- The Washington Times - Friday, November 12, 2004

Prince George’s County officials mapped out the path Redskins fans must take tomorrow when they are allowed for the first time this season to walk across Landover Road to reach FedEx Field.

Pedestrians parked at the Landover Mall or nearby streets must stay on the sidewalks, obey traffic signals and cross only in designated crosswalks at the intersection of Landover and Brightseat roads, said Vernon Herron, the county’s public safety director.

Mr. Herron also said additional police officers will be on duty for the Redskins’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals at 4:05 p.m. and that he expects more traffic delays.

“The stadium was not built for this infrastructure,” he said. “We need people to stay on the sidewalk and obey traffic signals and officers. That’s paramount.”

The county’s Board of Adjustments lifted the ban Oct. 27 on pedestrians crossing some public streets after reviewing complaints.

However, the ban remained in effect for the Redskins vs. Green Bay Packers game on Oct. 31 because the county did not have enough time to revise its public safety plan.

Parking will be available for $15 at nearby Landover Mall. Fans parking in the lot must cross Brightseat Road at the intersection of Landover Road, then to cross Landover Road.

Dale G. Coppage, the county’s acting director of public works and transportation, said in June it was unsafe for pedestrians to walk down Redskins Road and the other streets on event days.

However, appeals board Chairman Raymond Krasnick said the county has no legal authority to close the roads. He acknowledged the safety issue, but said the board could find no legal precedent.

Said Mr. Herron: “Pedestrians and travelers don’t mix. But we will be asking [motorists] to be conscious of the pedestrians and to use caution.”

Mall executives have chosen Park America, the Philadelphia-based company that operates off-site parking for Eagles football games, to run the lot for the four remaining home games and collect fees from motorists.

Mall owners said customers and employees at Sears — the only store still open at the mall — could park for free on game days, but mall security would tightly enforce the rule.

Police, county and Redskins officials could not say yesterday whether tailgating would be allowed in the Landover Mall. Park America and mall executives could not be reached.

Mr. Herron said yesterday that crews still have not had enough time to put up pedestrian barricades for this weekend.

“We have to go with the resources we have,” he said. “There may be some police tape. [The first game] is our fire drill. We’re hopeful we’ll have a safe Sunday. It’s not an easy task. We’re going to do the best we can.”

Fans have asked for an elevated walkway across Landover Road, a six-lane highway near the stadium. And some of them think the Redskins wanted the ban to protect parking revenue, which is about $145,000 a game from leased spaces.

Limited parking is available for season-ticket holders, but most fans use satellite parking lots leased by the Redskins organization, then take shuttle buses to the stadium.

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