by Andrew Chalk
Friday’s Beaujolais and Beyond Festival organized by the French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) was a fun event. I would recommend Crave readers try to attend the event next year.
However, one huge downside on Friday was the backlog of cars waiting to park. At 6:55pm the line stretched from the Convention Center parking garage out almost as far as state highway 114 (two lanes deep).
There was no need for this backlog. It was due to the Convention Center charging for ticketing on entry. Each driver had to find $8 and, if paying by credit card, wait while the staff ran over to the one credit card machine (set some way away from the traffic lanes of entering traffic).
Events like this always start at a pre-set time, so everybody turns up at once. The place to charge for parking is either on exit, since people leave in dribs and drabs, or via tickets purchased at machines at the pedestrian edge of the garage (i.e. park, then purchase the ticket before you return to your car, on exit stuff the machine with the ticket to raise the gate).
It is bad enough having to pay $8 due to the contrived scarcity of hundreds of acres of empty fields being off-limits, but to wait almost fifteen minutes for the privilege to do so is an insult. FACC should encourage the City of Irving to fix this or just move the event next year. Likely the problem is costing FACC hundreds of attendees.