For the second in what I hope will be a series of Monday debates, reader Bill Camp raises some (frequently asked) questions about the parking situation at the RBC Center.
I'd like to do this every Monday (perhaps even during the season), so send your questions/issues to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll throw them up here.
Without further ado, here's what Bill says "really gets my blood to a boil:"
I'm totally frustrated with trying to discuss the parking problems at the RBC Center. More specifically, trying to get into the parking lots in time to see the puck drop on a regular basis. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be stuck on Edwards Mill Road with traffic backed up past Wade Avenue 25-30 minutes before the start time and find that the police have already shut down the entrance from Edwards Mill and no one directing traffic at Trinity Road. The light is usually running on it's regular cycle with no left turn only signal, thus causing the backups and hundreds, if not thousands, of irate fans waiting to access the lots.
My first season as a STH was the 2001-02 season, and I never had a problem getting into the parking lots quickly and without significant backups. There were usually 2-3 attendants collecting parking fees at the entrance to each parking area and backups were seldom long. Folks were routed on to the north lots if the west lots had lines that would slow the traffic. I don't ever remember the Edwards Mill entrance being closed off before all the lots accessed from that entrance were full. Nowadays, there seem to be fewer police officers directing traffic, fewer attendants collecting money, and traffic backups seem to be the accepted norm for the organization. I now have premier parking, but I still miss faceoffs because off all the traffic diverted to turn left on Trinity Road where I have to go to access the premier/VIP entrance.
I'm hoping that someone from the staff at least reads your blog to get some idea of what the fans think about the quality of the experience when attending a Hurricane's game. I have been completely frustated trying to talk to their staff. They always seem to have an excuse, when it all boils down to cost cutting and not having sufficient law enforcement on the streets and arena staff in the lots to efficiently move traffic into the arena lots. My ticket rep offered that at least this year they raised general parking fees to $10 from $8 so that attendants could make change faster. Not to mention they raised my premier fees by well over $100 for the season. Not exactly sensitive to their customers experience in my opinion.
Your thoughts? If I get any response from the team, I'll post it here.