It’s been two weeks since the inaugural RedBlacks home game, and with the second home game coming up tomorrow, I thought I’d go through my impressions of transit to and from the game. I had planned to give an elegant little review, but that never happened, so let’s just go through this bullet-point style. And to warn you, this will be focused the Glebe, since that’s where I live.
- Things worked well. Bank Street wasn’t plugged up, and cars, vehicles and bikes were able to move along pretty freely. I got home form work around 5:00 pm, taking Fifth Avenue to Bank (and then quickly turning left off of Bank). It was easy to turn onto Bank, change lanes and turn at left without the aid of stop light.
- Buses were running smoothly. They didn’t seem to be blocking other traffic at all.
- This is primarily because there was no parking, so no need to make non-stop lane changes. Sadly, it seems like we’ll be saddled with parking tomorrow.
- It was loud, but not too loud along Bank, though the KISS FM tent was obnoxiously loud. Pedestrians moved along quickly, and generally didn’t get in the way.
- Some pedestrians would cross the street willy-nilly without looking or caring that they were cutting people off.
- It really was a marvelous carnival atmosphere. This is the sort of thing we need to do more of in the city.
- Bank Street emptied quickly right before kick-off. There was no mad rush, honking or anything. All of a sudden, there just wasn’t anyone there. This would be a testament to the planning of OSEG.
- Apparently, they ticketed 51 cars and towed 8. I only saw one person get a ticket, it was around 8:00 and she had popped into Kardish to pick up a few things.
- There bike cops everywhere, seemingly.
- After the game, I quickly headed to a local bar. Lansdowne emptied relatively quickly, and for a brief while it got a little loud. Still, it wasn’t that bad. Really, it was about what you’d expect for a central neighbourhood during a special event.
- Within about 20 to 40 minutes, everyone seemed to have left or arrived at their destination, as Bank became relatively empty again (though bars were quite busy).
- The bike cops were still patrolling.
- There was an ice cream truck that parked illegally (with some irritating music playing). The cops told him to move. He got huffy, but moved anyway… to another illegal spot. They made him move again and he seemed to just give up and leave.
- I didn’t see a ton of trash on the streets. There was some, sure, but again, downtown event; what would you expect?
So that’s about it. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. It’s a weekend, so that may altar travel patterns. It might rain, so that might put a damper on things. The biggest worry, though, is the parking situation. The city and OSEG admitted there was ample parking for the game, but, still, they want more for tomorrow. If enough people hear that and think it means oh, I can drive to this game, they’ll have screwed themselves and the neighbourhood.