Much has been made about the supposed isolation of Buzzard Point. Many gallons of virtual ink have been spilled over the great distance between Metro and the proposed D.C. United stadium. So two of our readers - David Rusk and Doug Barnes - got together to make the walk themselves. For our benefit, they filmed their experience, and you can watch it above.
Our heroes begin their journey taking Metrorail to Navy Yard, exiting at Half and M Streets, SE, near Nationals Park. They make the 0.6 mile walk to the nearest corner of the soccer stadium site in under 15 minutes. The time, it should be noted, is extra generous, as Messrs. Rusk and Barnes, spry as they are, are no spring chickens; each of our heroes is over 60 and ambles at a less than speedy pace. After touring the industrial "highlights" of Buzzard Point, David and Doug make the 0.8-mile walk to Waterfront station at 4th and M Streets, SW, in under 17 minutes.
Yes, the stadium site is farther from Metro than Verizon Center or Nationals Park, but it is no FedEx Field, either. A soccer stadium will be easily walkable from two different stations and will not be surrounded by acres of parking. Much of the walk between Buzzard Point and both of the closest Metro stations already has more than adequate sidewalks for crowds, and the city's transportation planners have already begun planning for the areas that don't (those closest to the stadium footprint). Add in the inevitable public safety presence before, during and after events at the stadium, and the walk to and from Metro will be entirely manageable and safe.
Of course additional transportation infrastructure would benefit the stadium project and the city at large, but based on the experience of these two gentlemen, additional transit to Buzzard Point is not a prerequisite for the stadium.
Huge thanks to David Rusk and Doug Barnes, who made the video above in addition to having written some of the most intelligent commentary on the stadium debate, publishing much of it here at B&RU. I am perpetually in awe of our readers.