Target Field bathroom line score: Ladies win

  • Updated: April 14, 2010 - 8:02 AM
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F-16's from the 148th fighter wing in Duluth do a fly over prior to the start of the first regular season in the Twins new ballbark Target Field.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

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The architects of Target Field conquered a host of problems connected with the ballpark's unlikely site, but they were powerless against that age-old resistance among men: asking directions.

That was one of the few issues that emerged after the Minnesota Twins' opener, which officials reviewed Tuesday and judged largely successful. Here's a look at some of the glitches.

GUESS WHO WAITED LONGER?

The restroom lines at Target Field on Monday stretched outside some men's rooms rather than women's.

The problem was not too few urinals. The guys just congregated near the food stands on the first-base side of the main concourse. They tended to other business there, as well, rather than seek out lesser-used restrooms that might have required some assistance to find.

"We're looking at modifying signage to get people to them and identifying them better," said Matt Hoy, the Twins' VP for operations.

Target Field has 667 restroom fixtures, 401 for women and 266 for men.

BIGGEST CRUNCH: TRAINS

Metro Transit calculated that it carried at least 6,700 Twins fans to the game, a 15 to 17 percent share of the attendance that scored well above the typical 10 to 12 percent figures for Metrodome events, spokesman Bob Gibbons said.

The most popular transit mode was the Hiawatha light-rail line. As officials expected, rail cars were packed after the game as they left the ballpark for the heart of the downtown district, where regular commuters often were unable to board.

The problem: Shuttle buses to back up light-rail trains were parked too far away for most riders to use. That will be remedied by bringing one or two of them at a time to the ballpark's charter bus area on N. 7th Street, where they will be more convenient, Gibbons said.

All 27 light-rail cars were used for the opener, Gibbons said. An informal survey showed that most people waited 10 to 15 minutes to get on board, he said. About 50 minutes after the game ended, no one was left in line and "Target Field light-rail service was back to normal," he said.

SOME FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS

Traffic czars were generally pleased with low levels of congestion before and after the game.

"It appeared drivers were paying attention to the variable message signs," telling them which areas to avoid and where to park, said Minneapolis traffic engineer Steve Mosing.

By the game's end at 6:15 p.m., most commuters had already left the parking ramps for home. Fans were out within 35 minutes, Mosing said.

Fans also took the edge off post-game congestion by stopping in local establishments before leaving the area, Mosing said.

KEVIN DUCHSCHERE

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