Whether you are headed to a football, basketball or hockey game—or even a concert—getting to the event and back can be hectic. We connected with SEH traffic engineers Chad Jorgensen and Roger Plum to see if they had any secrets to minimizing your travel time or, at least, some of the stress that often accompanies it. Here’s what they shared.
“The simplest way to reduce your traffic woes is to go to the event early and stay late,” says Jorgenson. In other words, make a day of it. Tailgate beforehand. Grab something to eat afterward. Participate in any post-game stadium events. By arriving early and staying late traffic congestion gets distributed over a longer period of time, which is good for everybody.
During major events, the city will be staged with more bus and transit support. So why drive when you can let your city bus or light rail operator take you. If you do need to drive, consider parking outside the city, then taking a charter bus.
We are usually so concerned about getting to the event on time we park at the first lot we encounter. But that’s a mistake. What should you do instead?
According to Jorgenson, have an exit strategy. Park-based on where you want to go after the game, not where it’s easiest when you get there.
“When we show up to the game, we often join the crowds headed into the stadium,” says Plum.
The problem? You may get into the stadium easily by following the crowd, but then when the game is over, you exit the stadium not remembering how you got there or where you parked.
The fix is simple: pay close attention to not only the ramp but exactly where within the ramp you parked. Then when the event is over, and you accidentally exit from a different gate, you’ll know where to go.
Background traffic is the traffic that occurs regardless of your event (think rush hour). Naturally, it can play a major role in how much time you spend in transit. Pay attention to normal peak traffic during event (day and time) and adjust your schedule accordingly. You may have to follow rule number one.
Contact Chad Jorgenson