RFK Site Plan is Unveiled - Showing Youth Sports Park is Compatible with Future Site Uses

posted Nov 5, 2013, 12:28 PM by Mike Barrette   [ updated Nov 5, 2013, 1:01 PM ]

Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park (CRYSP) is a neighborhood-inspired vision for playing fields, walk/bike trails, an outdoor farmer’s market pavilion, river access and other amenities that would replace the north lot on the RFK Stadium Complex.  This vision addresses a key lack of field space that has left teams packed like sardines into the few spaces that are available nearby Kingman Park, Rosedale, Carver/Langston, and Capitol Hill, and that recognizes the relative lack of green space in this quadrant of DC.  While the CRYSP proposal makes perfect sense on its own, it remains critically important that any development of parks on the RFK site be compatible with other future uses that have been discussed for RFK, Hill East and surrounding areas.  With this in mind, the Friends of CRYSP have now released a comprehensive plan for the RFK site that shows how the development of other parts of this area would be compatible with the CRYSP proposal for the northern lots.  The plan shows how parking spaces can be preserved and actually increased beyond existing levels in the event that the site is part of an Olympic bid in 2024 or hosts pro football in 2027 or beyond.  The drawings also show how Hill East, an Olympic Village, and other concepts that have been discussed as part of the National Capitol Planning efforts will tie in.  The stadium design shown preserves the view of the Capitol Dome as visitors travel from the East over an improved Whitney Young Bridge.  The sunken stadium design preserves monumental views of the city while providing better pedestrian, bike and metro access along with green pervious parking areas that will reduce runoff to the Anacostia. 

The Friends of CRYSP are not advocating any of these additional developments, but are offering this overall vision to demonstrate that the northern lots can be developed as a dedicated park now – while leaving open the possibilities that community or political leaders may desire in the future.  We are relatively certain that the earliest year that a stadium could come online is 2024.  So, let’s get started CRYSP now so our kids can use this space – while preserving all options for other surrounding areas that may occur over the next 10-15 years.

More information about CRYSP is found at, and the Comprehensive RFK Site Plan drawings are available at this LINK.  This file is quite large and may take several minutes to load.  It is best viewed in Internet Explorer.  Page 30 of the presentation provides a video flyover and other visualizations.  To support CRYSP, please sign our petition to the DC Council and the Mayor asking for a youth sports park to be placed in the RFK north lot at this LINK. 

Article links

Capitol Riverside Website -

Comprehensive RFK Plan with CRYSP -

Email Petition to DC Council and Mayor -

Parking Analysis Shows that CRYSP Project is Compatible with Current and Future RFK Use

posted Oct 7, 2013, 2:36 PM by Mike Barrette   [ updated Oct 28, 2013, 9:21 AM ]

With the planned move of DC United, CRYSP has been asked by DC government to show the overall impact of parking if the CRYSP project were implemented.  CRYSP planners are aware that some elected officials have an eye toward bringing back the Redskins, and/or developing a stadium that could be used as part of DC’s Olympic bid.  With that possible use in mind, and taking into consideration the 2006 National Capital Planning Commission’s (NCPC) plans for the overall complex, CRYSP evaluated the overall number of parking spots under two scenarios.  The short-term scenario envisions the CRYSP development with no other changes across the RFK Complex.  Under that scenario, only 16% of parking spots would be lost.  Under the long-term scenario, if the stadium was re-developed under the overall NCPC guidelines, structured underground parking would be added underneath development in current parking areas to the west of the stadium.  With a four-deck underground structure, the overall parking at the RFK complex would be increased by more than 2,600 spots – resulting in 133% of existing parking capacity.

CRYSP architect Ziad Elias Demian of demian/wilbur/architects notes that “We have included in our CRYSP design several “pervious” and/or grass parking areas that can be used occasionally for big events.  This is done at Carter Barron and other venues – and is generally more user-friendly – providing tailgating space that is far more pleasing than a parking lot.  That design also allows alternative recreational use when there is not a game going on.”  Mr. Demian also points out that if DC were to bring back a big tenant, like the Redskins, that “Modern development simply cannot rely exclusively on ground asphalt lots as the primary design for a large-scale urban project.  Any new stadium construction would include structured or “stacked” parking – which would provide parking equivalent to or above what are provided at other urban stadiums.  The combination of existing parking, new structured parking and access via Metro and the H St. trolley will make this a very accessible venue.”    

CLICK HERE to view parking analysis.

For more information, please email
More project information is posted at

Non-profit organization formed

posted Dec 3, 2012, 4:50 PM by Mike Barrette   [ updated Dec 3, 2012, 4:52 PM ]

The Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park (CRYSP) has submitted its application for status a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status allowing it to take tax-deductible donations.  The approval of that application is pending.  The Board Members of this newly formed organization consist of the following: At large members – Mike Godec, Mike Barrette, Ram Uppuluri, Ziad Demian, Sanju Misra.  Founding members – Sports on the Hill (Larry Kaufer), Capitol Futbol Club (Scotte MacQueen), Capitol Hill Little League (Seth Shapiro), Rosedale Citizens Alliance (Bob Coomber), Friends of Kingman Park -- TBD.  President – Mike Godec.   Treasurer – Ram Uppuluri.   Secretary – Bob Coomber.

Kingman Park Community Comes Together to Outline Key Needs for RFK Northern Lots

posted May 31, 2012, 9:00 AM by Mike Barrette   [ updated May 31, 2012, 9:01 AM ]

On May 19th, about 25 neighbors and community leaders participated in a design session intended to ensure that proposals for the RFK north parking lot are consistent with community needs.  Many new ideas were discussed and consensus was formed in many areas.  To view details, first click the title of this article, then CLICK HERE to see the attached notes compiled by Bob Coomber for a summary of the meeting.  Additional comments can also be posted on the ANC 7D01 Website.

Community Meeting To Discuss RFK Lot Plans Slated for May 19th

posted May 1, 2012, 6:43 PM by Mike Barrette

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7D01 is holding a Preliminary Community Meeting To Discuss the Future of the Northern RFK Parking Lots at the DC Soundstage, 2403 Benning Road, NE on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 10AM till 1PM.

This is a neighbor-organized meeting, and will also include members of CRYSP, which includes Kingman Park and Rosedale residents, who helped to facilitate this meeting.

  • Date:  May 19, 2012
  • Time:  10AM to 1PM
  • Location:  2403 Benning Road, NE – DC Soundstage

To comment, please attend the meeting.  If you are not able to attend, please fill out an online survey, or drop off comments with the following address:

RFK N. Lots Comment
425 21st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
  • Please identify yourself and your address so we know the comments are coming from neighbors.
  • You can also call Bob Coomber at (202) 689-9377 with any questions.

Rosedale Citizens Alliance Partners With CRYSP

posted Jan 17, 2012, 9:29 AM by Mike Barrette

The Rosedale Citizens Alliance (RCA), a non-profit community organization of residents living in the Kingman Park and Rosedale neighborhoods, will be partnering with the Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park (CRYSP) and other community organizations to begin discussions about establishing public parks and playing fields in the northern parking lots of RFK, which are located adjacent to the Kingman Park neighborhood.
CRYSP has proposed a design of the area, and both CRYSP and RCA believe that input from the community immediately surrounding the area is essential so that the needs, concerns, and interests of community members and organizations are heard.  To that end, RCA and CRYSP will jointly organize community meetings with residents living in the neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed park, other relevant community organizations and leaders, businesses, city officials and other relevant stakeholders to seek their input on the project.  RCA hopes these community discussions lead to initiatives that will be part of broader and longer term initiatives to bring sustainable and environmentally sound economic development to our neighborhoods.
RCA notes that its partnership with CRYSP is also partly due to the fact that it was launched by a network of local community organizations with long histories of community service, such as Sports on the Hill (SOTH), which has a 30-year track record of coaching thousands of children from around the city every year on a wide range of sports.
RCA, residents of Kingman Park and other community orgaizations have worked for years to transform and enhance the community.  We welcome a community discussion regarding the area North of RFK in hopes of a bottom-up, community-driven initiative that brings ecologically appropriate development to one of the largest plots of unused lands in the District in a manner that will benefit all residents, especially the youth, of Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8.  Necothia Bowens, president of RCA, said, "we believe the space could be shared by the communities and potentially foster a greater community impact and build relationships".

Capitol Riverside Outreach Focuses on Community Involvement

posted Dec 15, 2011, 1:56 PM by Mike Barrette   [ updated Dec 15, 2011, 1:57 PM ]

As we discuss this project with more neighbors, we are getting an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the idea of creating usable space for recreation at the RFK site in the northern parking lot.  The suggestions we are receiving will help us continue improving the design.  As we continue compiling suggestions, we are working on a Version 2.0 of the conceptual plans, which will be responsive to comments we are receiving from neighbors, civic organizations, and government officials.  We would love to hear your feedback and add you to our subscriber list so we can keep you updated.  Use our Contact and Subscribe Link to the left to leave feedback, to volunteer, or to join our listserve.

Tommy Wells Supports Capitol Riverside Vision

posted Nov 29, 2011, 10:27 AM by Mike Barrette

The Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park received an important endorsement of the project.  Councilmember Tommy Wells told us: "The city does not have enough recreation fields to support the growing number of families in Washington. This project is a great way to protect the Anacostia River and support District families"

Capitol Riverside - A Win-Win Situation for DC Residents

posted Nov 16, 2011, 6:45 PM by Mike Barrette   [ updated Nov 27, 2011, 6:07 PM ]

We need to better serve DC’s children with more recreational opportunities close to home. Let's make DC healthier and more sustainable.  Let's put public lands that are underutilized and contributing to environmental problems towards their best and highest use.  Creating local jobs and transforming an underutilized parking lot on the banks of the Anacostia with a regenerative design that will create much needed play space for our children.  Our vision includes investing in improved facilities for the existing Farmers Market, creating green space that will reduce runoff to the river, providing ecological education opportunities that link to the work underway on Kingman Island and the Anacostia restoration, and linking to the new hiker-biker trail network and American Great Outdoors Initiative.  The City needs this project, and it can be done now as our plan also leaves plenty of space for DC United or other pro sports development within this very large tract of land.  See this striking example of how Arlington County has achieved a similar sports complex and park by reclaiming unused land at Long Bridge Park.  DC deserves something like this!  We owe it to our young families that want to keep their kids in DC.

Plan to Turn RFK Parking Lots into Usable Green Space Resonates with DC Residents

posted Nov 16, 2011, 5:47 PM by Mike Barrette   [ updated Nov 27, 2011, 8:35 PM ]

The Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park recently floated the idea of building green space and sports fields as part of the "Sustainable DC" initiative that Mayor Gray initiated.  In a matter of days, more than 1,000 people voted for this idea as something they supported -- quickly putting the idea more than 4 times above any other submitted idea.  The comments submitted on the Sustainable DC website about this idea are extremely positive -- showing DC should reclaim this area of urban blight and create a true destination that can provide healthy exercise choices for families.  Please read through the comments and register your vote too on the left side of this page!

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