There was a learning curve to event planning on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.
Artie Kwichoff can tell you. The long-time concert promoter ran shows on the Outer Harbor in 2012 and 2013.
Kwichoff told 2 On-Your-Side back in September of 2012, “Immediately after an event, we start writing things down. What went right? What went wrong?”
The biggest negative in the early shows: traffic. That’s because the Outer Harbor is on a peninsula. There is one road in and out. That’s Fuhrmann Boulevard.
So, if you’ve got thousands heading to a concert, bad things can happen. In at least one instance, Skyway traffic was backed-up from the Outer Harbor exit, back as far as the eye could see. To avoid this happening again, the Outer Harbor exit was closed. Vehicles were funneled to Ohio and Tifft Streets, and things moved smoother.
Fast forward to 2017. The Outer Harbor Management Group (OHMG) has ten events slated from June through August including the popular Italian and Irish festivals.
And OHMG president John Dandes says his team has a plan to make getting in and out as headache-free as possible, starting with closing the Outer Harbor exit off the Skyway.
“The other thing about what we’ve done is try to educate people about getting here early and the conversations about how to physically move here from Ganson Street are all in the works. We recognize it and are working hard at a solution,” says Dandes.
Dandes also says they are working with NFTA to bus people in and out for events.
“We’re just thrilled that this area will be teeming with people coming from all over Western New
York,” Dandes says.