When it comes to how visitors navigate to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Metro ridership is down, but visitor attendance certainly isn’t. In 2016, more visitors drove to the zoo than in any of the previous five years, according to the Washington Business Journal. While anticipating a growth of yearly visitors from approximately 2.7 million in 2016 to an estimated 3.5 million per year by 2027, the National Zoo has proposed a brand new multi-story, 1,285-space parking garage.
Estimated to cost $50 million, the garage will replace the existing surface lot located at the intersection of Beach Drive NW and North Road NW.
On additional need-to-know data, Washington Business Journal further reported:
“There are only 888 spaces across the zoo's multiple surface lots, and 100 days out of the year they're filled to capacity by midday. A majority of zoo visitors, 53 percent in May and June of 2016, drove there, according to the latest Smithsonian data, but only 67 percent parked in a zoo lot. The remainder parked in a nearby neighborhood, or were dropped off.”
The garage is a part of the Smithsonian’s long-term master plan that was adopted in 2008. It is expected to meet parking demand 81 percent of the year.
By this October, a formal request for proposals process is expected to begin, which will take another six months or so. Construction is expected to begin by 2018 with a delivery in 2020.
• Parking at the National Zoo is a real bear. But the Smithsonian is advancing $50M garage project [Washington Business Journal]