Redskins hope to lure support with new studies

June 24, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

Washington Redskins officials have prepared three football stadium parking and traffic management studies that they hope will win over skeptical Anne Arundel County planners.

The reports, issued Wednesday, supplement and revise traffic information and attendance figures that were released in April and were criticized by engineers in the county office of Planning and Code Enforcement.

Redskins' owner Jack Kent Cooke is asking for a special exception and variance reducing the number of parking spaces required on site so he can build a $160 million football stadium in western Anne Arundel County, east of Laurel.

But, early last month county engineers recommended withholding the special exception and variance until the Redskins addressed several traffic-related issues.

Engineer Robert Tyson said he did not even review some of the traffic analyses supplied by the Redskins because "we have serious concerns about the traffic volumes utilized."

Specifically, Mr. Tyson said, Redskins officials must justify attendance figures, support their contention that nonstadium traffic would decrease on game days and explain why they wanted to reduce the width of parking spaces. He also asked for details of parking arrangements for stadium employees and the media.

The new reports should address Mr. Tyson's concerns, said Walter Lynch, stadium project manager.

One of the studies revises downward the number of no-shows projected for the 78,600-seat stadium. The team had been predicting 6 percent of ticket holders would be no-shows, based on the average during the past 10 years at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. The new report assumes 3 percent no-shows.

The report also uses data from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics to back up the Redskins' claim that local residents will alter their driving habits to avoid congestion caused by major stadium events.

The new studies include charts documenting traffic volumes for the stadium and for other developments planned for the surrounding area. They also show the location of parking lots for team members, stadium staff and the media.

Mr. Lynch said reducing the width of each parking space to 8 feet from 9 feet is justified because stadium parking attendants would help in aligning cars. The study includes 32 pages of documentation in support of the narrower spaces.

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