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Navigating the Outer Harbor: More parking, new directions

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

The promoters of the Buffalo Outer Harbor Concert Series—which welcomes the Tragically Hip, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Mac Miller this weekend alone—have worked diligently to improve an imperfect situation.

Perhaps the biggest drawbacks from the public’s perspective are traffic jams on the Skyway and Route 5 as well as the parking limitations alongside the concert venue. By cooperating with the Buffalo Police, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority police and the Department of Transportation, the Outer Harbor promoters have detailed new instructions for concert attendees.

First, take a glance at the physical layout of the venue—useful if this weekend marks your first Outer Harbor concert—courtesy of renowned Buffalo photographer Joe Cascio (see the original photos here). 

Here’s the Google Map version, with the arrow (roughly) representing Cascio’s perspective when taking the above photo:

Now that you’re oriented in the right direction, understand where the concert stage is and where the primary parking lot is located—almost immediately behind the crowd—we’ll jump into the route and parking changes through another map:

If you’re coming from the Skyway—regardless if you’re entering from the 190 South or immediately out of downtown off of Pearl Street—you’ll take the Skyway away from the city as it descends closer to ground level and becomes Route 5.

Instead of getting off at Fuhrmann Boulevard and taking Outer Harbor Drive’s south exit—which will be closed for Outer Harbor shows—continue on Route 5 for an additional two miles south (see the long black line), where you’ll exit at Tifft Street. From there, wrap around back north (note the arrow pointing north at the bottom of the image) again on Fuhrmann Boulevard toward the venue, and you’ll see signs and police directing for parking.

The purpose of these new directions is to limit backup on the Skyway—which often resulted in long lines extending to the 190 South (and beyond, unnervingly). With the additional two miles of space for traffic to congregate, the blockages on major routes will be reduced.

In addition, a newly created lot at 901 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo—the old Nano Dynamics building roughly a few hundred yards south of the main parking lot—will accommodate overflow parking, which should also hasten the departure process after the shows. Free shuttles will transport patrons from this new parking lot to the show.

If you’re annoyed by the notion of waiting in traffic, then take up Pearl Street Brewery and The Spirit of Buffalo’s offer of a water taxi from Canalside to the Outer Harbor—the cost is $15, however, and tickets can be purchased through Brawler’s Back Alley Deli in the basement of 76 Pearl St. or by calling (716-856-2337).

We’re impressed by the collaboration between the promoters and the Buffalo Police, the NFTA police and Department of Transportation in addressing a problem that’s wreaked havoc over the first several Outer Harbor shows. Hopefully these new guidelines help offset the issues and don’t create too many new problems.

TAGGED: buffalo outer harbor concert series, fuhrmann boulevard, funtime after dark, grace potter and the nocturnals, mac miller, the tragically hip, tifft street

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