JG Parking Editorial

Parking sign near Headwaters Park.

The Journal Gazette featured an editorial on parking for Thursday’s Parkview Field Opening Day.  This issue, along with supposed traffic problems,  has been explored, hashed and re-hashed, debated and whatever other adjectives you wish to pitch into the fray.  I’ve said it before on this blog and I’ll say it again  reality is this – there is parking downtown.  People’s perceptions of a lack of parking and traffic concerns, however, remains the reality for some.  It’s this latter that determines whether or not this myth will be retired this season.  

A constructive criticism for the local powers that be to consider: 

I find it curious that a traffic plan was talked about in the News-Sentinel last Thursday.  It seems that the City has put some time and effort into thinking the traffic patterns through.  

[…] That goal will be attained – or attempted – through a complex series of road redirections managed by police officers on foot, motorcycles, mountain bikes, patrol cars and T3 three-wheeled vehicles. A minimum of 12 officers will be placed around the stadium, pregame and postgame, for pedestrian and vehicle control to usher traffic as efficiently as possible.

Webmaster’s note:  Forgive me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t a decision made last year to axe the FWPD Motorcycles?

[…] Here’s the plan those officers will do their best to enforce:

  • The Harrison Square parking garage will empty onto either Harrison Street or Douglas Avenue. Harrison, which typically is a north-south street, will be closed northbound as officers force drivers south and away from Jefferson Boulevard to avoid a bottleneck. Then, depending on destination, drivers can either continue south, brave Brackenridge Street westbound (which is a bad idea after games considering its two-lane status and close proximity to the stadium) or head east onto Douglas or Baker Street, at which point larger northbound or southbound arteries like Calhoun, Clinton, Barr or Lafayette streets are accessible.
  • Motorists headed west from the Harrison Square garage have a different issue. They will have to combat Brackenridge from Webster Street, from either the Douglas exit or Harrison to reach Ewing Street, which will flow one-way northbound to westbound Washington Boulevard.

Be advised, though, it’s down to one lane due to construction.

Eastbound traffic could use the Ewing option to turn onto Jefferson, too.

On the bright side, the Harrison Street parking garage is pre-pay, so that should help to expedite the exiting procedure for motorists.

The nearby Civic Center garage is also pre-pay and will offer drivers a more limited option of exit – straight onto eastbound Jefferson Boulevard.

  • Also, city police will block one lane of Jefferson to allow that parking garage’s patrons to pour out, at which point drivers can head north or south, and find any number of routes west, if needed.

At least, that’s the plan. Don’t attempt to memorize it; just follow the police officers’ instructions. 

That last sentence is a good idea, however, parking is usually done with the goal in mind of the quickest escape after the activity is done.  If you park in a spot that you think will grant you this quick escape – only to find out afterwards that your route has become much more extended because of a preset traffic pattern, won’t this add to the congestion and confusion?  

Wouldn’t it be better to let the public know the plan before hand?  Perhaps one of the other local media outlets, or all of them, will do this in the next day or two.  However, at the least, this plan should have been on the www.cityoffortwayne.org, the new ParkIt! Fort Wayne website and at the least, the Box Score, shortly after it’s completion.

The above article also talks about foot traffic handling as well.

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