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Sunday gridlock points up traffic, parking needs near Long Center
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by Austin Monitor
Angry operagoers, many of whom missed some or all of “Carmen” in the
For Council Member Brewster McCracken it was a sure sign that the new plan for rail that would run by the
On Sunday opera lovers lined up to get into the Long Center Garage. However, because of a reggae festival at
The opera’s web site directs overflow parking on Sunday to the
But city streets seem unable to deal with what McCracken called “the perfect storm. It goes to show that as you get more density and people in the urban core, you couldn’t widen the roads enough to accommodate all the people who are coming here on Sunday.”
For example, Charlene Cooper, who described herself as a senior citizen from Georgetown, wrote that she and her husband arrived on Cesar Chavez Street at 2pm, only to find traffic backed up for blocks—across the bridge and down the street toward Seaholm. When they arrived at the
Because her husband could not walk very far and they felt sure they would miss the first act, the Coopers went home without seeing the opera, she wrote, warning that if there is a similar problem next time (The Bat, Sunday, June 1) they will not be buying any more tickets. “This would be so terribly sad as the ALO has worked hard to build the quality of performances and bring such talented stars to
Others found parking elsewhere—including some who drove downtown and caught a taxi—but still missed part of the opera.
“After what happened Sunday, there’s going to be a push to serve the
Council Member Lee Leffingwell said, “I certainly wouldn’t be willing to assign blame to anybody but the fact is both of these events, I’m sure, had been planned for a long time. It was surprising how much traffic congestion was created by the joint events together and the parking facilities that weren’t there.” Leffingwell said he attended Friday night’s performance and found it excellent.
Lyric opera director Patterson did not return a call for comment. However Cliff Redd, executive director of the
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