(Source: CBS 5 News) Some motorists said it took as long as 30 minutes to get out of their parking garage because of a downtown ice rink that takes up a city block of road.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The ice skating rink in downtown Phoenix is twice the size of last year's and is now laid out right over Central Avenue, shutting down the block between Washington and Jefferson streets.
It's at CityScape, a high-rise residential, shopping, dining and retail complex, where 30,000 people are expected to come out this holiday season, lace up a pair of skates and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
"It's a little surreal, ice skating when it's hot outside," said a skater Wednesday night.
But the chilly playground is getting a frosty reception from some who work in the area, because the skating rink has shut down part of Central Avenue for the next six weeks.
"It's a mess out here," a driver told CBS 5 News.
That mess is felt mostly by those who work in the area and park at First Avenue and Jefferson, where blocked off lanes and backed up traffic hinder people trying to get out of the parking garage.
CBS 5 News spoke with driver after driver who said 5 p.m. quitting time is taking a little longer these days.
"It's about 10 minutes longer," said one commuter. Another said it takes an extra "10 to 15 minutes."
For some, it is worse than that.
"Yesterday it was really bad. We sat for 30 minutes just trying to get out of the garage," a woman told CBS 5 News as she sat in traffic after work.
But the majority of drivers said the ice rink was not putting the freeze on their holiday patience.
"It's a minor inconvenience. We'll get through it," said one man leaving the garage.
Another woman pointed out, "It's a little tough, but you work around it. You know, it's great. The ice skating is really cool."
CBS 5 News spoke with an official from the city of Phoenix, who said they only recently learned of the traffic tie-up at the parking garage.
They said they are evaluating the situation and are looking at where they might be able to make improvements.
In the meantime, the ice rink at CityScape is open every night until 11 through Jan. 5. It's $12 per skater, and part of the proceeds benefit Valley charities.
Copyright 2012 KPHO CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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