New traffic and safety initiatives installed for popular concert series
Click here to see video of motorists using the new Seneca Street Robert Moses Parkway entrance
by Joshua Maloni
So far, so good.
The first "Tuesday in the Park" concert at Artpark went off without a hitch this week, according to Village of Lewiston officials.
"I think it went extremely well," Mayor Terry Collesano said. "Of course, the crowds weren't that large.
"I think things went very well," said Lewiston Police Chief Chris Salada. "It was a nice number to start out with."
Around 10,000 people attended Tuesday's Blue Oyster Cult concert. Those in attendance "definitely appeared to be better behaved," Salada said. That may be the result of an abundance of police on site and patrolling the village.
"We have a nice commitment between the agencies," Salada said. His LPD staff teamed with officers from the State Police, Park Police, Niagara County Sheriff's Office, Niagara County Auxiliary Police and Border Patrol. "We all coordinate our manpower (at posts) prior to the concert."
With State Police and Park Police on the Artpark grounds, and auxiliary agents directing traffic (including new routes on Fourth Street and via the new Seneca Street Robert Moses Parkway entrance), LPD officers were free to target pedestrian traffic entering and exiting the concert. Salada said potential troublemakers were deterred before they had the chance to misbehave.
In total, "We were trying to set the tone. ... We issued several parking tickets, traffic tickets, open container tickets. We just want everyone to get the message," Salada said. He noted there were no major occurrences.
Both the police chief and the mayor said traffic appeared to more smoothly move out of Artpark. More than 200 cars used the new RMP entrance, which was added to alleviate traffic jams that, in past years, lasted up to two hours.
"Overall, I got some good reports on (the evening)," Collesano said. "Most importantly, very, very few complaints.
"That's usually a good judge to what people are thinking."