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Harbor Drive Closed As Comic-Con Begins

MTS officials decorated the San Diego Convention Center trolley stop in the s...

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Above: MTS officials decorated the San Diego Convention Center trolley stop in the style of Netflix's Stranger Things ahead of Comic-Con 2018, San Diego, July 18, 2018.

Comic-Con International officially kicks off with preview night Wednesday, and that means major crowds and traffic downtown. New this year, the city is closing Harbor Drive in an effort to better facilitate foot traffic to the Convention Center.

Harbor Drive from First Avenue to Park Boulevard will be closed to vehicles beginning at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and will re-open Sunday evening when Comic-Con ends.

Reported by Katie Schoolov

MTS CEO Paul Jablonski said the closure means utilizing trolleys and buses will be an even more efficient way to get to the Convention Center than usual.

“Driving down here is going to be very difficult, it’s going to be very crowded, with Harbor especially closed," Jablonski said. "Don’t put yourselves through that. Just go park at Qualcomm, right off the 8, right off the 15, and take the trolley in, right to the heart of the action.”

There will be 5,000 free parking spaces at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium, formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium, and another 1,500 at Hazard Center. Jablonski suggests parking at one of these easy access trolley stops and buying a discounted trolley pass on the MTS Compass Cloud app.

Jablonnski said last year, public transit saw an extra 360,000 passengers during Comic-Con and they're expecting 400,000 additional passengers this year.

The Green Line, which runs through Mission Valley to the Gaslamp District and the Convention Center stops downtown, is beefing up service for the crowds. Trolleys will run every seven and a half minutes from 6:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. now through Sunday.

Comic-Con attendees were already pouring out of trolleys at the Convention Center stop Wednesday afternoon, where riders got a surprise.

MTS has decorated the stop to look like a scene from the hit Netflix series, “Stranger Things,” complete with a shadow monster, an alphabet wall, and a ticket machine decorated like the "Dragon's Lair" video game.

Harbor Drive will also be closed to bikes, scooters, and skateboards. San Diego Police Department Lieutenant Brent Williams says the closure will help them better protect the 200,000-plus people expected to be walking in the area and increase the efficiency of the foot traffic flow.

“For those that want to utilize alternate vehicles like scooters or dockless bikes, they’re not going to be allowed to park at the Convention Center, but there will be designated spots," Williams said. "I believe one on the West end of Harbor, one on the East end, and then one back at the Embarcadero Park area.”

MTS discounted trolley passes for Comic-Con will be $10 for a two-day pass, $13 for three days, $16 for four days, and $20 for five days. Jablonski also reminded Comic Con passengers to make sure to clearly mark props with a red or orange plastic tip, so they don't resemble real weapons.

Comic-Con International officially kicks off with preview night Wednesday, and that means major crowds and traffic downtown. New this year, the city is closing Harbor Drive in an effort to better facilitate foot traffic to the Convention Center.

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