While planning for its move to Mahackeno, the Westport YMCA assured the public (and politicians) that there would be plenty of parking. Even during big events, Y leaders said, they could handle the crowds.
Today, a masters swim meet — “not even a major one,” an employee admitted — caused chaos. People parked in snow banks, at odd and dangerous angles, on the narrow entrance road — anywhere they could. Between drivers circling endlessly looking for spots, folks pulling out in very cramped quarters, and families dodging traffic as they trooped over from the Merritt Parkway commuter lot, it was a dangerous scene.
I don’t mind walking a good distance before I work out. But plenty of Y users are not as mobile.
The move out of downtown has made the Y wildly popular. Officials may be surprised at the number of new members. But they should not be surprised at what happens, now that they can hold swim meets with more teams than before.
A couple of weeks ago, a 16-team youth swim meet caused a similar parking frenzy. The Y sent several teenage employees outside, telling swim team parents to drop their kids off in front and then park in the commuter lot. They were ignored, so today they were nowhere in sight. The result: one big goat rodeo.
Not to mention the even-more-cramped-than-usual locker room. So I won’t.