[Kristy Evans is Burning Man's Gate, Perimeter & Exodus Manager ... she knows whereof she speaks, so listen up.]
The most common question I received after the 2012 event: what did you guys do to make Exodus so much better? The short answer is that YOU were a major part of the solution. You spread out your departures over enough days and times, and did it in a fairly balanced way. That is the most effective solution to reducing Exodus wait times. Let’s do that again, shall we?
Now, here’s the thing … we can’t get complacent! Because if everybody thinks, “Well 2012 was a breeze, clearly the problem is solved and I can leave anytime!”, we’ll find ourselves right back in long Exodus lines again. What we need to do is make a plan for Exodus. All of us.
There are 732 placed theme camps this year. What if every one of them made an Exodus plan, that purposefully staggered the departures of their camp residents, so that they left over as wide a time frame as possible? And there are many more non-placed camps…what if they did that too? Maybe some people don’t want to stay for the Man Burn, so they leave Friday or Saturday. Maybe some people would rather depart at 4am because they’re early risers and want to beat the heat. Maybe people who are part of a large placed camp or project are willing to stay until Tuesday to help with strike. That’s what happened in 2012, and that’s what made average wait times much less than they were in 2011.
The key point here: establish an Exodus plan as part of your Burning Man preparation. Traffic will, for the foreseeable future, be a part of the Burning Man experience. While there’s no magic solution, there are many things that every single one of us can do to help. Here’s some other tips:
- Carpool. The fewer vehicles in Black Rock City, the shorter the lines will be. Visit our Rideshare Board or take the new Burner Express!
- Plan for your departure. Knowledge is power and traffic is real. Know what to expect so that you can plan your Exodus accordingly.
- Listen to the community. If everyone you talk to says they are staying to watch the Temple burn on Sunday night, then Monday will likely have very long wait times.
- If you hear on BMIR (94.5 FM) 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.
- 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.
- Tune in to the Gate Area Radio Station (95.1 FM) for specific instructions and updates about Exodus when you are waiting in line.
- Follow instructions from our Flaggers on the highway and in Gerlach. They are there for your safety and also to control traffic flow.
- Read the Gate & Exodus FAQ for important info about what to expect and how to plan.
We plan to implement Pulsing again during peak times on Sunday and Monday, if traffic volume warrants it. Pulsing is a system of moving vehicles at regular intervals toward the highway on Gate Road to avoid the long slow creep forward that challenges the sanity of even the most patient among us. With Pulsing, vehicles are allowed to stop and turn off their engines (from an hour to 15 minutes depending on how close you are to the front), then are “pulsed” forward all at once. Remember that Pulsing does not get you out more quickly.
Our Traffic and Exodus team have been working hard all year long, planning for arguably one of the most intense parts of the Burning Man experience: traffic! Our plan for success in part depends on you making an Exodus plan. Will you help us?