Parking at the National Zoo Is a Real Bear. But the Smithsonian Is Advancing $50M Garage Project.

The Smithsonian National Zoo is a D.C. treasure, but parking there can be a real hassle not only for zoo visitors but for nearby residents whose streets are regularly clogged by drivers in search of spaces.

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 Smithsonian packaged a multistory, 1,000-plus space garage into its long-term master plan for the zoo, adopted by the National Capital Planning Commission in 2008. The garage will replace the existing surface Lot C, located between Beach Drive and North Road.

It’s taken nine years, but that project appears to be advancing. There is a short list of proposing teams for the estimated $50 million project, and a formal request…Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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