Several residents expressed concerns at the May 10th community meeting about potential parking concerns related to a pool. However, photos taken on the afternoon of Sunday June 12th - prime pool time - make clear that the streets around Hearst seem to present a wealth of available parking. 37th Street in particular, a long street located between Sidwell Friends and Hearst Park, had not a single parking space occupied.
See more parking photos in the Images section.
Some concerns have been mentioned about the potential for a loss of trees as a result of the construction of a pool. A ground level look at the site though shows that a number of locations in the park would require no removal of substantial trees whatsoever, including a scenario in which one of the three tennis courts would make way for a pool to sit on the hill overlooking the playing fields.
Again, see more shots of various spots in the park in the Images section of the website.
Three side-by-side tennis courts currently exist in the park in one of the key locations being considered for the pool. Likely one of the tennis courts would have to make way for part of the pool's location. However, as a picture taken on the afternoon of Sunday June 12th reveals, these three tennis courts often go totally unused, and rarely are all three being used at the same time. A pool would only heighten the attraction of two remaining courts, particularly if they were resurfaced.
The site would be one block from Wisconsin Avenue, which is served by a number of major bus routes. Access would also be easily available through Metro. At the Cleveland Park metro stop, buses ride up Porter Street to within one block of the park.
Alternate Site Proposed By the Opposition
As of late, the group opposing the pool at Hearst has proposed this parcel of land as an alternative, on Van Ness Street a half of a block down from Wisconsin Avenue.
FOHP would point out the following:
a. The site is on federal, national park land, and inquires by the city to determine availability of the site have already been rejected.
b. The site is thin sliver of land unattractively sandwiched between a McDonalds parking lot, the rear of a large office tower and its dumpsters, and a windowless cable/internet transfer station.
c. There is little-to-no on-street parking available nearby. FOHP wonders whether part of the national parkland would have to be used for a parking lot?
d. There is no metro station within walkable proximity.
e. There are at least 20 trees – some of them quite large - that could be threatened by the project.
f. The space is infinitely less attractive than the Hearst site in terms of the city’s DPR master plan, which seeks to have “an indoor pool within 2 miles, an outdoor pool within 1.5 miles, and a splash pad within 1 mile” of every resident in the city. Tyrell Lashley, in speaking at the last DPR Hearst community meeting, made clear that the Hearst site may be one of the best, if not the best sites in Ward 3, for helping DPR aquatics get closer to its goal.