees, but will look into that possibility. Other concerns brought by residents included traffic backups on M Street and P Street during game days and non-game days. Since no left turns are permitted northbound on South Capitol Street from the Frederick Douglass Bridge to north of I Street, the only access people have to Southwest from South Capitol Street south of the freeway is M Street. However, at the end of events at the ballpark, MPD puts up orange cones blocking access to M Street and forces drivers going northbound on South Capitol to go under the M Street intersection, a major inconvenience for local residents. A second TOPP meeting will be scheduled in about two weeks, so all representatives who were supposed to be at the meeting will be present and can properly address residents' complaints. Tonight's TOPP meeting was actually supposed to be held before the start of baseball season, so all concerns could be addressed before Opening Day, but for some reason the meeting was not organized in time.Do the Nationals currently offer any incentives to their employees to take public transit to work since the ballpark is LEED-certified?
Although not directly related to the ballpark, I did ask James Cheeks from DDOT after the meeting about the traffic light at the intersection of 4th & I Street. The traffic light is still timed as though there was a 3-way intersection instead of a 4-way intersection. Pedestrians have to wait to cross either I Street or 4th Street until all traffic lights are red, which is a vestige of the old configuration before 4th Street was reopened. Someone else mentioned the 4th & M Street intersection's timing issues to Mr. Cheeks, so hopefully both of these intersections will be fixed in the near future. I'll follow up with Mr. Cheeks to make sure these corrections are made in a timely manner.