Thursday October 14, 2010
Mayor’s advice to Eagles concert goers: Take it easy
Take it easy, take it easy
Don't let the sound of your own wheels
Drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don't even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
And take it easy
From “Take It Easy,” The Eagles
Fans heading to concerts and ballgames at the new KFC Yum! Center on Louisville’s waterfront should plan ahead to ensure a smooth trip, city and arena officials said.
Louisville Metro Police, arena officials and parking garages are ready for the first major event – Saturday night’s Eagles concert.
“The best advice for traveling to and from the new KFC Yum Center comes from the Eagles themselves -- take it easy,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “Despite all the extensive planning, there will be a learning curve for all of us – fans, police, parking garages and businesses – for the first several events. Planning and patience will be the key.”
Abramson urged fans to consider “coming early, staying a little later and enjoying the many restaurant and other entertainment options throughout downtown.”
Police Chief Robert White said about 40 police officers and 45 crossing guards will help ensure traffic keeps flowing to and from major events such as the Eagles concert and University of Louisville basketball games.
On-scene technology will also keep traffic moving after concerts and games, White said. Police officers will use hand-held traffic control devices connected to traffic signals to extend the green light cycle along major corridors such as Jefferson, Main and First streets.
Lt. Doug Sweeney, head of the LMPD’s traffic control division, said officers have traveled to other cities that use the hand-held devices and have experimented with them at some major Louisville events such as Thunder Over Louisville and Downs After Dark.
People should expect heavy traffic downtown for about an hour after major concerts and ballgames for the first several events, Sweeney said.
Plenty of nearby parking available
One of the keys to planning ahead is deciding your route and where you plan to park, Abramson said. The arena’s website, www.kfcyumcenter.com, has maps of traffic plans, parking garages, surface lots and on-street parking.
More than 19,000 parking spaces are available at garages and surface lots within five blocks of the KFC Yum! Center. More than 2,200 free, on-street parking spaces are available within the area after 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday. Parking is also free at the PARC 4th Street Live! garage after 6 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends.
“People will have lots of choices depending on what’s most important to them – price or proximity,” said Jim Host, chairman of the Louisville Arena Authority.
Parking at garages and surface lots will range from $5 to $10 based on proximity to the arena and the parking operator. Many of the parking garages are connected by Louie Link, a network of covered skywalks and walkways.
PARC and Riverside Parking, Inc. have been working together to provide a user-friendly parking experience, Host said. The event staff for both PARC and Riverside Parking will wear bright yellow uniforms and event staff will use two way radios to communicate. Garages and lots that have presold season permit parking will have a large color-coded sign at the entrance to correspond to car hang tags.
To have your parking space waiting and guaranteed, PARC is offering season parking permits for men’s basketball, said PARC Director Cathy Duncan. Season permits may be purchased at the PARC office, located at 517 South 4th Street. The cost is $230.00, which includes 23 homes games and the Red/White scrimmage game.
A listing of PARC facilities is available on the PARC web site www.louisvilleky.gov/PARC.
PARC will soon offer pre-paid parking for all downtown events through the city’s website, Duncan said. People will be able to select an event and parking location and enter credit card information. You will then be prompted to either e-mail your confirmation to your Smartphone or print your pre-paid parking pass.