You’re sitting in your car for what feels like eternity, stuck behind traffic you predicted would be there. Up ahead you finally catch a glance — too late — of the closure signs, and you start looking for a way out without running anyone over.
When you manage it out, you realize there are too many people, and you just can’t find a single good parking space. Frustrated, you consider missing the event altogether. Does this scene sound familiar?
Event parking can be horrendous if you’re not prepared, and the annual Spring Fling at the University of Arizona is no exception. With all the excitement, carnival-goers should be aware of the road traffic changes and anticipate the many problems that could arise from them.
“I would remind drivers and visitors to these events to drive with caution and care,” said Elisa Tapia, UA Parking and Transportation Services program coordinator. “Due to the Mall area being closed, we have detours for thousands of bike riders who ride safely on campus; so please share the roads on and around campus.”
Tapia reviews many operative concerns, like the planning of road blocking and traffic control devices. She said one of the common issues that almost always comes up is confusion due to road closures.
Road closures will be in effect from University Boulevard (UA Mall) between Cherry Avenue and Campbell Avenue and will last from Monday, April 9, through Tuesday, April 17. This will also affect the Red, Green and Purple Cat Tran routes and temporarily close the bus stop near Optical Sciences for Sun Tran passengers.
PTS has released a detour map for pedestrian and cyclists on the UA Spring Fling website. They will also be posting signs.
The second issue Tapia said often comes up is traffic congestion, which can be cause for accidents. However, Tapia said that on campus there are “hardly any” accidents.
Though Tapia wasn’t certain about how many accidents happen around Spring Fling, she noted, “most people are driving slowly to sight-see the campus, arenas, the carnival lights of the event.”
Tapia also said PTS understands that many of the visitors to Spring Fling may not know the parking rules, and therefore are a bit lenient in dealing with violators.
“We do not generally ticket or tow unless it is absolutely necessary,” Tapia explained. “We have not towed any vehicles due to Spring Fling necessities ... [and we] post clear signage and provide monitors to help assist visitors coming to these large events to help prevent violations.”
Lastly, it is sometimes a struggle to find close parking for families with small children. Though parking in general is an obstacle itself, Tapia recommended downloading and using the UA homegrown traffic solution app, Metropia (available for iPhone and Android).
The app shows all available campus parking, costs and how full the lots are in real time.
Much of the free parking is available at surface lots north of Speedway Boulevard and south of Sixth Street starting Friday after 4 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday.
Highland Avenue, Park Avenue, Main Gate and Tyndall Avenue garages will be free all day Saturday and Sunday.
There is only a $5 parking fee on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for several parking lots near the stadium and south on Speedway Boulevard and Cherry Avenue. Cherry Avenue and Second Street garage parking is also $5.
“Without PTS involvement, visitors attending these events could be faced with traffic delays, confusion and frustration. We want the customer’s experience to be that of enjoying the events, the beauty of campus and the university experiences available on campus,” Tapia said. “Our mission statement says it all; we are a ‘department of services that provides creative solutions for campus access and promotes alternative transportation for faculty, staff, students and visitors at the University of Arizona.’”
For more informatio,n visit the UA Spring Fling website under the 'Event’ tab: http://springfling.arizona.edu/ or the PTS website: https://parking.arizona.edu/about/special-event-spring-fling-parking-information
Follow the Daily Wildcat on Twitter.