Traffic at Burning Man: What YOU Can Do About It

Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: this post will not reveal a magic solution to Burning Man’s traffic woes. There is no wand to wave to quickly transport you onto the playa and prevent you from ever having another exhausting Exodus experience. If I said that, you’d know I was lying, because getting 60,000 people in and out of Black Rock City using a two lane rural highway is no easy task. Traffic will, for the foreseeable future, be a part of the Burning Man experience.

Exodus 2005. Photo by Borealis Aurora

Yep, I said it. And I know you know it. So, let’s talk about what we can do to make getting in and out of BRC a better experience for everyone, and consider what constitutes reasonable wait times.

We are continually evaluating ways to improve the process of getting into and out of Burning Man. Some of these will require years of planning, while others can be implemented more easily. Here are some of the changes we are working on for 2012:

  • The Temple will burn at sundown this year to give you a little more time to leave on Sunday night.
  • We are developing a communication system to let you know when a Pulse is about to happen during Exodus.
  • We’re doubling the number of porta potties along Gate Road. While this won’t solve traffic problems, it will make your wait more pleasant.
  • We are working closely with the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and other local agencies to analyze and address traffic issues; in 2012 a team from Burning Man and NDOT will drive the roads to evaluate traffic patterns and map all of the sticky bits.
  • We are placing additional flaggers in Gerlach during ingress and egress to address safety concerns around the gas station.
  • We added a traffic section to the Black Rock City Census, through which we’ll collect important planning information.
  • We hired a traffic engineer to evaluate our traffic plans and help us figure out how to grow sustainably. We are considering multiple forms of transportation, the viability of shuttles, and changes to the design of the event. Right now we are deep in research mode, so stay tuned for more info on this in 2013.
  • In addition to our normally scheduled programming on BMIR, we will broadcast information about getting in and out of BRC on the new GARS (Gate Area Radio Station) – 95.1 FM.
  • Talking about traffic! Help us spread the word.

But wait, that’s not all! We need your help! Here are some things that we can all do about traffic:

  • Carpool. The fewer vehicles in Black Rock City, the shorter the lines will be. Visit our Rideshare Board.
  • Plan for your departure. Knowledge is power and traffic is real. Know what to expect so that you can plan your arrival and exit accordingly.
  • If you don’t want to wait in long lines, don’t arrive on the first day of the event and don’t leave on Sunday or Monday of Exodus.
  • If you hear on BMIR or GARS that Exodus lines are long, use that time to MOOP your camp or favorite hang out space.
  • Part of a theme camp or art project? Schedule your tear down so that your crew leaves after peak travel times.
  • Fill out the 2012 Black Rock Census, especially the traffic section.
  • Read the Gate & Exodus FAQ for important info about what to expect and how to plan.
  • During Exodus, take some time to make sure that your neighbor’s trash and gear are strapped down tightly.
  • If you do get stuck in traffic, make the most of it! Last year participants played music, shared food and created “One Hour Neighborhoods” with their fellow Burners.
And lastly, Gate, Perimeter & Exodus relies on volunteers to facilitate traffic in and out of BRC. The more volunteers we have, the smoother things go. We’ve been recruiting heavily since the day we returned from the last event. Want to help? Sign up for a training. More info here.

Like so many of the challenges that we’ve faced in Burning Man’s history, this whole traffic thing can only get better if we address it as a community. While there’s no magic solution, there are many things that every single one of us can do to help. We promise to keep working on our end; what will YOU do?

About the author: Kristy Evans

Kristy Evans is a senior manager in the Gate, Perimeter and Exodus Department, where she has helped manage the task of getting people in and out of BRC since 2007. The logistics of traffic, people movement, and staffing a huge department still fascinate her, and with an ever growing Black Rock City there is always more work to do. She first made the trek to the Black Rock Desert in 2003 and began volunteering in 2005 with Gate. She is a member of the Burning Man Leadership Forum and you can read the rest of her bio here.

99 thoughts on “Traffic at Burning Man: What YOU Can Do About It

  • I’d like to restate what I said before. Jungo road is not an option. I’m not being superstitious in saying it’s a tire and people killer. (Though I’ve almost been killed on it!) The railroad crossing is not suited for Exodus, and couldn’t be beefed up, due to the soft condition of the earth below the tracks, muddiness on that side of the playa. Beyond that, if you were to split the traffic in two sides, or have folks cross the playa solely in that direction, the burden on Playa Restoration would be that much worse. I was tasked with inspecting and troubleshooting the moop on gate road (from greeters to the 34) last year after the event, it took days. To move that mess for more miles onto the other side of the Playa and for 14 miles down to Empire? And what about Exodus having to cross the airport?

    Please folks, leave Jungo road out of this. It’s not an option.

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  • I second what openmike said.

    in 2011, I chose to leave just as the temple started burning on Sunday. There was very little traffic getting out, but I was surprised and upset by how many drivers sped by at up to 40 mph, raising massive walls of dust that lingered for minutes, making forward movement all but impossible. These inconsiderate drivers must have been kind-hearted burners at some point. It took a concerted effort on my part to keep my anger in check, as I felt totally helpless and at their mercy, as their speeding kept me stuck on the playa. All told, I still exodused from the playa in under an hour, which is a miracle and nothing to complain about. Even still, I would have hoped for more traffic speed enforcement, for safety reasons if nothing else. Without a deterrent, what stops everyone from racing towards the exit?

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  • thank you for the info/update!

    this year, as in years past, we are carpooling. we’ll be arriving & departing in the BLACK ROCK CITY SPARKLE PONY EXPRESS (a 35′ school bus to RV conversion).
    7 souls and all our gear & theme camp’s gear onboard. all gear stored inside with the exception of two bikes on a real & secure bike rack on the front of the bus. no gear tied on the roof. no trailer, no gear hanging off the sides or back. all our shit inside, under control.

    not going to mention our arrival and departure times, but non-peak.

    we will drive slowly, follow traffic folks instructions, and have a good attitude.

    part of getting into and out of burning man is part of the burning man adventure. we already know it will be slow going, so we’ll just be prepared and go with the flow.

    sad things i’ve seen in years past…one, a big van was leaving the playa, going faster that it should have been, kicking up tons of dust, cutting people off on the way off the playa, all with big PEACE & LOVE with cute flowers, written on the sides of the van. now how fucked up it that? i don’t think they learned a thing while on the playa. sadness.

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  • On another note…..For those posting/writing in just to belly-ache and whine, and offer no solutions….

    The world is a huge place, with many other opportunities to explore, so go do something else if you can’t wait in line for 4, 5, or 6 hours getting in or out. Face it, it’s part of the Burning Man reality and experience.

    Either prepare yourselves for possible long waiting times, heat, dust, and some short tempers.
    Leave at night to beat the heat? Beating the dust? Good luck with that.
    Short tempers? All you can do is control yours.
    OR…go do something else.

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  • Gate road is roughly 5 miles long (Greeters to pavement). Pulsing takes place along the last mile just before pavement and is divided into 4 sections which filter 15 minutes each section. That is about 1 mile/hr under the ideal operations of the pulsing team. Sometimes it takes longer when that little country road backs up, it just isn’t designed to handle 10s of thousands of irritable drivers trying to get to work on Tuesday.

    If you get impatient (it happens) and cut people off, it slows everyone else down. You end up screwing over everyone you just had the time of your life with and putting traffic staff in danger. Play the game well and stay in one lane. It doesn’t matter what lane you are in as the pulsing sections are released in sections. If you are stopped at Greeters and you have a 5 hr wait (1mile/hr) under ideal conditions.

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  • Why doesn’t everyone just take Tuesday off? No rush to get back to work, you can stay and party all night on Sunday, all day on Monday and leave with no hassle.

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  • If it was just a rumor that there was an accident on I-80 last year, why did BMIR announce there was and beg people not to join the exodus line and stay til Tuesday?

    That said, the only thing that made it take a hour to get to pavement on Tuesday was the horrid ruts & potholes on Gate road. I don’t remeber The road being so bad in the past, when my exit time was very early Monday morning.

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  • @Pink – WE makes those ruts and potholes so I guess we are all to blame. You may ask yourself, well, how did they get there? Changing lanes and rapid acceleration would be some factors to note. That and people driving on wet roads. Avoid those and things might improve.

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  • My guess is the ruts and potholes are a result of overzealous water truck activity.
    I do sometimes ponder if the water trucks are more symbolic than functional.

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  • I had just never experienced it so bad before. But then again, this was the first time I left Tuesday afternoon rather than very early Monday morning. 40k more people in front of me. Screw speeding-at parts I think I was going about 1mph.

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  • I have been leaving on Tuesdays for years, and last year’s scary potholes, ruts and washboard on the access route was exceptional.
    Where I live, dirt roads that are freshly graded stay smooth until it rains, and only then do they develop washboard. I am assuming the same factors applies to playa as well.

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  • The org numbers may show as many 20% of vehicles are from points North – Oregon, Washington, Canada and Eastern Idaho, and do not even need to stop in Gerlach for gas and supplies outbound. Any way to take advantage of that?

    A survey of Route 34 North to Vya should be done and a decision with the highway department on recommending that route needs to be done and publicized.

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  • free radical Says:
    … I was surprised and upset by how many drivers sped by at up to 40 mph, raising massive walls of dust that lingered for minutes, making forward movement all but impossible…

    Same issue arriving in quiet time when there are open lanes. Some hit the playa and hit the gas. They have to get there first. Any speed over 10 mph, even 15 mph, puts tons of dust up into the air. So with idiots bombing by at 20 mph, 30 mph and 40 mph to get into BRC ten minutes quicker, they go for the windward lane and shutdown the other lanes with a whiteout that lasts until a cross-breeze blows it to the side. If the wind is blowing towards BRC, parts of the City get a white-out too. Particularly bad Friday night before the burn as people rush in for the weekend.

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  • Blah, blah, blah….BMorg cares my ass. Expect horrible Entry and Exodus again this year. Just like last year … and the year before that … and the year before that … and the year before that. They got your ticket money already. Customer Service is *not* part of the business model for this out of touch CORPORATION!

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  • THERE IS A SOLUTION!

    Advance allocation of exit slots would save incredible amounts of time, gas and frustration.

    Not too late to implement this even for 2012.

    These systems really work, as the traffic engineers among us know. Please, please do implement something, simple or complex, so we can wait in camp for our exit slot, and not in line.

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  • I second these motions:

    Single lane highway right. Means two lanes. Why not use both lanes for the exit. Just reverse the flow of the left lane for a few hours. In traffic cones we trust ;) You could even dedicate the right lane, on exodus, for north-bound traffic only.

    The other problem I saw last year was dead cars in the line. Be it gas shortage or mechanical. Tow trucks should be standing by to pull these ones aside or assist hem back to health. Indeed. I’m pretty sure even if the nice people next to me wanted to, they couldn’t push my 12,000 lb bus out of the way without some help.

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  • Re: Potholes and Ruts.

    There was rain on opening night of the event and just before. It is likely that those potholes and ruts were made as people were *entering* the city… as individual cars picked up giant clods of playa (like playa platforms on boots) and redistributed them…. creating both Holes and surface bumps.

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  • There is a gravel road leaving Gerlach,I believe it comes out in Susanville. I have a camper who comes and goes that way to and from every year and it would service many California campers. The road could be improved and lighten up the traffic on the two lane road heading to Reno.
    I really don’t know much about the road but it’s the ONLY way to exit more people quicker. Perhaps some of the grants and other giveaways could be curbed for a year and could help fund the improvements to the road.

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  • hey! i have an idea! put a BIG signpost at 6:00 and the exit road(s) displaying estimated “hours to reach the highway”. Could be a big pointer that is rotated to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, … hours

    Knowing how long the queue is would INFORM ME whether I want to park in the queue (ugh) or chill under a shade structure with my (soon-to-be-ex- :) neighbors, and leave room for those with tight schedules who NEED to get out due to work schedules or whatever.

    As it is it’s a gamble, is it 2? 4? 8?!!!! hours parked in the hot sun?

    Updated once an hour on the hour would be good enough.

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  • The worse thing is people passing. You really aren’t going to get there any faster by recklessly passing multiple vehicles on the two lane highway. It can be pretty hazardess for all. Chill out. Slow down and be safe. You will get there eventually!

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  • RE: traffic going north on 447
    While increased traffic heading north on 447 would reduce traffic through Gerlach and points south of there, it will not affect the time it takes to get off the playa (since vehicles going north on 447 still have to head toward Gerlach on 34 with the rest of the traffic). We are already moving vehicles off the playa and onto 34 as fast as we can (without backing up to the event site, which we cannot do).

    @Burning Crotch
    Customer service is not the main model for this event, community and participation is. All of us in Gate, Perimeter and Exodus, like all other Burning Man departments, are participants like you. Anything and everything that happens at this event does so because of the participants who make it happen. I look forward to seeing you out in the dusty lanes of Gate Road with us.

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  • I would still like a survey of Route 34 North to Vya and Cedarville, but a quick investigation leads me to think it’s gravel for much of its length to the California border, no mobile coverage and little traffic in case of a mishap. So don’t go that way yet, maybe another Trego!

    Suggest the org look at more bus-like services, there is a huge demand.

    Suggested before, set up FM transmitters along the route between gate road and I-80 with status and guidance in real time.

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  • I left last year around 6-6:30pm on Sunday, and sailed out to the road without ever stopping. I vowed at that point to always leave before Temple Burn. Now I’m hearing that it was a fluke that last year’s Sunday Exodus was that way? Damn.

    Not going this year, as I’ve been unable to find my Playa mojo, but hope that solutions are discovered, since this is a major sticking point for many Burners.

    I still say that consideration should be given to re-siting Burning Man in a place that is more easily accessible and can handle the increased attendance.

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  • @ Some Seeing Eye

    34 to Vya is all gravel after Fly Springs going north. Not suitable for the city/suburban vehicle type tire. The gravel loves to tear open the sidewalls on street radial tires. I came down it last year in my 3/4 ton truck with heavy duty tires and still had a flat on the way…! I only passed 2 other vehicles on my way down over 70+ miles. Not recommended as an alternate.

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  • wow people, come on, most complaints i’ve read are totally invalid. Wait times are announced on BMIR, and apparantly new this year a gate area radio station, besides, 55,000+ people on a 2 lane highway, theres going to be some wait, Dont have any water? Its kind of your responsibility to ensure you have enough water for the week, including exodus. Worried about the heat? Take some steps to reduce it, theres many things you can do to cool yourself off. Almost every complaint about exodus is user error. Do just a little bit of thinking people, All you need to succeed at any task in life is to be a minimum of 2% smarter than the task at hand, If you cannot manage to be 2% smarter than a line of vehicles in a barren desert, im not entirely sure you deserve to be alive, Fack i hate stupidity

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  • Fast and slow vehicles together in the same lane hinders overall traffic flow.
    Set times may allow better management.
    Option 1: Use 2 lanes for 1 direction at certain times, slow vehicles in right lane only, cars in left lane only. So people know when traffic will flow the fastest.

    Option 2:For 2.5 hours traffic flows one direction, then takes 30 minutes to get onto the shoulder, then for 2.5 hours traffic flows the other direction, then takes 30 minutes to get onto the shoulder, rinse and repeat. The advantage being that people will have a pre-published schedule to follow.

    Option 3:Slower vehicles must arrive first, a day or 2 in advance of smaller/faster vehicles only time. Thus encouraging carpooling in large vehicles. Larger vehicles carry more provisions, so they are better prepared for a longer stay. Reverse for exodus (faster vehicles leave first, then slower the next days).

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  • My biggest issue is with the entrance. The exit is a physical limitation of the roadway. The entrance is MAN MADE and that is B.S.!

    Has anyone noticed the railway that goes from Reno to Gerlach and along lake bed?
    You can haul a lot of weight inexpensively on Rail! It is owned by Southern Pacific Railroad.

    I might mention that I volunteered to work the entrance and was turned down! No kidding!
    The more inspectors you have, the faster the entrance, the smaller the line!

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  • I was one of the ones stuck in that 2011 8 hour Monday exodus (really, 8 hours, damn!). If I could afford to leave on Tuesday then I would love to do so! In years past I remember leaving on Sunday and it not being a huge ordeal.

    It was kind of fun leaving, though, that hot Monday afternoon as we finally had a reason to eat our 2 watermelons that we had “forgotten” about (the watermelons disappeared in seven minutes), opportunities to bum cigarettes and see what was happening, a chance to fly kites and run across the desert, finally meet those hard to meet people, meet people who live right by you, listen to some (and please no offense) ersatz DJ music, and three more effing final hours to sit in the hot car :) I am amazed that folks even dreamt up “exodus care packages.” In 2005 someone gave me a stay cool spray bottle that kept me sane. Very thoughtful. I’ll pack the watermelons again this year.

    I do like the idea on an optional return line and plenty of porto-potties. Driving across the open desert like it’s North Africa is very foolish idea and only thing you can get into fast is serious trouble (not to mention getting arrested).

    We also have to keep in mind that Black Rock Desert is a very rural area and this is not Las Vegas! Thank God! No 8-lane, black top mega highways for us here. There is a slower pace of life and environmental limitations to consider. Not to mention respect for the local folks who have to deal with all our company and plan around our annual salmon run. I am sure that we have already considered the fastest and safest possible ways to leave our art festival and we are continuously improving our process.

    With all that said I am bringing my airplane next year.. just kidding!

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  • @Steve “Sparky” Pucillo:
    You are not the only one who has noticed the railway. I know some Burners that have been trying to get SPR to lease time/space to ‘us’ for years, to get both freight and people to BRC more quickly and safely. I know there was a need for an Environmental Report on the station in Gerlach–asbestos insulation, maybe? I’ll try to see if I can rustle up someone with more info.

    @ Everyone:
    Yup, those folks who ‘have to’ speed once they get on playa are annoying. Sure, the limit may be 10mph between gate & greeters, but, eh. I usually stay 5mph anyhow, just ‘cuz I don’t want to make dust clouds for my neighbors. It really isn’t that hard to wait another minute or two, to get to camp.

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  • Thanks for the link, Ali Baba.

    Yes, I’ve been in talks with Amtrak and Union Pacific to discuss the idea. It’s not popular with UP because it involves a nuisance. Corporations don’t like nuisances especially ones that are infrequent and not a huge revenue generator.

    First, the tracks from Gerlach to Reno are westbound traffic only and UP is not interested in changing that. So that forces us on to the eastbound set of tracks through the Sierra Nevadas. Not a huge problem but the tracks go to Winnemucca.

    Second, freight lines really are not up to the same specs as those used by passenger lines. UP will not invest dollars in maintenance to bring the Winnemucca to Gerlach section up tp passenger rail inspection standards especially for a once a year gig. Usually rail cars pay a wheelage fee to the host railway for use of track. This case would be unusual but a fee could be established with UP for use of track from Winnemucca to Gerlach and Gerlach to Reno.

    Having taken this discussion with the railways as far as I could, I still don’t think it’s impossible.

    We could buy a bulk number of seats on Amtrak from SF to Winnemucca ($125 return/person) and add on a rental baggage car for extra gear ($10.00/person). At Winnemucca, have Amtrak crew set off the baggage car.

    Our crew then hooks it up to a rental train (available from railway restoration and tourist railways – cost = $1000/day/car). That locomotive, passenger cars and baggage car could travel to Gerlach.

    Cost for this section of the trip depends entirely on the insurance requirement put on us by UP and the wheelage fee. I’ve organized these kinds of trips before and the national carriers try to prohibit this from happening by demanding outrageous amounts of insurance – usually $25 million (cost – $25,000).

    At that point we would end up with a bunch of burners landing in Gerlach with their personal gear and needing a way to get to the Gate. We could then investigate hiring bus transportation from Gerlach to Gate for trips on entry and vice versa on exodus. The return trip to SF could then go on the westbound line to Reno for hooking up with Amtrak.

    Ali Baba was correct about the station. An Environmental Report needs to be conducted if the station will be used by the public. Asbestos removal would be necessary. However, using the tracks does not necessarily mean you have to open the building.

    I’ve examined cutting out the bus costs by dropping folks on the edge of the playa north of Gerlach station however it is wetter on that side and it’s a heck of a hike with gear from there to BRC. This plan extends the MOOP field and would need to be orchestrated with the BMorganization.

    Would be happy to hear from anyone who sees flaws in my planning to date. Any new ideas would be welcome. I’ve talked with UP and Amtrak and with various tourist train outfits. Would like to pursue the idea but not sure if it is economically viable.

    Are there enough burners prepared to pay a couple hundred dollars each for a return trip by rail?

    And would taking a couple thousand burners (~1000 cars) off the highway really provide a significant enough impact to the exodus situation for all the energy involved.

    It’s been an academic exercise thus far and I’ve pursued it about as far as one could without laying out cash to proceed. In my opinion it would be an excellent project but not capable of covering its costs. That, in and of itself, is not a reason to not do it. Just bear in mind the costs are real.

    Feel free to contact me, if you are interested in pursuing.

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  • In perusing all this, it seems to me the Temple Burn should be on Friday, Thay may not make sense in an emotional or theatrical sense, but then people are hugely adaptable so would it make that much difference? Dunno. The Man burning is really the highlight of the event. If the Man burning were the final act of the week, people would start trickling out on Sunday, preparing and getting out the door. The lump in the snake would be hugely reduced.
    As it is, the only reason I stay on Sundays is to see the Temple, and more often now I’m skipping it to avoid the Monday Exodus zoo.
    The energy after the Man burns has this chaotic feel to it as the event’s major symbol is now dust and ashes. A huge night of partying followed by WTF moments, moop, collecting one’s sanity and preparing to depart back to Defaultia. Why not give people more time to collect their wits and get it together than have a major event Sunday night? It gives the impression of the event still happening when IMHO, when the Man burns, the event is over. Why not kiss, hug, say good bye and have a goodly space to get the fuck out.
    Besides, I love the Temple burns and hate to miss them. They should be happening in the fullness of the event, capped by the Man burn, not tacked on at the end as some kind of emotional bullet point. The Temple burn is always very sacred and special. Why not leverage that energy to mellow and balance the event before the Man burn? Wouldn’t that be a wonderful celebration followed by the Man burn? Fridays always seem overcrowded to me with events and too much going on at once. By pushing the Temple to Friday, the other events would also get pushed back a bit too, making it perhaps a bit less crowded. Also helping people to emotionally adjust to the actual end of the event (the Man goes down). Personally I’d rather have Sunday just be me and the desert recollecting my spirit before departure. The Temple on top of that is just too much.

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  • As I read the myriad of helpful, well-meaning “solutions” to the traffic problems, I am reminded of the old saying: too many cooks ruin the soup! Do burners really think the master planners haven’t had countless brainstorming sessions to try to remedy the situation? I recommend people stop clogging the site with their “insights” and use that time to better plan for exodus and adjust their default attitudes to reflect the BM spirit. Waiting is simply a part of the human existence – not just a BM issue. Most of us have spent considerable hours in airports, ERs, hospital waiting rooms, not to mention traffic!! Why bother yourself and others with complaint instead of just celebrating that you are one of just 60,000 people on the planet that get to participate/wait at BM. BM is certainly one of the best waits on the planet, people, so give up the grumbling!!

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  • Exodus starts with the outer perimeter road’s two lanes meeting up. Why are you opening up the roads to 4 to 6 lanes after that?? If it were kept to 2 lanes, you would only have one merge at the blacktop. Once cars are in their lane, if they could be a bit separated, it could avoid those lane changers.
    This would alleviate the cutters and speeders,
    The 8 hour parking lot issue,
    And burners in the city would know if there was a huge blockage on perimeter road, not to leave yet.
    Thanks,
    Kismet

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  • I have never had a bad exodus since I leave early or late to skip the waits and dust clouds. I stopped reading after Elliot’s comment.(See it below re-posted) It is the most obvious and simple solution to me from my experience.

    I would just add that the second best way to motivate people besides changing the main event schedule or duration of the total event would be to reduce ticket price for those who make an effort to leave at the not so popular times. A chance at coupons for next year ticket discounts would be a great incentive to wait or move early or late.

    This would be a great positive reinforcement to not leave a mess too. How about clean/green/moop camp awards using discount ticket coupons!

    The most contradicting part of non-corporate BLC is that we pay so much “legal tender” to buy/consume/purchase a ticket and fuel! Make this lesser item work to our advantage!

    Koiphish Moop Swimming Thoughts

    Re-post of simple solution!:
    Elliot Says:
    July 17th, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Hey there.

    A fundamental concept has gone unnoticed: As the size of the event grows, so must its duration. The equation is:

    Highway Capacity x Time = BRC Population.

    So in future years…. Determine the Highway Capacity that allows normal traffic flow without delays. The BRC Population is set in advance (60.900 this year). Solve for Time.

    Something like three days.

    The fixed point in time is the morning after Labor Day, when many must be back at work. So move the Temple burn and the Man burn a couple of days, not a couple of hours. And open the event several days earlier. Increase ticket price to match increased costs. Poor slobs like me earn tickets by volunteering. Done. :-)

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  • Love the attitude & spirit of this “One Hour Neighborhoods” posting.

    My suggestion is for ingress. Why have “they” not figured out that most of the hold-up is for all of the virgins who hold up the line for up to half an hour clanging the bell, rolling in the dust and taking pictures?

    Let’s create a separate line for those vehicles bringing in the first-timers. Let them take as much time as they please with this welcoming ritual and allow the rest of us seasoned burners access to our Home more directly!

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  • Major interstate highways can become made “uni – directional” rapidly in the event of a serious hurricane. Why this cannot be done at BRC is purely due to having no political will to do so. Planners for ingress and egress surrounding the event even have the luxury of knowing the date and possibly even the time for the influx of vehicles onto the roadway. Planning the evacuation prior to a hurricane is much more difficult because of this uncertainty – but somehow we manage to do that.

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  • Again, many thanks to everyone for being part of the conversation!

    @BeeWee
    Travel from the event goes through several towns on a rural highway. If those roads were made uni-directional, locals would not be able to traverse the roads as they need to. Think about how that would make you feel in your hometown. Do the needs of Burners leaving the event supersede the residents being able to get to and from their homes?

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  • my suggestion is for entry- why not widen the gates and the lanes up to them- and you could also divert the RVs and trailers to one side for inspection since they take longer to look thru – this might take more volunteers – so what? – people who have driven many hours and wait in line for hours are not interested in an entry ritual – patience is thinner – they’ll take their pamphlets and get inside – and it’s a teeth gnasher to have the gate keepers ignore the entry line and walk off to have a casual conversation with their fellow keepers

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  • Seems like the political, social, economic issues are not being finessed with the locals. It’s got to be a big economic benefit for them, but the additute is one of hostility by law enforcement. There should be cops taking down the stop signs and waiving people through, temporary increases in the many speed traps so that speed limits are uniform, use of both lanes wherever possible. Maybe even a temporary road bypassing Gerlach entirely. They do this stuff for rock concerts it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. It isn’t just the dusty stretch of road to the pavement that’s the problem, its 90 miles of traffic to I-80 that slows everything down.

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  • I turn right once I get to the pavement and begin my 37 hour drive home, so the reason for the 6+ hour wait doesn’t even pertain to me. Just have to make the best of the wait. Many of you are superior at bitching btw.

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  • Parlye,
    I did my fair share of bitching but I also stepped up and volunteered to work the entrance this year. I was turned down because they evidently have “enough” people for the entrance!
    I guess there won’t be any wait at the entrance with all of those people the have!
    I feel the gate workers are a clique and if you’re not in, you’re out!

    toola had some pretty harsh words for entrance crew!
    http://blog.burningman.com/2012/07/building-brc/behind-the-scenes-dpwgate-work-weekend-at-the-ranch/

    I hope there are some BM management personnel with enough integrity to make sure this is not the case.

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