TRAFFIC: Pirates, pucks and more in downtown Tampa

By Digital Media Team, Spectrum News
Last Updated: Thursday, January 25, 2018, 10:27 AM EST

With 300,000-plus of your closest Gasparilla and hockey-loving friends converging on downtown Tampa this weekend, there is bound to be a traffic jam or two. 

Gasparilla events will last throughout the day, kicking off as early as 9 a.m. and going through 9 p.m. The highlight of the day, the parade of pirates goes down Bayshore Boulevard beginning at 2 p.m. 

There will be live entertainment throughout downtown before and after the parade, including at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (Ashley and Twiggs), MacDill Park (Ashley and Whiting), The Sail Pavilion at the Tampa Convention Center, and Fergs Tampa (Jefferson and Channelside Drive). 

Meanwhile, the National Hockey League's All-Star Game Fan Festival activities will take over Cotanchobee Park behind Amalie Arena throughout the weekend, including Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. All-Star activities will include the NHL All-Star Skills Zone, Stanley Cup showcase, NHL mascots and a meet-and-greet with current and past hockey legends.

The NHL Skills Competition event takes place at Amalie Arena at 7 p.m.

The Straz Center also has a few Saturday evening shows, adding to the traffic mix. 

City officials are advising everyone coming downtown to get there early (before 11 a.m.), follow instructions on the digital signs on Interstates 275 and 4 utilize parking garages, especially the Ybor City garage where patrons can then use the TECO  streetcar into downtown. 

HART buses will run from Ybor City and the Channel District garage to Dick Greco Plaza 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. All day passes are $4.

Also, Uber and Lyft are your friends, although be aware of event pricing and receive mobile Gasparilla alerts by texting 888777.   

TRAFFIC AND PARKING INFORMATION: 

City of Tampa Traffic & Parking Advisory for the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates - Saturday, January 27

Avast ye! The City of Tampa wants you to be prepared for heavier than normal traffic on Saturday, January 27, 2018 in downtown and south Tampa as we batten down the hatches and prepare for great fun and high adventure during the 102nd Annual Gasparilla Pirate Fest!

The pirates arrive by sea as the fully rigged Jose Gasparilla sails into Seddon Channel and docks at the Tampa Convention Center at 1 p.m. Then, the marauding buccaneers gather at the intersection of Bay to Bay Blvd. and Bayshore Blvd. for the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates, which steps off at 2 p.m. The parade continues along Bayshore Blvd. to Brorein Street, turns east on Brorein Street, then north on Ashley Drive. The parade ends in downtown Tampa at Cass Street and Ashley Drive.
South Tampa Neighborhood Parking and Circulation Plans

The City is alerting the public of road closures and towing zones to minimize congestion in neighborhoods that border the parade route. “No Parking” signs have been installed in the neighborhoods west of Bayshore Blvd and will be in effect beginning on Friday, January 26, 2018 through Saturday, January 27, 2018. Any vehicles parked on the streets in the affected neighborhoods will be cited and towed at the owner’s expense. Tampa Police advise motorists not to park their vehicles in the “No Parking” areas to avoid having their vehicles towed.

Street Closure Schedule

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 7:00 AM

Ashley Dr from Brorein St to Jackson St
Brorein St from Florida Ave to Parker St
Franklin St from Channelside Dr to Harbour Island Bridge
Old Water St from Florida Ave to Franklin St
Washington St from Ashley Dr to Tampa St
Whiting St from Ashley Dr to Tampa St
Whiting St from Florida Ave to Franklin St (WB)
Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 9:00 AM
Kennedy from Hyde Park Ave to Ashley Dr (EB)
Ashley Dr from Cass St to Jackson St
Jackson St from Ashley Dr to Tampa St
Kennedy Blvd from Florida Ave to Plant Ave (WB)
Madison St from Ashley Dr to Tampa St
Madison St from Florida Ave to Tampa St (WB)
Twiggs St from Florida Ave to Tampa St (WB)
Zack St from Ashley Dr to Tampa St
Zack St from Florida Ave to Tampa St (WB)
Polk St from Ashley Dr to Tampa St
Polk St from Florida Ave to Tampa St (WB)
Tyler St from Florida Ave to Tampa St (WB)

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Cass St from Willow Ave to N Blvd
North A St from Willow Ave to Newport Ave
North B St from Willow Ave to Newport Ave
Fig St from Willow Ave to Gilchrist Ave
Carmen St from Willow Ave to Delaware Ave
Newport Ave from Cass St to North A St
Gilchrist Ave from Cass St to Fig St

Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 1:30 PM

Cass St from N Blvd to Tampa St
Tyler St from Tampa St to Cass St
Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 3:00 PM
Bay-to-Bay Blvd from MacDill Ave to Ysabella Ave (EB)
Swann Ave from MacDill Ave to Armenia Ave (EB lanes closed only, 1-way WB)
Platt St at Howard Ave (EB)
Platt St at S Blvd (EB)
Willow Ave from Kennedy Blvd to Cleveland St
Willow Ave from Cleveland St to Platt St (SB)
South Blvd from Kennedy Blvd to Cleveland St
South Blvd from Cleveland St to Platt St (SB)
Whiting St from Tampa St to Franklin St
Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 4:30 PM
Kennedy Blvd at Himes Ave (EB)
Kennedy Blvd at MacDill Ave (EB)
Kennedy Blvd at Howard Ave (EB)
Kennedy Blvd at Willow Ave (EB)
Kennedy Blvd at Blvd (EB)

City of Tampa Parking Information

For access to the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates in South Tampa, consider using the following garages and lots:

• Ft Brooke Garage - $10 flat rate and will open at 7 a.m.
• Jackson Street Parking Lot - hourly rate of $1.60/hr, with a $9.50 daily maximum and will open at 7 a.m.
• Poe Garage –At 9:30 a.m. at a rate of $4 per vehicle entry. Due to the parade route, this garage will be closed from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Customers will not be able to enter or exit this garage until after 6:00 p.m. For those attending the Straz 8 p.m. show, Poe Garage will reopen at 6:30 p.m. and there will be a $6 flat rate paid on entry.
• Royal Regional Lot – $10 flat rate and will open at 7 a.m.
• Tampa Convention Center Garage - $10 flat rate and will open at 7 a.m.
• Twiggs Street Garage - hourly rates of $1.20/hr, with a $7 daily maximum and will open at 7 a.m.
• All numbered spaces on Kennedy Blvd. and south of Kennedy Blvd. are enforced up until midnight at the standard hourly rate.
For access to the Amalie Arena in the morning and the evening, consider using the following garages and lots:
• The Selmon Expressway Lots 
• South Regional Garage

For access to downtown and south Tampa from historic Ybor City, consider using the following garages and utilizing HART services:

• Centro Ybor and Palm Avenue Garages - will open at 7 a.m at the standard hourly rate. HART park and ride available from both locations.

HART will be offering extra streetcar, bus, and trolley services. For more information about HART service during this special event, please call (813) 254-4278 or visit www.goHART.org.
Getting to the Straz Center

Ride share information    

With extensive road closures and expected pedestrian traffic in Tampa between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. in preparation for the Gasparilla Pirate Festival on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., the NHL All-Star Skills Competition at 7 p.m. and the All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3:30 p.m., Uber urges attendees to leave their car (or pirate ship) at home and offers the following tips on where to request a ride, and information on pick up and drop off locations.

GASPARILLA:
From 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, riders will not be able to request a ride if they are located in the shaded areas in the map below.


Those located in the shaded areas can request a ride by heading outside the perimeter. Suggested directions based on location are listed below. The Uber app will also display a notification from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. instructing riders where to walk to request a ride based on their location.

Downtown: Walk east toward North Florida Avenue. Once there, you will be able to request a ride.

Harbor Island: Walk east of Harbor Island Boulevard and south of Knights Run Ave, then tap Request.

Hyde Park North: Head north toward the University of Tampa. After you've reached Cleveland Avenue, you'll be able to request.

Hyde Park Center: Head north of Swann Avenue and east of South Boulevard, and from there, request a ride.

Hillsborough Bay: If you're enjoying the festivities on the high seas, head back to land to request your ride! You will not be connected with a driver until you are on land.

Uber also recommends requesting an uberXL if riders are headed to Gasparilla with more than four people, as these vehicles accommodate up to six people; use the Uber fare split tool in the app to share the cost of the ride; be sure to review the upfront pricing which gives the actual fare before a ride is requested; and always make sure the driver’s license plate and car model match what is shown in the app before hopping in.

Throughout Saturday, there may also be cases where an Uber rider cannot be dropped off at their exact location and may need to walk a few blocks to get to their destination. For more tips and information about using Uber during Gasparilla this weekend visit www.uber.com/blog/tampa-bay/gasparilla-all-star-weekend.  

NHL ALL-STAR SKILLS COMPETITION (SAT) AND GAME (SUN):
Uber is proud of its existing partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning in providing driver-partners and riders with a better pickup and drop-off experience at Amalie Arena. When getting to and from the games, guests may get picked up and dropped off in Uber’s exclusive pickup and drop-off zone along Channelside Drive, between Florida Avenue and Morgan Street.

Details here for both driver-partners and riders for this weekend’s NHL All-Star activities:

Here is the Uber & Amalie Arena website for riders.
Here is the Uber & Amalie Arena website for drivers.
     The NHL All-Star skills competition will be on Saturday at 7 p.m. EST at Amalie Arena
     The NHL All-Star game will be on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST at Amalie Arena

To take a look at how Uber has been “Moving Florida” (#MovingFlorida) over the past four years visit uber.com/info/florida.