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Monumental goes on the PR offensive with new new pro-Potomac Yard arena website

Monumental Opportunity website

The proposed Potomac Yard arena, a collaboration between various government leaders and Monumental Sports & Entertainment, has gotten more than a little community pushback.

Now, Monumental Sports is counterattacking with a new website, called Monumental Opportunity, which claims to “provide project facts and information” and “correct misconceptions.”

The website has a “fact check” section that deals primarily with the financing of the project, but some of the biggest questions about the project’s feasibility remain unanswered.

One of the main criticisms of the project has been the transportation impact, with city leaders saying car travel will be discouraged to incentivize Metro transit, but Metro GM Randy Clarke stated the Potomac Yard Metro station can’t handle arena traffic.

The project website says:

Before this project was even announced, a preliminary transportation analysis was completed. Now, a nationally recognized transportation engineering firm (Kimley-Horn) is creating a world class transportation plan for the area. We will seek community input on that plan before it is finalized.

Our goals with the transportation plan are centered on:

  1. Protecting neighborhoods
  2. Transit and non-vehicle utilization
  3. Getting game/event traffic in and out as quickly and safely as possible
  4. Investing in Route 1 multi-modal upgrades (including DASH buses, lane adjustments, and transportation technology improvements)

How that transportation plan will accomplish those goals is unclear.

The website also says:

We start with a few key assets including several thousand existing parking spaces in the area, plans for a new underground parking facility, and most importantly, a brand new Metro station just steps from the proposed arena site. The partners are also thinking creatively about innovative solutions including Virginia Rail Express and Amtrak connections, bike routes, carpool and rideshare optimizations, shuttles, and even water taxis along the Potomac.

City leaders said the Metro station would need infrastructure upgrades to handle arena traffic as the station currently only has one staircase and escalator for each platform.

The water taxi suggestion — nicknamed ‘Gondola 2.0′ in a recent Del Ray Citizens’ Association meeting — has been raised repeatedly by advocates for the arena, though without any serious suggestions for how it could be implemented for the site. The site is separated from the Potomac River by a Metro line, the George Washington Parkway, and the Mount Vernon Trail while Four Mile Run to the north is rarely more than four feet deep.

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