IBJNews

Plan ahead for downtown traffic, parking

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The parking lot on South Street about two blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium will be off-limits to the public for more than a week leading up to the Feb. 5 Super Bowl.

Owner Norle Investments Inc. has rented the space to cable sports network ESPN, displacing about 50 monthly parkers.

The 212 spaces in the lot between Meridian and Pennsylvania streets aren’t much compared with the 150,000 out-of-town visitors expected to converge on the city, but Norle’s decision to lease the lot during Super Bowl festivities begs larger questions.

Will there be enough available parking to accommodate the flood of arriving vehicles and—perhaps more important—will downtown commuters still have access to their usual spaces?

The answer is “yes,” according to executives at Denison Parking, the city’s largest parking operator.

“There’s been a semi-panic about that,” said Mark Pratt, Denison’s president and chief operating officer. “The Super Bowl is a special, probably one-time event. Our existing parking patrons will be with us way longer than that.”

Denison has contacted clients and assured them it won’t be selling spaces reserved for monthly parkers, at least not during normal business hours.

Even so, Super Bowl organizers have asked large downtown employers to consider allowing workers to clock in from home or stagger their hours to minimize congestion, and city bus company IndyGo is offering free rides on its non-airport routes Feb. 2-5 for the same reason.

Further complicating the situation: Several downtown streets will be closed—some as early as Jan. 19—to accommodate the festivities.

The Indianapolis Host Committee rolled out its “Know Before You Go” traffic-planning initiative in December, urging drivers to do their homework before getting behind the wheel.

Officials have laid out two alternative routes to help motorists avoid the worst of it (see map here), and residents and visitors alike are encouraged to use one of three park-and-ride sites rather than drive into the heart of downtown.

Shuttles will pick up riders at the old long-term airport parking at 2155 S. High School Road, a parking garage at 327 N. Illinois St., and a garage and surface lot at 101 N. New Jersey St. The drop-off zone is on West Washington Street just north of the Indiana Convention Center, home to the interactive NFL Experience beginning Jan. 27. With reservations—which are recommended—the rides cost $2 per person.

About a third of out-of-town guests are staying in downtown hotels, according to Indianapolis Host Committee estimates, with the rest within the metropolitan area. Many of the fans staying elsewhere are with groups that will take a bus to the game, reducing traffic, said Mel Raines, the committee’s vice president of event operations and government relations.

But an untold number of fans could simply want to be part of the Super Bowl experience, cheering on their favorite team from a nearby watering hole. And that may make a big difference, depending upon which teams make the championship game.

If it is teams that travel well, such as the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers, the number of visitors could surpass expectations, particularly since the cities are within driving distance.

Denison averages about 5,000 vacant spaces during the week. Including the entire downtown, the number of empty spaces likely rises to 10,000, Pratt said.

“There’s a little more coordination going on than people might think,” Pratt said. “I don’t see any disaster looming.”

Still, IUPUI is preparing for the deluge of visitors by canceling weekend classes. Administrators also are encouraging instructors to provide online assignments the Friday before and Monday after the game, so students and professors can avoid traveling downtown.

“If 100 percent of our employees tried to get downtown, we’d be contributing to the traffic problem,” said Amy Conrad Warner, IUPUI’s vice chancellor for external affairs. “So supervisors have the opportunity to adjust start and end times, and to telecommute.”

Meanwhile, Norle Investments’ decision to lease its parking lot to ESPN is a no-brainer for Steve Foster, the company’s parking supervisor, who declined to divulge financial details of the agreement.

“If we were going to make more money parking cars, we’d be parking cars,” he said. “Let’s put it that way.”•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT