SAN ANTONIO — With Fiesta underway, several agencies are working together to prevent downtown improvements from putting a damper on the party.
One-ways and detours all over downtown San Antonio are posing the question: Will work zones be an issue as people navigate Fiesta events?
"Construction is a challenge because trying to maneuver 2.5 million people around the City of San Antonio in 11 days for Fiesta, it does present some challenges," said Steve Rosenauer, executive director of the Fiesta Commission. "But the city and the Fiesta Commission have been working together for months (to prepare)."
He said several agencies started planning long ago on ways to prevent projects from putting a pause on the Fiesta fun.
"We know they're not going to interfere," said San Antonio Public Works Director Razi Hosseini. "We will fence them, make sure it's safe for the public to work around it."
Extra safety measures are in place at all active zones, while all private construction is paused through the end of April.
Fiesta Fiesta kicked off at a new location this year, bringing partiers to Travis Park while construction continues near the Alamo and in Hemisfair.
The event was canceled Friday night due to rain, but event organizers said they will continue moving forward with other planned events—rain or shine.
For the second year, both the Battle of Flowers and Flambeau parades will start on Main Street and end on Santa Rosa.
"With the one exception that there's a little bit of construction that's been freed up on Commerce Street. So, the end of the parade is going to be like a normal pattern where we're going from Commerce Street to Santa Rosa and then ending at Santa Rosa and Martin Street," Rosenauer added.
Public Works and the Fiesta Commission urge people to leave early and plan ahead. Heavy traffic is expected, and Hosseini encouraged the use of RideShare as an option to avoid having to navigate the congestion: "Take Uber, take other means. Don't drive. Downtown is always challenging driving."
VIA Park & Ride is also returning its shuttle service for certain events. Visit their website to view the scheduled pickup and dropoff locations for each event.
"We really try to encourage everybody to take VIA Park & Ride to the Fiesta events," Rosenauer added.
Most downtown city-operated lots charge $15 for event parking. Their interactive map showcases all of their open garages, including:
- Alamo Lot (418 South Alamo St.)
- Convention Center Garage (41 South Bowie St.)
- City Tower Garage (117 West Commerce St.)
- Central Library Garage (600 Soledad)
- Houston/Nolat Lot (Houston at Elm)
- Houston Street Garage (111 College St.)
- I-35 Lots (between West Commerce and West Martin streets)
- I-37 Lots (Ninth and Austin streets)
- Market Square Lot (612 West Commerce)
- Martinez Parking Lot (South Alamo and Martinez St.)
- Municipal Court Lot (401 South Frio St.)
Downtown Tuesday free parking will be suspended on April 25, but City Tower Sunday free parking from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. will continue for both Fiesta weekends.
These are some of the event road closures planned for Fiesta's events:
Fiesta de los Reyes at Market Square | April 21 to April 30
Street closures starting at noon on April 18 and lasting until 5 p.m. on May 1 include:
- San Saba between Dolorosa and Commerce
- Commerce between Santa Rosa and Pecos, starting at 6 p.m. and 12 p.m. on weekends
- Dolorosa, Commerce and Pecos all have ongoing lane closures
NIOSA at La Villita | April 24 to April 28
Street closures starting at 8 a.m. on April 22 and lasting until 9 p.m. on April 30 include:
- Presa Street between Nueva and Market Street
- Nueva between South Alamo and St. Mary's
- South Alamo between Cesar Chavez and Market Street, only on event days from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- South Alamo is down to one lane each way between Cesar Chavez and Market Street
Even with rerouting ahead, organizers said nothing will stop: "Viva Fiesta!"
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