City Plans For Smoother Drive Into Downtown Concert Entertainment District

If you know how to navigate city arteries, it’s a lot easier to reach concert destinations at the 10,000-seat Webster Bank Arena. If you’re unfamiliar with city streets, it can be a highway logjam, something entertainment professional Howard Saffan–who’s partnered with concert promoter Live Nation to transform the adjacent former city baseball stadium into a new 5,200-seat warm-weather amphitheater–wants to avoid a year from now when it’s scheduled to open.

The City Council recently approved a $60,500 contract for Langan CT Inc. to propose a traffic management plan for Downtown access to the entertainment district.

CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart has more:

Howard Saffan recalled how fans of “Rocket Man” Elton John had anything but a fast trip into the Park City when the music superstar performed a few years ago at the entertainment arena downtown.

“There were people stuck on (Interstate) 95 for over an hour,” Saffan, who used to run the city-owned arena for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey team, said. “They walked in, Elton John was on his fourth song.”

Saffan, the developer behind the outdoor amphitheater being built next door, wants to avoid such traffic nightmares when that new concert venue opens a year from now.

“That level of dissatisfaction just can’t happen,” Saffan said. “As good as the concert may be, you have so much angst by the time you walk in. That’s what we’re trying to avoid.

Full story here.

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20 comments

  1. They could include the price of parking in the ticket so people could drive right to the lot or the garage. Signage and marking the street would be a big improvement too, that should have been done years ago. People need to pay attention which lane they are in too. Yes the cops should be more attentive to the traffic and not their phones. People too need to leave early enough to avoid traffic if they can.
    You can’t show up five minutes before the event and get angry a parking spot is not available.

  2. Take the train??. Then what,after the concert walk back to the station and wait in there, at 11:00 or so??..No thank you,people don’t feel safe downtown at that time, hence the ghost town after 7:00pm

  3. And again……pay someone $$ to figure out how to solve a problem in Bridgeport. There are universities that have urban planning departments that would gladly do such a study for free. If you had knowledgeable people in your own OPED or Police department etc then they could have done this as well. Oh wait…. that’s right, there aren’t any people who were appointed, anointed, or hired in Bridgeport that are capable of such tasks so more taxpayer money needs to be spent.

    1. Seems to be a surplus of cash to hand out when Joe sees fit.Which long time supporter of Joe’s will soon be given a $75,000 a year job as the new “Traffic Manager”?

      1. That will go to whoever could ensure the most votes when the time comes.
        I’ve mentioned this a long time ago: there are so many positions that are handed out (as we all know) that are a complete waste of money such as the “spokesperson” for the police department, Adams’s position and other “spokespersons” jobs etc.. Council members should look into this and not appropriate the cash and they could save at least 1 million dollars per year on these unnecessary positions.

        1. Does Danny Pizarro get paid to be “Ganims aide” and does he get paid to drive Mario to breakfast or do the gratis drinks at Mario’s take care if that??………..
          Just an afterthought on another useless position that the taxpayers go out of pocket for.
          More to come…..

    1. Coach T,
      Yes, you would think so. We had Captain McCarthy and Bob Evans who were in charge of traffic division for 10 years and they each made $180,000 a year and neither could come up with a traffic plan that worked. If you tried to give them ideas, they just blew it off!!
      Ridiculous!!!! Hire me for half the money and I will come up with a plan!!!! Put me in Coach!!

  4. trivia:
    Langan’s nearest office is in New Haven. They also have an office in Bridgeport, West Virginia.
    Any traffic improvement by Langan might be offset by a tollsnarl courtesy of the General Assembly.
    What’s good for the amphitheater goers is good for daily commuters-dislocated values!
    Marilyn Moore’s apprentice as Gomes’ aide was longer than her time as State Senator. You can’t tilt the table until you learn how to play the game, right? Bob Walsh is MM’s political liability.

  5. bonus:
    I hope the Langan traffic plan is successful.
    Here’s why: because while Lamont talk, talk, talks about traffic congestion, only Mayor Ganim is doing something about it. I wish Lamont the best but Ganim is the action hero this time.

  6. After the Neil Young concert we were stuck in the parking lot an hour. There was only one gate to get out. The cops weren’t directing traffic and the RR underpass on Broad was not being used
    Sometimes there are simple, common sense solutions
    I would like to see pedicabs and golf cart shuttles and mini busses from parking Downtown and promotion of local restaurants
    An attractive link between Downtown under the highway would be nice
    I hope for a capitalization from this new opportunity Downtown. This from your local City Planner…
    OPED being involved with this slam dunk should spend their time planning a more walkable community Downtown and a Development plan for the former Sanborn Library, the Theaters and the Remington Shot Tower.
    And a more welcoming train station

    1. OPED has spent most of their resources over the last 2 years figuring out how to get Defilippo the right to open his liquor store. So far even with Willingers help Defilippo still cannot open his store. Over 3 years now and countless hours of political help and nothing yet. We’ll see.
      More to come ……….on this and other corrupt topics…….
      cheers….. pour me another,
      and……………….. no tip for you…….

  7. BOB, yes all that is needed is common sense and for police to do their damn job……1 gate really????? STUPID….pedicabs, golf carts are excellent idea’s

  8. Read the article again. SAFFAN doesn’t want the traffic jams again. Why doesn’t HE pay for the study?
    Who is paying for the traffic police? I’m sure it’s the city.
    Give me a break. If the amphitheater is making all the money then they pay. Pay for the study and pay police overtime. Case closed.

  9. Also you have enough former police chiefs running around town. Have one of them do the study.
    You are talking about a 5,000 seat amphitheater. Tops 2,500 cars. The city has been there before. Didn’t they learn anything.
    Whoever is making money off of the parking and concessions by people arriving early pays for the study.

  10. Gee. They can’t even complete a decent bike path in this City!
    Rickshaws would be a great idea.,,Max, Coleman, Joe and Robeson can pull them!

  11. Like everyone is saying.. WHY are we paying one extra cent to an outside organization to “study and make recommendations” to improve traffic to the Harboryard etc location. For chrissakes,why are we paying millions for Bridgeport Police officers. Any half-decent Police Department Chief would grab this issue and deal with internally. However,it is increasingly becoming clearer and clearer day by day,that Armando Perez does not have the qualifications to be The head of the Bridgeport Police Department. Let’s not forget the ostriches on the Board of Police Commissioners.

  12. Frank,

    You might be on to something, you find a few retired cops who directed traffic at a major event I am sure they could come up with a better idea. The question is would the department be receptive of their idea? For that matter will they follow the plan this collosal waste of money comes up with?

    One thing for sure there are too many turns into the flow of traffic to the lots and the garage. These create a bottle necks and slow the flow of traffic. You add a motorists or two that ignore the Officers directions and block an intersection that causes all kinds of problems.

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