By Bill Shields

WORCESTER (CBS) – Polar Park is a brand new ballpark in the heart of downtown Worcester. But like most new things, there are some wrinkles to iron out. Right now, it’s game day traffic.

On game days, WooSox fans have created traffic jams on area streets, looking for parking where there used to be plenty of on-street spots.

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“There are people trying this for the first time. They’re finding their way. It’s a new experience. It’s a new ballpark. You can park close to the ballpark,” said Dr. Charles Steinberg of the WooSox.

At El Patron, owner Mirna Cazares said the ballpark traffic is keeping her regulars away.

“I don’t know. Once people start getting used to the way maybe this area will become, they’ll be a little bit less hesitant on coming. But right now I think everyone is afraid of coming down,” said Cazares.

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The park has a new 300 car garage coming in August. And the city has parking lots set aside for people buying ticket to games.

“When they’re purchasing their season ticket pass, they can purchase their parking at the same time. And if you buy your individual ticket for the game, you can then purchase your parking,” said Worcester parking manager Mark Kostovski.

“With any plan, there are growing pains. The plan certainly engaged consultants, engaged the user groups, residents, businesses alike, and developed a very comprehensive plan,” said Public Works Commissioner Jay Fink.

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The city has a parking plan in the works right now that will likely include restricted on-street parking and increased fines. The City Council is expected to vote on it within days.

Bill Shields