Sunday, September 1, 2013

Comcast Theatre - Hartford, Connecticut

Last night a friend and I went to the Maroon 5/Kelly Clarkson concert at the Comcast Theatre in Hartford, CT.  On a musical level, the event was FABULOUS, but the transportation and post-event parking lot situations were very disconcerting.

First of all, parking is FREE.  There is a VIP option which gets you closer and needs to be paid for, but otherwise parking is provided free of charge and therefore there is little to no deterrent for people to drive to the event.

The venue's website provides information about this free parking but gives no suggestions for alternative means of arriving at any of its events.  There are a few different bus and amtrak route options, all of which require multiple transfers or over a mile of walking-- something that few people would have the patience to do after an event, especially when the parking option is free!

So, like the rest of the 30,000 event attendees, we drove; and what makes the lack-of-transportation-options situation ten times worse is the incredible traffic jam that occurs post-event.  Most people get in their cars, turn them on right away, and embark on their way to the exit -- at the same time.  With this many cars in one lot, with what looked like only one entrance/exit, you can imagine the amount of time it takes to actually get out of the lot and onto the road (where there again is more traffic).  This leaves hundreds (even thousands?!) of cars idling for 30 minutes or more.

Not being from Connecticut, I'm not up-to-date with the state's politics or environmental initiatives, but being neighbor to NY and MA who have great public transportation systems in their city centers, I would think it shouldn't be too difficult to find a way to improve the connectedness of the Comcast Theatre, at least during the summer months when attendance skyrockets.