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Monday, August 01, 2011

RP: Bring Back the Oklahoma Ave Metro

Map showing RFK and Oklahoma Avenue

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space looks at the planned (but never built) Oklahoma Avenue Station station that would have been on Oklahoma avenue immediately south of the meeting of 25th Place and E street. The station would have been an above ground stop on the blue line, but was killed due to neighborhood opposition. Richard writes about how an infill station at that location could do wonders for the H Street/Benning Road Corridor. He also includes an excerpt from a 2003 email that highlights how long some of the current projects have really been in the pipeline. Interesting stuff.

30 comments:

East_H said...

I've always though this would be an incredible low cost metro improvement. Put the station on Benning Road and tie it into the streetcar line.

With proper forethought, they could probably incorporate a streetcar power block into the metro station.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, but I have about as much confidence in the DC government's as can fit into a thimble. Particularly with Wells out as the Transportation Chairman.

tonysmallframe said...

Say, anyone know how long Mr. Easley's barbershop is going to be out of comission for?

LPF said...

Seeing that particular overhead image reminds me of the DCGP/LeMans race a few years ago. That was a pretty cool event. Kind of a shame that the residents of this area are dead-set against anything that might bring money in and help lift up the area.

Well, not all of them, I remember buying ice cold bottled water through the fence for $1 less than it was going for inside the fence... SOME locals saw the opportunity!

As for the metro serving the Atlas District, would this actually be less of a walk than from Union Station? Looks to be about the same distance...but certainly would have been a windfall for the Benning Road corridor.

Anonymous said...

That RFK parking lot is a crime against nature.

Jeff B said...

A connection to The H street area from the blue/orange line would add real value - even if it is roughly the same distance as Union Station.

tarisdaddy said...

Interesting idea for sure, seems like a no brainer, an above ground station at Benning Road and Oklahoma Ave. Not to mention the fact that the trolley tracks stop right at the freaking place. Richard has praised the New York Avenue station as one of the biggest contributors to the H Street redevelopment. Perhaps flanking the Atlas District on the SE end with a metro stop would help bolster the progress, and tie the trolley into the metro.

Also, couldn't agree more on the RFK parking lot offense against nature comment. The run-off from those seven acres at parking lots G and H is inexcusable. Where do you think all of the Snowmageddon snow ended up? And as I understand it, what little storm water controls in place there are totally ignored by the city agencies responsible for maintaining them. Be that as it may, it is city property so lets put it to better use. Power the trolley, create more intermodal transportation connections, improve the site, and give the Kingman Park Community a shot in the arm. F the Union station tunnel for a maintenance yard and turn around!

Where is the MFing leadership and creativity? ... .....Wait is this Ward Seven? This could happen!
...Hell there's room for a soccer stadium, new Redskins stadium and Metro stop... quick call Dan Snyder!

Anonymous said...

@tarisdaddy

The problem is that RFK and the parking lots are *not* DC property. It's yet another Federal property that they don't know how to manage, and won't allow to be properly developed.

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Kingman Park and I think that a metro station linked with the trolley line would be a boost for us all (ward 5, 6 and 7 residents). I would certainly be in favor of this if it were done carefully and with the residents of Kingman Park in mind. I encourage everyone to actually read the full post. It is clearly states that "the Oklahoma Station was intended to serve commuters" and not the residents of the area. This is why the community rightfully opposed the metro station so many years ago.

If we believe that the RFK parking lot is a crime against nature, then we will surely support the notion that we do not need an additional 1,000 car parking garage sitting on what is, and should be recognized, as a natural treasure of this city. This area has access to Kingman and Heritage Islands, the Anacostia River Walk Trail, Langston Golf Course, a farmers market on Saturdays, and the park at River Terrace. Also, take a look at all of the green space on the map in this area. This area has so much potential to be a place where people can have access to and enjoy nature. A metro stop could really add to this potential or it could immediately destroy it and we would end up with just another parking lot adjacent to the river.

I do think that if the residents of this area have a voice in this type of project, you might hear an actual “YES” from many of us over here.

Robby said...

Very decent article. 1. I am glad the residents stood up and that their voices were heard. While not like the northleg freeway, a station there at that time would have presented some challenges. 2. I'm not sure that a extra metro station would help. 3. It's not in the budget and most likely wont be for some time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:19, you forgot to mention that your property value would skyrocket.

Richard Layman said...

Good comments. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yeahhhh I'm not really sure how a metro stop would benefit commuters, but not the people who live there. I'm not trying to be rude, but how would that NOT be a boon to the people who live there?

Anonymous said...

6:15,

read richards posts to see what the perspective was.

E in Rosedale said...

As a Rosedaler, you can count me in as a resounding 'yes'. I know these kinds of things don't happen overnight, but interested citizen advocates should continue these nacent steps to study the possibilities. Maybe someday down the road, we could get a station that everyone could be proud of.

h street landlord said...

Ish needs to happen. Given the current funding realities, however, it would likely need some business money ala ny ave stop. Not a ton of business over there tho. Maybe the large parking lots could become offices or apartments.

pied piper at the gates of RFK said...

All nothing but pipe dreams!

ro said...

``Rosedaler'' i like that. i'm going to have to steal that term

Doug said...

Can we call the station Kingman Lake? I like that a lot better that Oklahoma Ave and I think it's more descriptive.

JD said...

It seems like a waste of money to put a station so close to Stadium/Armory, which serves the area well. Map it out, it won't be hardly any closer to H St than the Stadium stop. So what would be the reasoning behind it? I'd much rather money be put toward having a nice park where the RFK north lots are than a Metro station.

Anonymous said...

It'd be a lot closer to H by virtue of the trolley tie in. It's a 20 minute walk from Kingman Park to the Stadium Armory Station, significantly further from Carver Langston. I think a stop here would do wonders for the entire area.

Anonymous said...

The distance from the existing Stadium/Armory Metro to the proposed location is about .9 miles. That's about the same distance as between the inner-city residential stops on the Red (in NW) and Green (in NW) lines, and further apart than the stops in downtown. On a personal level, I consider "walkable" to the Metro anything under .6 miles, .75 if the neighborhood is particularly nice, and have considered and rejected parts of this area as being "too far" from the Stadium Armory Metro. I agree that a commuter station with large parking lots and decks is a bad idea, but as a truly urban station a la NYA, this would be a real boon for a large number of residents as well as future redevelopment of the RFK Stadium (North) area. Double bonus for a tie-in to the street car.

JD said...

I get the part about the trolly connection to H St, and if it had to be built I would definitely prefer an urban station with no parking and mixed use development to anything with parking lots, which would be awful. And even then there's no indication that the Feds (which own RFK, not DC) would allow either of those options, or worse, only allow parking.

I can't help but still feel that it's a waste of money to build the stations so close together, it simply doesn't make sense. I don't know how anyone could take 20 minutes to walk to Stadium/Armory from Kingman Park; I live right in the middle of the neighborhood and it takes me maybe 10. Let's not pretend it's some great trek to make it over there. I just think it's silly and a really poor use of scarce resources to keep piling Metro stations on top of each other like that. I get that level of density in a heavy business district like downtown, but it makes no sense for Kingman Park.

Anonymous said...

The trolly line is facing trouble on both ends - it cannot cross either bridge (Benning Road or Hopscotch Bridge) because (1) the cars that were already purchased from the Czech Republic are too heavy for the Benning Road bridge; (2) overhead wires cannot be installed on the Benning Road side because it is too close to the Pepco power plant; and, (3) we all have already heard about the problems with right of way by Union Station. What a waste of money and an embarrassment for city planners.

Scott said...

I agree the proposed Metro station is probably not a short term economically viable solution for METRO given the geography; althought I certainly think it would bolster the property values for the surrounding areas. I think if Kingman Island was delevoped along side into something other than a dumping ground for city property that proposed Metro stop would prove very valuable.

As for the H st. Rail system. Positive that will work out just fine and in time everyone will adjust their opinion(s). I feel that people are totally out of patiences regarding the subject are not thinking idealistically any longer. Those tracks are down and will be functional at some point I assure you.

Anonymous said...

People are complaining about this being too close Stadium/Armory? Wouldn't they be further apart than Union Station is from Florida/New York, which is seen as a very successful infill station? There are far more factors involved than just distance on a map.

Anonymous said...

Scott, have you seen each end of the tracks? They are only down along H Street (from 3rd to 15th) and a small portion of Benning Road NE. They stop abruptly at each end because the infrastructure at each end cannot support the trollies. It's fine to be an idealist, but then engineering gets in the way....

Scott said...

@ anon 11.39...so what you're saying is that engineering cannot solve the present problems....? I think the closer answer is budget cannot solve the present problems. Like where are you going to store and maintain the H st. trains if Union Station is not available? The RFK parking lot....hmmmmm Now you're getting insite into why they are thinking this way. I think Engineers would have no issue solving the problem if money were available.

oboe said...

anon @9:03:

The trolly line is facing trouble on both ends - it cannot cross either bridge (Benning Road or Hopscotch Bridge) because (1) the cars that were already purchased from the Czech Republic are too heavy for the Benning Road bridge; (2) overhead wires cannot be installed on the Benning Road side because it is too close to the Pepco power plant; and, (3) we all have already heard about the problems with right of way by Union Station. What a waste of money and an embarrassment for city planners.

See, when you make such claims, you want to at least cite something. Otherwise folks will think you're just bloviating.

I mean, your first point is so irrelevant that it gives us an idea of your credibility right there. The streetcars they have on hand are for the Anacostia line, and were purchased years ago.

The H Street line was wisely bumped to the front of the line as it would have a higher priority.

Points 2, and 3 sound--frankly--like something you've pulled out of your butt. A link or two would be interesting, though.

oboe said...

Oh, and BTW: I've found that whenever someone uses the phrase "trolly line" you can be about 99.9% sure it's some poorly informed poster who's looking to "concern troll."