Solving Burning Man’s Traffic Issues

Line of Cars, 2011 (photo by Peg Ortner)
Line of Cars, 2011 (photo by Peg Ortner)

Traffic is the greatest impediment to the growth and sustainability of Black Rock City. Burning Man is under pressure from the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Department of Transportation to reduce the number of cars entering the event. Highways 447 and 34 are at max capacity during the event and we’re being asked to pay for road damage caused by participant vehicles. Road travel represents 60% of the carbon emissions related to the event.

And the #1 challenge experienced by participants last year? Entry and Exodus.

Clearly, it’s critical we address the traffic issue — and we can only solve this problem by working together as a community. To that end, Burning Man is expanding existing programs and launching new ones to encourage participants to rideshare or take alternative transportation. These programs include:

Our community has always policed itself — and changed its behavior when necessary — through awareness. That’s how we became the largest Leave No Trace event in the world, against seemingly impossible odds. Burning Man will continue pushing this information out into the community throughout the year so we can solve these issues together.

Burner Express
Burner Express exceeded all expectations during its inaugural run in 2013, accommodating 2,459 riders to and from San Francisco and Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and participant feedback about the experience was overwhelmingly positive. This year we will expand the service, increasing capacity to 5,000 riders. Tickets for Burner Express will go on sale in late February … keep an eye out for an announcement of exactly when.

Rideshare Board
Burning Man hosts a rideshare board that facilitates hundreds of shared rides to the playa annually. We’ve revamped and significantly improved it over the last couple years.

BMIR mobile app and traffic reports
Burning Man Information Radio will be available via mobile apps and will provide “no BS” hourly traffic updates for Highway 447 and Empire, during ingress and Exodus. This will provide participants with timely information on road status and optimum times to travel to or from BRC.

Vehicle Passes
All vehicles entering Black Rock City will be required to purchase a Vehicle Pass for $40. Our goal is to incentivize participants to reduce the number of vehicles entering BRC by increasing the number of participants per vehicle. Vehicle Passes can be purchased when you buy tickets online. There are 35,000 passes available this year. This may change in future years depending on how successful we are at reducing traffic in 2014.

More Arrivals by Air
Arrivals to Black Rock City via our airport have been increasing. In order to allow the increase to continue, we need to work with permitting agencies and air charters to accommodate higher capacities, while continuing to support our established Burner aviator community.

Regional Container Shipping Program
We will continue to encourage regional groups to share the cost of shipping their gear to Gerlach for delivery to the playa. Several Regional groups (including New York, Boston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia) run container programs and Burning Man has an instruction guide on how to coordinate these efforts.

Near-Playa Shipping Container Program
In 2012, the Burning Man organization began renting near-playa shipping containers to theme camps for storage of their infrastructure elements. We will be increasing the space available for containers this year and into the future — the more stuff that comes in large containers means less individual vehicles are required. [UPDATE: We are at maximum capacity for the program now, but will announce on the blog and Jackrabbit Speaks when we’re ready to take new applications for the program.]

Traffic Management in Empire & Gerlach
Burning Man will deploy traffic control flaggers in and around Gerlach (and possibly Empire) to help ensure uninterrupted traffic flow to the event.



[Update 1/20/13: There is a new, updated FAQ now available, which will be continually updated as new questions and answers come in.]

Q. Who has to purchase a Vehicle Pass?
A. All vehicles coming into the event must have a Vehicle Pass. They can be purchased online when you buy your tickets. There will be an initial allotment made for 35,000 Vehicle Passes.

Q. Why not just charge a larger fee for RVs?
A. The issue isn’t the size or type of the vehicle but the number of vehicles using roads leading to the event — regardless of what kind of vehicle you drive, it’s another vehicle creating traffic and doing damage to the roads. We need all participants to examine how they get to and from the playa and work together to reduce traffic on the highways. Other large events have a footprint shortage. For now, we don’t. It’s our roadways that are limited.

Q. Why not have an HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane for cars with multiple passengers?
A. An HOV lane is under consideration but comes with its own logistical challenges (like having a way to prevent low occupancy vehicles from using the lane). Depending on the success of our existing programs, HOV lanes may be considered for 2015. Burner Express, however, does get HOV priority and doesn’t wait in line.

Q. Do motorcycles have to pay for a Vehicle Pass?
A. To be determined, but not at this time.

Q. Does a tow-behind trailer count as a vehicle for a Vehicle Pass?
A. No. Just your primary driving vehicle.

Q. Do I have to pay for a Vehicle Pass for my Mutant Vehicle?
A. If you are bringing your Mutant Vehicle in on a trailer, you do not need to have a Vehicle Pass for it. If you are driving it in, you need a Pass. Each stand-alone vehicle that drives through the gate must have a Vehicle Pass.

Q. Aren’t Vehicle Passes just a way to raise money without increasing ticket prices?
A. While this will raise money needed to support the event, including flaggers, equipment and staff for Gate Road to help ensure a more smooth ingress and egress, it’s being implemented to raise awareness and encourage participants to share the cost by sharing room in their vehicles.

Q. How many people rideshare now?
A. According to statistics collected by Traffic Works LLC (a consulting firm paid by Burning Man to study participant traffic in 2013) and the Nevada Department of Transportation, the typical vehicle coming into the event carries 1.9 people. Our goal is to increase that to >2.5 by 2016, and we need your help to reach it!

Q. How do I learn more about Burner Express?
A. See our Burner Express webpage.

Q. How many people used Burner Express last year?
A. Burner Express had 2,459 riders last year – 1,300 going into the event and 1,159 leaving the event. Our goal for 2014 is to increase the total number of riders to 5,000, and to increase that number in future years.

Q. Where do I learn about participating in the near-playa shipping container rentals?
A. Visit for information, and to get on the waiting list.

Q. How do I learn more about participating in or starting a shipping container delivery program in my region?
A. We hope to take some of the best practices and experiences of those groups coordinating container shipments and making it available to the public this Spring. Watch the Jackrabbit Speaks email newsletter for information to come.

Q. Where can I find a list of air charters servicing Black Rock City?
A. We have a list of the 2013 approved air charter services. A list of 2014 approved carriers will be posted as soon as it is available. As an informed consumer, ask the air charter you choose whether they have been approved for 2014.

About the author: Burning Man

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173 thoughts on “Solving Burning Man’s Traffic Issues

  • We are getting closer to implementing some items I proposed to BLM and Burning Man back in 2012 to request additional tickets at that time.

    One thing I didn’t have on that video that’s important is 3 laning Gerlach; 2 lanes going in starting opening day Sunday-Friday, 2 lanes going out Saturday-Monday (end of burn).
    We did this with great success on transportation plans I worked on for Tahoe City Ca. and other ski towns, concert venues etc. All you do is put flag people on side streets to let locals get in and some cones. However; ideally we want to see playa access between Bruno’s and the tracks to entirely avoid Gerlach.

    My model is made to bring the population to 100,000 but the traffice equivalant of 10,000 population

    Come on Transportation people, keep looking for reasons to make transportation work and not reasons to not make it work. With that said, great progress so far!

    Tahoe Ron

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  • Some thoughts and suggestions.
    Shuttle buses from Reno.
    Some sort of credit or buy back on the cost of passes for those who actually show up with more than one person in the vehicle.

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  • Two questions come immediately to mind:

    1) Will non-participant vehicles need these?
    Every water truck an loo-sucker? DPW trucks? How about the trucks used to haul the containers (local or otherwise) on and off the playa? Being from Boston, we’ve had some issues in the past with the “vendor pass” system and getting our containers on site. Will this be one more hoop for us?

    2) What to do with trash?
    In years past, when our mid-sized camp did an efficient job of carpooling, nobody has room for trash at the end of the event. As un-green as it is, we’ve actually asked people to ease up on that efficiency in past years (until other solutions were created). This is going to make trash a pretty tricky issue for most non-mega-camps.

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  • Wow, this has the potential to have a lottery scale impact on the event. I guess good news for late shoppers as there’s going to be a HUGE secondary market a few months leading up to the event because people are going to sell off their tickets due to not having a vehicle pass.

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  • Last year when I left, I went north on 34 and I was alone. Granted it is 100 miles of gravel road until Cedarville with no gas stations or cell coverage or anything at all, but for people who have a full gas tank and a dependable vehicle, it’s a no traffic option to go north. You could cut 10 miles off of it by letting people exodus north via the truck gate and relieve some pressure off the main gate and 34 south.

    I am intrigued by motorcycles not needing a vehicle pass. When will that be determined? I might have a trailer if I went that way.

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  • And the costs keep rising and rising and rising. Burning Man is starting to mimic the default world. It is becoming a gawdy, upper middle class and rich person’s event. Oh well, time to stay local, and focus on the regionals. This is where the original spirit of Burning Man lives on.

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  • “While this will raise money (FOR OUR POCKETS) needed to support the event, including flaggers, equipment and staff for Gate Road (WINK WINK) to help ensure a more smooth ingress and egress, it’s being implemented to raise awareness and encourage participants to share the cost by sharing room in their vehicles. But don’t worry your ticket prices wont go down, in fact those will probably go up too. It’s all about US (the BMORG) getting wealthier.”

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  • Potential solution for directing traffic into an HOV lane without low-occupancy vehicles cutting into it: place a checkpoint at the spot where the line splits into multiple lanes. Volunteers place color-coded stickers on windshields–green stickers are permitted to use the HOV lane, red stickers are not. The checkpoint would only be necessary during EA and and as arrivals taper off during the week–when the line is long enough that it’s backed up to the single lane road, the volunteers can walk back along the line and place stickers. Anyone caught in violation is sent back to the checkpoint area via the access road they use to send back people that arrive too early before the gate opens on Sunday.

    Fast, simple, fair, and leaves little room for error.

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  • So size doesn’t really matter………..I know alot of men that will be happy about that one….but don’t count me with them……oh you planning self proclaimed guru’s bicycles are considered by state law to be a vehicle….wtf and last time i checked a motorhome is three times as long and 7 times the weight of a car, oh but that has no impact on traffic and road ware……..I mean who the fuck comes up with shit….oh Yes burning man is a corporation..cant get an honest word from the corporate geeks…one more fucking thing……just curious….how many people died last year at burning man, yes include the burners that were transported to the hospital and died there! put some veterans in charged not some gun hole wanna be…know it all hipster…time to put the REAL back into burning man

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  • The big problem that jumps to mind is that this will create an elevated demand and pseudo-scarcity. 35,000 vehicle passes will be sold by the time 35,000 tickets are sold – leaving no passes for the second half of people buying tickets. (What about low-income ticket recipients? What about staff ticket recipients?)

    The ticket info page for 2014 says that you will be able to purchase as many vehicle passes as tickets (4 tickets and 4 vehicle passes in the pre-sale, 2 tickets and 2 vehicle passes in the main sale and directed group sale) — That’s where it will backfire.

    Please please please make it so that you can only by 1 vehicle pass for every 2 tickets purchased. Knowing there are a limited # of vehicle passes in the community means that people WILL buy as many as they are able.

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    I really don’t understand the huge freakout. Tickets did not go up in price, and this is the first year in a while where that’s the case. They are using a new ticketing company, which people have been asking them to do for years. So what if there’s a $40 pass required per vehicle? Most everyone carpools anyway, so if you’re riding 2 to a vehicle that’s a $20 per person increase in ticket cost from last year, the more people you bring the less that pass costs per person…..and guess what guys, as the population increases traffic IS becoming a REAL problem that needs to be addressed. Change is inevitable.

    Oh, and also, the man started out being a stand alone man, I think it’s cool they’re taking it back in that direction. I detested the lines to get into the man pavilion this year, I think this setup will feel much more inclusive and inviting.

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  • >All vehicles entering Black Rock City will be required to purchase a Vehicle Pass for >$40. ……There are 35,000 passes available this year.

    Burners who can practically and logistically carpool are already inclined to do so.

    Total the cost of gas, ticket prices, food and supplies for the event …. the $40.00 is just a fraction of the cost and a nuisance “add on” fee.

    VERY default worldish.

    (Oh… and if you don’t get a ticket in the pre-sale, post-sale, Doo Dah Parade Easter Bunny whatever sale and have to buy from the E-bay, Craigslist, holding tickets for my friends who may or may not sale … yet another thing to worry about).

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  • I’m bummed. now it’s going to be another $40 on top of the ticket that will cost over $400 after all the fees. getting priced out of being able to attend. so disappointing.

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  • If you are encouraging more use of the burner express, will there be greater coordination with greeters so that those using the burner express (many of whom were virgins) can experience the greeters in their full glory? Saw lots of crestfallen virgins and veterans alike arriving via burner express who didn’t get greeted, and heard of other teams having to fill in and create some lovely impromptu greeting ceremonies.

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  • So this 35,000 allotment works out to 2 people per vehicle assuming 70K tickets.
    Slightly above the 1.9 average and no reason to panic.
    However, what counts against these 35,000 passes? If it’s just ticket holders then I think it will be fine. However, if LE, EMS, official vendors (port a potty service, Ice deliveries, etc) count then I can see where people will be concerned.

    Also, what about camp vendor deliveries on the delivery ticket system?

    Will Vehicle passes be transferable through STEP separate from tickets?

    Can you confirm that all trailers in tow won’t need a vehicle pass separate from the vehicle towing them?

    Also, I see it says “Initial allotment” of 35,000 passes. Does this mean more can be issued at will if systemic problems arise?

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  • I’m also nervous about this, and think that it could be a major concern if handled poorly, but I’d like to think that the org is smart enough to see the potential problem. My hope is that during the sales each individual will be limited to buying the same number of vehicle passes as tickets (or less, but I’m being realistic). That would mean that only 3,000 passes go out during pre-sale, and 15,000 go out during the targeted sale. This article states that there were an average of 1.9 people per vehicle last year, which means those passes provide car rides for 36,000+ attendees. I put a “+” on there to account for scarcity and the $40 fee encouraging more people to rideshare, as intended. There are still 17,000 vehicle passes available for the individual sale, so that’s 34,000+ more getting rides that way.

    End result? Space for 70,000+ people in individual cars, not including the Burner Express, flights in, vehicles that come in and out ferrying multiple passenger loads, or other methods.

    The sky is not falling. The Man abides.

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  • All I see here with vehicle passes is a way to award the people who “know people” and get tickets from camps or for people who pay crazy amounts for presale.

    The average ticket buyer is going to be screwed, because most normal cars don’t have the ability to haul more than one persons gear for the burn. Most of the vechicle passes are going out in presale and for theme camps, but how many of those passes actually bring more than 1 person to the playa pre-burn? What are the numbers on that? Are different passes being given for cargo haulers?

    All this is going to do is increase plug and play camps that bring trucks in to haul everyones gear, as well as increase the number of rvs.

    I feel like anyone who does burning man from a self-sustaining point of view or anyone who can’t spend boatloads of cash on the burn will ultimately suffer from this.

    I feel like I’m being told that I can no longer burn alone. Like I have to join some conglomerate, pay money, and become one of the masses In order to go to the burn.

    Has BMorg not studied the faults with the coachella model? People sell shower passes, camping passes and car passes for so much more than they are worth. How do you plan to curb that?

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  • Another concern: if someone buys one presale ticket, can they still buy 4 car passes? If so, that’s what… 12000 passes right there? if that happens and then theme camps by the max number of passes allotted per buyer, there will not even be car passes for general sales.

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  • Hey, I have an idea.

    If the BMORG thinks there is that big of a problem created by too many vehicles, why don’t they simply sell fewer tickets? I mean, the power to limit the number of vehicles is completely theirs.

    But then, this way they can still make extra money off more tickets sold PLUS gouge people who have the audacity to show up in a car.

    Seriously, fuck a bunch of that.

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  • Its really not a bad idea! I usually think of cost too, but this will get me to think of carpooling, which we can all share the 40. I know for sure our camp should cut back on vehicles. Its a way to work with out trailer friends to see if they mind bringing a few things for tenter friends so carpooling is in effect….making room for camps. Less is more

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  • I can understand some of the thinking around trying this (traffic is one of the most complicated things around the event) – and/but – seeing how this is being handled it once again shows the lack of deep honest transparency that BMorg chooses to share with its community (about a lot of things that that man behind the curtain is doing), hence they send out announcements/proclamations that any real critical thinking recoils at (their argument why RVs would not be charged more, etc) – which in the long run creates some of the hysteria and bad feelings that are evident in many of the comments.

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  • Typical San Francisco mind set of social engineering. Most people I know don’t know (when purchasing a ticket 6 months before the event) when or how the are getting to the burn, therefore we will have to purchase a vehicle pass with every ticket and sort it all out later. This will limit passes available to future ticket buyers. I can imagine that those vehicle passes will fetch a nice price for scalpers on Craigslist. Which brings up another problem, will someone purchase your extra ticket without a vehicle pass? Only if they can get a ride.
    ” Ticket prices remain the same this year” but, now your vehicle needs a ticket. Where does it end? Will your art car need a ticket next year, how about your tent, your theme camp or hey Sparkle Pony, those cute little fuzzy boots?
    Why don’t the wise sages at Burning Man get real, raise the ticket price $20.00 a ticket and call it good. Its all about the dollars and the hands that get greased anyway. After 16 burns, this is just another Burning Man disappointment due to over population.

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  • I’m sorry, but this is a middle class tax that punishes the thousands of us that come to the event in 2 seater pickups with trailers packed to the gills and participate in small to medium size camps.

    People who bring less stuff or nothing can split the fee with everyone on their bus or RV and people who bring a lot of stuff on a semi can split the fee in their camp… most of the rest of us (which is probably the bulk of us) pay more for working with what we have.

    thanks for giving more guys, sorry, it’s going to cost you because you own pickup trucks.

    Your solution is for us to procure bigger trucks or coordinate moving efforts for our scattered camp members in a some sort of shared transport system.

    As a camp who has brought 3 separate mutant vehicles in on semis and on our own, I can say that even with Burning Man help and shipping companies helping us coordinate this AND even with early entry… this has never gone smoothly for us and actually it’s mostly gone comically horrible.

    I’ll pay your tax. But call it what it is.

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  • What about if you are applying for a low income ticket?

    Since these are distributed after some of the initial sales, are there a set amount car pass specifically reversed for those who need low income tickets? Are they needing to be purchased separately in one of the main sales?


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  • Simply another way for the org to gain more money. To say an RV has the same impact as an economy car is foolish to say the least. And one excellent point was if there are too many vehicles, limit the ticket sales. Events do sell out; it is possible to put a cap on BM attendance. But that limits profit.

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  • As some have noted correctly, the money is not the issue; the issue is that—like two years ago when fearmongering from org end panicked everyone into buying two tickets or more in case pals or campmates lost in lottery creating an initial artificial shortage followed in August by huge oversupply of people trying to sell tickets they didn’t need—is that it is easily predictable that the first 35,050 ticket buyers will buy all 35,000 parking passes, leaving 35,000 ticketbuyers with a (not unsolvable, to be sure) annoying set of logistical problems and worries. And in the end, the number of cars there will be pretty much the same, from their own data—just lots and lots of panic, worry, forcing people into long term logistical planning they might not have wanted to needed, further cutting down the magic of “I changed my mind and someone got me a ticket and I can go….” It’ll all work out, somehow. But a lot of problem for very little solution along the way.

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  • This does look to be a little bit like the 2012 ticket fiasco all over again. That said, relax everybody. The BORG showed us back then that midcourse corrections are entirely possible.
    I do ponder the possibility of people actually scalping the vehicle permits.

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  • This is only going to add to the logistical headaches of anyone trying to bring art or set up theme camps. We already have to get early access passes as well as tickets. Making the playa shine requires truckloads of stuff! I could also see this leading to underpacking of essential survival gear. We also need to insure that people take home all their trash.
    We need to keep our event with as few bureaucratic hurdles as possible. It may often look like additional policy is the right way to remedy a problem. It doesn’t always work as intended, to which policymakers often try to solve with more policy. Lets not squander our wonderfully organic event with excessive limitations. I also am concerned with the lack of interaction between the community and the org. This community is very intelligent and resourceful. It would be a good thing to involve them in the problem solving process.

    That being said, I hope this works out, and thanks for all the hard work everyone, both in the org and the community, on the playa and at home.

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  • I think it’s chill-pill time folks. The INITIAL allotment of passes is 35,000. That actually sounds reasonable if the average number of people per car is 1.9 currently. Also, there’s that word “initial”, which sounds like the Org has left themselves an out if that number is not enough. I don’t know if any of you have been to Burning Man recently, but there really is a tiny little traffic issue that has to be addressed. The is particularly true if we want to ever get back to, “if you want to come home, you can come home”. Comparing this to the ticket problems of 2012 is silly.

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  • Pooh Bear misses the point entirely. The END EFFECT—the actual number of cars on the playa—will in fact be little different. (About 1800 if my math is right.) But that is in no way a reflection of how much trouble this will cause people, because the INITIAL DISTRIBUTION of the passes will very, very likely be—for the same reason so many people panicked in lottery in 2012 and bought more tickets than they need—completely skewed to the first 36,000 or so who buy tickets, leaving essentially none to the next 33,000. I may end up being wrong about that, but it’s a dynamic to be considered. Then all sorts of annoying transactions costs—how could it NOT devolve to scalping them??—will result, again for an end result in terms of cars on playa not much different. It seems like the market, as it were, was getting us CLOSE to an acceptable number of cars. But this gigantic clunking interference in order to lower the number by less than 2,000 strikes me as potentially very, very annoying to many, many attendees.

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  • I think the solution will of course end up having to be upping–hugely—that “initial allotment,” but who knows. The relevant decisionmakers should probably consult economists in the future to think a bit more about the incentives they are creating with their decision, and the likely result of those incentives in action. I don’t see how with this it will be anything other than the last 30K or so ticket buyers having no set means to get themselves to the playa. Can they work it out? Sure, I guess, in most cases. (Anyone who has been involved in trying to arrange getting themselves or gear to playa in association with anyone other than the MOST trusted of close associates should have a clue as to how annoying and clusterfucky that can get.)

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  • I think you have just killed burning man for me. I thought it wasn’t possible but you may have just done it. I am a working disabled person. I bring what I need to survive in the desert (in a tent) as a disabled person with special needs. My car is packed so there is only room for one passenger. It takes me a week to pack. I invested in a top carrier last year to get some stuff out of my car and every square inch is still packed. The only difference is I can tilt my driver’s seat back now if I need to pull over and take a break. There isn’t room for a passenger. I am not some 20 something that will think it’s fun live out of a back pack and sleep in a pup tent on some barely there mattress. I won’t be able to move the next day so what is the point? I am not wealthy – I can’t just run out an buy an RV. (I spend 1.5 months a year sick in bed from the side effects of the chemo drug I use to control my immune system.) I have to listen to my body – which sometimes means stopping in hotels and taking breaks just to get to the Burn. I often arrive late. I can’t push myself because a group of people I am traveling with has a different idea of how much sleep they can go without. My messed up immune system will spin out of control. I stay over to avoid the traffic in the Exodus (highly recommend this to everyone). I have loved the burn now 5 years in a row. I have found the way I can do it – and my body and my immune system are happy and in sync. These have been some of the best experiences in my life. But cram into the constraints of car pooling or trying to pre-think everything I will need and pack it in a container – it’s a recipe for disaster. But I guess my participation as a volunteer for DMV and as a member of an Organized Camp (Shack of Sit – provides shade, ice water, massage, wifi hot spot) just doesn’t count for anything in the end. It’s become an event that’s either a cattle call of 20 something travel light back packers, or a rich bitch in a posh RV or a corporate suck up in a plug and play. This is just not what Burning Man was or should be.

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  • Why would a person buying a single (presale) ticket need 2 or 4 parking passes? What possible reason could they want 2 or 4 parking passes for? Scalping? Don’t the drivers of the other 3 cars need tickets? Did you make a mistake the way you wrote this:

    3,000 tickets available at $650 each,……..
    Tickets and Vehicle Passes are limited to a maximum of four (4) per person.

    Did you mean that a purchaser is limited to one parking pass per ticket bought? Because frankly that’s the only thing that makes sense. Otherwise 6000 x 4 equals a potential purchase of 24,000 parking passes in the first round. Please tell me you didn’t mean this….. (or ditto for the general sale – “Tickets and Vehicle Passes are limited to a maximum of two (2) per person” – you can do the math.

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  • “in the Pre-Sale the ticket limit is up to four (4) per person, hence you could buy up to four (4) Vehicle Passes, and in all other sales the ticket limit is up to two (2) per person and you may buy up to two (2) Vehicle Passes.”

    Ok so let me get this right:
    If you’re wealthy enough to buy $650 tickets, you can have 4 passes for each ticket. If you’re a theme camp or a everyday burner, you only get 2.

    That’s the way this sounds, and it really needs to be cleared up pronto…

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  • Yes carbon emissions are an issue – but when 60,000 people park their cars for a week – it probably pencils out. Yes road damage is an issue – but ask any engineer – the biggest culprits causing road damage are the BIG HEAVY TRUCKS AND RVS!!!. So you want people to put their stuff in a cargo container and have thousands of pounds trucked in – can’t see how that helps prevent road damage.

    OK, thousands of burners idling their engines for 12 hours in line – yeah that too is an issue but there is a pretty easy solution – stagger the entry and exit dates/times, or a hybrid – if you have a special date entry pass you cruise right in or right out. (This will take a third road to manage but that’s doable.) How about keeping Center Camp up and running an extra day so people can hang out and leave on Tuesday?

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  • Solve the problems by LOWERING THE ATTENDANCE. This entire event has become all about quantity ($), not quality. There are simply too many people, BMORG is driving all that was special about the burn into the ground.

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  • The problem with this plan is the artificial scarcity imposed by the limit of vehicle permits, and creates FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt), just like the 2012 ticketopolypse! Various others have detailed why that is the case.

    What I don’t understand is why the BMorg can’t learn from it’s errors, and why it seems not to have studied basic market economics, which can easily reduce the number of vehicles without creating FUD. (Doesn’t ANYONE there have an MBA? – I mean, you can hire them…I bet you could even get an intern from Cal or Stanford, for free!)

    a. You want to reduce the number of vehicles? Fine, add a vehicle pass fee – $40, $50, $100, whatever. Allow *anyone* to by one, as many as they want. People will be incentivized to further reduce their vehicle use, and figure it out; e.g., maybe friends rent a box van, and stick 5 people in a car – who knows? You already have 1.9 people per vehicle.

    b.Allowing anyone to buy a pass means people who buy an entry ticket in the aftermarket will be able to add on a vehicle pass, no problem. This assures a ready aftermarket for people who end up having to sell their entry ticket – I mean, why would ANYONE buy a vehicle pass without a ticket? Maybe the vendors who go in and out, will buy one to service and deliver to the plug- and-play camps (well, maybe they already pay – who knows???) With the current plan, why would anyone buy a ticket if they don’t know for sure how they will get there? And February is TOO early to know.

    c. Maybe the first year you discover you didn’t reduce the number of vehicles quite enough – therefore you increase the price next time; or vice versa. It’s a learning, iterative process, but this is not the last year you will need to do this.

    d. Perhaps, like the real DMV, you have different costs for different length/weight of vehicles; allowing UNLIMITED passes of all types allows burners to figure it out themselves (and, I hear, they are a resourceful bunch).

    Hey BMorg – find your inner libertarian!!! (Not that I am one, but you guys sure are encouraging me).

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  • Zezmerelda – as an older burner with physical issues I sympathize with your restrictions and admire your participation. I think a point that is being missed here is this; it’s the BLM that is insisting on a traffic mitigation plan, not the org. The org hired a traffic study company (sounds smart) and is implementing some ideas, as demanded by the BLM. I think it’s silly to think someone who doesn’t need a pass is going to buy one. I go with my wife, if we buy two tickets, why in the world would I buy to vehicle passes. I know I’m not going to need the additional pass. If you read carefully, you’ll see the passes this year really aren’t there to limit the number of cars, but to raise awareness of the issue. As Brian has pointed out, the 35000 number is really just the amount of passes 60000 burners should need if nothing changes. The cost is there to get people to pay attention and defray the cost of other parts of the traffic mitigation plan. I guess it’s possible the org might make some money, I just can’t get worked up about that.

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  • “There will be no ticket price increase this year” So don’t consider the $47 vehicle pass requirement a +10% increase? Anyway, I understand that the BM (Bowel Movement) org is attempting to deter single rider entrants to reduce the overall amount of vehicles, creating less of an impact on the highways, blah blah blah… But this isn’t something that any government org has mandated. This is a BMorg thing.

    If everyone came in their own car it would be 1/4 of the daily traffic on the bay bridge (Avg. Daily Traffic: 270,000 vehicles).

    “Hey, speaking of toll bridges, why don’t we initiate a vehicle pass fee this year. It’s a brand new revenue stream and we can make it look like we’re being green, while we get greener by $1.4MM. And we’ll brag about how we’re not raising ticket prices this year”‘ said the BMorg member to the rest of the board. “And we won’t limit the amount we sell, but we’ll start by announcing 35,000.”

    “That’s pure genius!” exclaimed Harvey.

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  • Let’s rethink this. Will we be kept abreast of the status of vehicle passes? I’ve always shared my ride, but it will suck if we get to the general sale, no vehicle passes are available, and you’re stuck with two tickets, no way to get to the playa, and you won’t be able to resell your tickets because there aren’t any vehicle passes to go with them.

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  • @Babz…. You can’t make this shit up! How can you logistically sell approx 68k tickets and ONLY 35k vehicle passes? Perhaps they should allow the single ticket buyer 1 pass, and only one pass for every 2 tickets purchased together? Nah, better that they create panic and get peeps to buy more than they need. Then magically there will be more available in the end.

    If you buy a ticket to attend an event you usually pay for parking when you get there. So just charge each vehicle $40 at the gate and screw your $7 “processing fee”! DUH!

    Is everybody at the BMorg just plain stupid????????

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  • @Babz… Spot on! But if they run out of the initial 35k passes, believe me. There will be more. But if they create a sense of urgency then they can sell more passes initially than will ever actually be used. Which means…. More $$$$

    The smart thing to do is to just charge a parking fee of $40 a vehicle at the gate, and screw the $7 “processing fee”. People will car pool as much as possible. And it won’t be to avoid a $40 vehicle fee. It’s because it costs a hell of a lot of money in gas, etc to get there. And when we can share those costs with other riders we will ride share.

    And to the moderator who deleted my last message because I speak the truth: Removing posts will not hide the fact that we know what the motivation behind this vehicle pass requirement is. More $$$$ for the BMorg. Delete away, I’ll just repost. But you obviously don’t want the truth to be known by deleting our free speech posts.

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  • my question is, if you have early entry do you still need a vehicle pass? or will early arrivals be exempt from this requirement?

    also why wouldn’t you sell a max of ONE vehicle pass for every two tickets (i.e. make it a max of one pass per person)

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  • If emissions are truly a concern then don’t suggest flying in. It’s probably the least ecological way to get to the playa of any possible means.
    Also it would seem you are not very related to the reality of what that costs let alone the logistical implications if really a whole lot more people were to arrive this way.

    But that aside, Burning Man does thrive on people setting up awesome stuff and some of us creative types have a hard time getting everything ready early so it can be shipped in a container. Or maybe no money to create something AND ship it there and and back. Or both.

    Also I live in LA and sorry no Burner Express here, so should I then drive to SF, park my car for a couple of weeks (like where!?) to catch it there and skip my art because there is no way I can afford to make it and ship it?

    I understand the issue but this is no solution at least not one that encourages people to create stuff for the community.

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  • Time to revised the Car Train idea, load on in the bay area, build a siding on the playa next to the existing tracks, now 5000+ vehicles never touch the highway…
    After talking about this over the last five years, someone suggested there is a “boyscout” type of passenger rail car that has more storage underneath, so one can bring more camping equipment. It would be easy to shuttle campers from the Gerlach siding to the Playa.

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  • One of the best things you could do is make going through the greeters optional, and fold in will-call to the ticket checkers (they should be able to check an ID right there).

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  • Okay,you have 4 people in your car and all their gear(good luck with that), everybody has a ticket . But the person with the car and trailer that everyone is going to drive there and stay in can’t get a car pass. How in the hell are all 4 going to get there with their gear? And if they can get there with all their stuff including food and water where are they going to stay? BM costs enough (especially for people with very little money) to add the price of a full outfit of camping gear is horseshit. And a lot of people don’t want to sleep or spend time in a tent in some of BM’s nasty weather. And what about all the trash ? The powers that be keep saying they want BM to grow but this car pass horseshit sounds like they want to limit BM only to the rich and famous.

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  • Sorry, I guess I’m one of the outliers here – I think this is a good development, for a number of reasons, the main one being the encouragement of carpooling and getting to the playa using less carbon.

    What I’m not hearing anywhere yet, and can’t seem to find with Google searches, is this: how many vehicles where there last year?

    35k seems like a ridiculously HIGH number of passes for 70k people. How many assholes are driving to the playa solo? This year will be my fifth burn, and not once have I arrived by myself. Is a 35k limit actually going to cut many (any?) people off from attending the event? If we can’t get everyone into the event with that many cars then we as a community deserve to be cut off.

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  • The reason vehicle occupancy is 1.9 is because an average-sized car is barely big enough to contain one person, a place to live, a bike, and enough supplies and water to survive 7+ days with no local amenities. Any art, luxuries, or equipment for participation is extra, and so you see economy sedans groaning along the highway with bottomed-out shocks and stuff strapped to every possible surface. 1.9 people per vehicle is way better than I’d have expected! It’s all very well to frown at less than 2 occupancy on a busy highway commute, where people are driving from one comfortable, well-supplied location to another. It’s also nice to think about four friends piling into a car for a road trip across the country, where every need of food, shelter, and entertainment can be achieved by swiping a credit card. But if you want to turn Burning Man into Coachella, by all means make it harder for people to do what is necessary to survive AND participate.

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  • With the Gerlach Gypsum mine closing the wear and tear on those roads must be down by 80-90%. This is just a shake down of Burningman by Nevada, and BMan organizers passing the buck onto participants instead of expending their negotiating capital on this issue. They can’t win everything. The $40 fee is so people attach value to the tickets and don’t order them and then just throw out unused ones (which they would if they were free).

    Personally I would like to see BMorg put the $1.4 million in extra revenue to art grants (which are woefully underfunded).

    As alluded to by others above, the vehicle fee is also a disincentive to bringing art. Most people pack their cars with everything they can fit. If they are forced to put more people in each vehicle, they will bring less (or smaller) art, less food and supplies, and fewer things to share/gift.

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  • Just thought I’d also point out that the $1.4 million in extra ticket revenue from these parking passes is 75% more than what is given out in art grants (~$800,000/yr). So we are now spending more on managing traffic than we do encouraging art.

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  • The idea isn’t to get people to carpool,or be green, or any other high ideas. It’s for the ORG to make more money by looking like they are doing it.
    $7 fee on a $40 pass? If you are buying your entry ticket and car pass at the same time, why do you have to pay two fees?

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  • Time to burn the man early this year. Who’s with me? come on all you whiners distract security and torch the motherfucker. Time to take back the event on our terms only. Fuck the corporate sponsors

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  • More people in the vehicle for early entry builders will mean less amazing stuff to build. Participants with early entry passes should be exempt from the vehicle pass requirement. They are building the event, and hauling all infrastructure in and out, and shouldn’t also be expected to pack more people into their vehicle.

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  • fifi and gigi are obviously the same person that has no idea what they’re talking about.

    I do not know if the 35k number for passes is a hard number imposed by BLM and NDOT. Assuming it is NOT contractually imposed, BM could easily say “ooops, we need more passes” and add passes to the individual sale. Maybe limiting their number to one per purchase. (“There will be an initial allotment made for 35,000 Vehicle Passes.”)

    Actually, this scenario would penalize hoarders and scammers (those who plan to take advantage of scarcity) by sticking them with now-almost-worthless vehicle passes.

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  • @ Dustin . . .
    Don’t forget the $7 “processing fee”. 1.645 million $$
    Whether or not this actually “manages traffic” is yet to be determined.
    It is money collected in the spirit of traffic management in any case.
    If the ORG made and publicized their making a large block 1.645 million dollar transfer/grant to some entity or cause, that would make for a nice considerate palliative for their paying customers, you know, the people who make the event happen, the “participants” who are coughing up ever more millions of dollars each year.

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  • Burning Man tickets are already SO expensive. And going to the event itself is SO expensive. And now a vehicle pass??? This sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

    We all ALREADY carpool.


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  • I don’t care what the prices of anything are. I know why I am going to Burning Man and I will gladly give all of my money away to them for this amazing experience.

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  • REMI REMI,MY sweat LOVE,
    You are so incredibly astute Please let me in on your vast intellegence, what is the name of the other cities that have a corporation governing them….we all know the power of big- corp, but tell all…come on let us know……dont be shy.

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  • Everyone,
    I don’t see solutions, however necessary, as ever being right the first time around. I’m not terribly fond of the particular solution offered here, but shit, we’re resourceful people, are we not? What’s so difficult about planning for the passes and reselling the unused at retail price to others as soon as we know? A portion of the $40 expense shared among friends is not much more than a reminder to be cognizant of how wasteful we are in getting there.

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  • I think that BM management will very soon feel the wrath of the god of unintended consequences… Having vehicle passes as a separate commodity is guaranteed to bring an unavoidable black market with it.

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  • More service, more expectations, more impact … it costs money. So, yeah, there’s a use fee. It seems reasonable to me. We are growing as a community. We have more impact. Impact costs. I agree with Hannah and others above, though, in thinking that anyone who buys two tickets (in one transaction) should be allowed to purchase only one vehicle pass.

    As one who has lead a theme camp (More Carrot Farmers Market) that arranges a large truck to haul camp gear and our campmates’ personal gear; that works our collective patooties off to get our campmates to demoop in Reno and pack super efficiently; that coordinates rides to make sure that everyone has a ride in and out (and packs each and every car to the gills), I know it takes work, time, money and effort. Such challenges and demands have been part and parcel of our camp experience each year.

    We have a number of people using regional shipping containers, which, thankfully, reduces how much our truck and personal cars have to ferry in.

    And, oh yeah, and we bought a shipping container last year so that we can have the near-Gerlach storage being offered by BMorg. The container was about $4,000 plus placement costs, plus year-round storage. All told about $5,000 if I’m remembering correctly.

    We also got slammed by a BM blogger/writer who called us out for our fundraising practices this past year ( But really, with 30 campmates already paying $400/per person for camp fees, we needed to do something extra to raise cash to make the investment in the storage container. We choicefully bought the container (a huge stretch for a small camp) to decrease the in-out shipping. And while I understand this is a new offering and being ramped up in small increments, seems there is plenty of demand for such an offering, and I hope to see significantly more units being sold in 2014.

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  • We all have different perspectives, of course. I come from the East Coast, camp with a camp that each year has had about 50 percent international campmates (flying in) and about 50 percent virgins (some overlap in those numbers, of course). We’ve always coordinated and collaborated on the whole transportation of people and gear. It’s just what we do. And, yeah, it takes a LOT of communication and planning. But we also take up less space on playa with fewer vehicles, which also helps keep the city tighter. Last year with 32 people, we had nine cars and one RV plus our truck.

    We also encourage people who need to rent bikes to rent them from Hammer & Cyclery and other groups that offer on-playa pickup. This has helped reduce the load on our truck.

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  • Hhmm, the rough price for a ticket this year if you want to ‘drive’ yourself, have a ‘vehicle pass’, eat dry Ramen noodles, drink warm water & sleep on a raft for 9 days should be roughly $446.00. (fuck me, gas excluded) Although, if you wanted to ‘KAMP’ somewhere/anywhere in a fairly nice campsite, on your own, by yourself or with friends & eneimes. (all restrictions of course included) – It would run you, $20 a nite X 9 nites thats $180. Now, spend/treat/lather yourself somehow/someway (@ your campsite of course) to a $30 a nite (~ )'( experience/extravaganza) X 9 nites thats $270. Now your @ $450 ~ no coffee for you. Everything spent/created/worn/done & burnt is done from ‘drive’. ‘drive’ wants, and in some repects has no choice but to given for free. The ‘drive’ ‘is’ what keeps us going, old & new. Find something that ‘drives’ you and the ticket could become secondary.

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  • One of the main reasons that I have loved and continue going to burning man as I have for 13 out of 15 years, since 1999, is the freedom and space it allows…BUT now, ANOTHER LIMITATION….
    Last year I waited seven hours in the stop ten minutes go two minutes line, from Gerlach to get to will call by 6 PM and buy my low-income ticket…
    Other than the time and fuel wasted, how did this hurt and impact the roads? It didn’t, but if you want to go in that direction, RVs and large trucks do have a significant impact, so I would suggest that THEY HAVE TO BUY THE REQUIRED VEHICLE PASS, as car drivers already buy one, it’s called a ticket!
    I deduced that it wasn’t the larger amount of attendees that made this long and slow line, which had previously been less than two hours in all of my entry experiences, it was that the sanctioned arrival and opening time had been changed from 12 AM to 6 PM… So instead of some groups deciding to come in after driving all day at midnight, many would do a cooler night drive and arrive the next morning, but last year because of the stupid 6 PM time, and I don’t know when this started because I missed 2011 and 12, they all came at once!
    These are simple structural issues the burning man has chosen to ignore for years…
    During the energy crisis during the 70’s if you had an odd or even license plate you were allowed to be in a line to purchase gasoline according to the last digit on your plate, and this worked and it was fair to all… I would also suggest and it would not be that hard to implement, arrival time blocks that could be easily enforced. These time arrival and departure blocks or windows would be no different than booking a plane and if you missed the flight you would have to wait in a general line that would not have precedence to proceed to or leave the event…
    I want to be able to enjoy all the pre-burning man planning and not have to deal with the bullshit and game of having to now buy two tickets in!

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  • I’m glad that traffic is being addressed. I do have some concerns that early buyers can buy four tickets per person and FOUR parking passes PER PERSON. At most, each person should be able to buy four tickets and TWO parking passes. Otherwise, won’t there be a tendency to try and stock up on precious parking passes. “just in case”? If we want to encourage carpooling and fewer vehicles, at least keep the parking pass allotment such that it only allows one parking pass for every two tickets.

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  • The reason this won’t work is most people take their personal cars with finite space. They can only cram in so much people and stuff. This plan forces people to 1. Rent a van or bus or RV or go on someones rented van or bus or RV, 2. Buy a roof rack or 3 buy/rent a trailer and pay to have a trailer hitch installed. Stuff on roof racks and trailers dramatically lower MPG so increase carbon emissions. Renting a vehicle is more expensive then the pass. Theoretically Many more people can go in huge vans or busses or RVs. That’ll be just as expensive cause you gotta pay for those expensive vehicles.
    Another idea is make the event 2 weeks long. Sell tickets with specific entry days that are spread out over a week. Not everyone will arrive or leave on a certain day.

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  • The San Diego BM decom handles traffic by charging people a car pass if they have less then two people per car at the gate. Why doesn’t burning man do that?

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  • How is that fair to me when I come with my corolla stuffed to the gills with the things I need for the 8 nights I will be there, as opposed to a semi truck with a trailer and two people in it?

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  • Vehicle pass !! this is just another way to hide raising ticket price !! Yo’ll see next year org will add playa bicycle pass $ 50 and this is just for two wheels three wheels will cost $ 150 They are full of shit. Every year worst and worst

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  • This is pure corporate speak. “We’re going to charge you more, but it’s actually for your own good.” Or put another way, “We’re making so much money from increased ticket sales that it caused a problem with traffic, so we’re going to make even more money by charging people extra for actually coming.” Total BS.

    A vehicle pass will do nothing except bring more money to the owners of BM, and a limit on the number of passes will do nothing except create scarcity in the market, leading to uncertainty and fear. Requiring a vehicle pass also puts a damper on the ability for people to make last minute choices to attend, since they now have to find not just a ticket but a vehicle pass too. On top of all this there will be a “ticketing fee” that increases the cost beyond the (falsely) advertised price. This is a stupid “solution” to a “problem”. Burning Man is supposed to be about freedom, not social engineering and squeezing attendees for maximum profit.

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  • The reason entry is a problem is that the management of the process is incompetent. Vehicles arrive at the rate of about 4 per minute or 240 per hour (or maybe even more) during the peak arrival time of Sunday night through Monday morning. The entry process isn’t set up to handle this load, so the line builds up. At every step of the entry process they need to test their procedure to make sure that it can support a throughput of 240 vehicles per hour (or whatever the peak rate is).

    The newbie greeting process sounds like a good idea to the BM people, but it’s a total waste of time for all the cars behind them in line. if each car takes just 1 minute longer for the newbie greeting, that makes people 60 cars back wait an extra hour. Probably up to 2 hours of our waiting time was due just to the newbie greeting. If you want to give Newbies special treatment then send them into a side loop and let them wait for their wonderful greeting, so the rest of us can go on in faster.

    In 2013 we sat near the front of the line for one solid hour and watched while they stopped the entire line to allow the will call line to go through. This is just incompetent management. There is no legitimate reason why the entire entry line should be stopped dead for one hour, let alone for one minute. Both lines should proceed in parallel. Again the throughput needs to support the real life facts. They need more greeters working in parallel to get the vehicles in faster.

    Making people wait 5-7 hours in line to get in ruins everyone’s energy and mood for the first day. We all spent Monday sleeping to make up for the huge line, and then Monday night was more subdued than usual because people were still worn out from the insanely long wait. So basically one day was wasted due to the incompetent traffic management by the BM staff.

    The entire entry process is mismanaged. BM needs to fire their entry/exodus team and hire professionals to redesign and manage the process.

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  • Please spend the $40 car pass money on professional traffic people. AGAIN you need professional help. It should take no more an hour to get in from the hwy. Get rid of the whole greeter business it just sucks the life out of people having to wait.
    Limit ticket sales to 50,000, it used to be easy to get in and out. DO NOT be like all other Corps and be greedy, you are killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

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  • “Clearly, it’s critical we address the traffic issue — and we can only solve this problem by working together as a community”.ho ho ho ..
    Solution: car with 3 persons no charge,with 2 persons 20$ fee,1 person 40$

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  • Each new rule BMORG creates makes me laugh. Each new rule is just another reason to find a new location and disband these inept comedians.

    If BMORG is now an non-profit (yes, they have been FOR profit all along), then we should be able to vote out the Board.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take a look at their financials. It’s like giving a credit card to a teenager. Last year, they spent nearly a MILLION dollars on employee meals alone!

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  • Last year people were camping in empire and Gerlach and leaping in front of cars looking for tickets. They were camped at will call looking for tickets. This year people will do that looking for vehicle passes!

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  • 1. Burning Man is not a non-profit, has never been a non-profit. The org was started by a group of folks who decided to take responsibility for the event at a time it had gotten too far out of control (i.e. people died). I’ve never understood why people care if they make money, if they put on an event people want to come to, which they obviously do. There is a non-profit associated with Burning man, but they do not put on the event.

    2. Careful reading of the blog will reveal that they have hired a traffic expert.

    3. A million dollars for feeding staff is not at all surprising when you realise the number of meals they have to serve. If you’ve eaten in the commissary you know it’s tasty, but not extravagant.

    4. BM is right, the org should look at ways of getting 240 cars an hour through the entry gate. We know what the parameters are, so they should be able to devise a workable plan.

    5. The BLM has an issue with the number of cars using the road, not just the back-ups in Gerlach.

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  • All you whiny motherfuckers. I can’t believe I read all this; shame on me. Don’t like it? Fuck off, go do something else. It’s forty bucks. You could pick up a dishwashing shift for one night and make it happen. Or be creative and subvert it. Everyone, bring tow ropes and big cardboard ‘in tow’ signs. Now your corolla is a trailer! Problem solved.

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  • Vehicle pass’s a Scalpers,the rich and the invitation only bonanza. 3000 $650 tickets and $40 passes and I can buy four. How is that promoting car pooling. Tacking on $40 per ticket is cheap (and will be easy to resell might and will get a few extra). I’m betting at least 2500 passes are sold. How about one pass per two tickets.
    Next up the invitational selling 15,000 tickets and 15,000 passes. As this folks will be getting passes for their friends. Once again how about one pass for two tickets.
    At the beginning of the direct sale about 17,500 vehicle passes sold leaving half of the 35,000 that leaves 17,500 for the 38,000 in the direct sale. The first 17,500 will buy a pass as passes will be easy to sell. The leaves the remaining 20,500 with a ticket to and event you can not drive to. And no step to hopefully get a pass. Yet you must bring enough supplies to camp and eat for a week. I’ve been to the last 6 burns. The majority of people already car pool and/or their vehicles are overloaded already.
    This vehicle pass sale is as ill-conceived as the lottery was. At the minimum only sell one pass to folks who buy two tickets. If somebody buys a ticket to the burn they need to be able to be radically self sufficient and drive in with their art shade food and gallons of water. Not hopping to catch a ride at the last minute. Selling 20,500 tickets without a pass to get in…. is insanity. I’m not even going to speculate what scalped passes will go for. Its time to raise the price to meet the simple supply and demand curve. Right now it is obvious the demand is greater than the supply. Is this really the best you can do?

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  • I’m fine with the whole vehicle pass idea. I just hope we’ve thought out what happens when someone shows up with a valid ticket, a car full of supplies, and no vehicle pass…cause that’s going to happen.

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  • Actually, in 2012, $1,267,959 was spent on meals.

    The employees got paid (very well) $7,787,787, plus get free passes and free parking.

    Travel expenses are at $430,309

    Now we are up to $9,486,055 to put on a one-week event.

    I LOVE the event, but come on. “Don’t scalp, it’s not right…it’s all about community…it’s about GREED. Be real.

    This amount comes to the equivalent of hiring 210 employees and paying EACH of them $45,000 (for a one-week event)!

    Better yet, lets get some HIGHLY-skilled event management employees… Lets get 105 event managers and pay them $90,000.

    (A typical professional sports team event manager puts on 40-90 events and gets maybe $50-65K).

    Lets outsource the management to some skilled employees, and literally save MILLIONS of dollars, plus not have all of these comical decision-making errors.

    BMORG will not change as they have a permanent job so long as we buy into their crap.

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  • What BMORG does or doesn’t make is irreverent no one has to buy a ticket. But if you pay for a ticket you should get in.

    You can’t force ride sharing in this manner. People are coming from all over the world and arrive and depart at different times. Usually we buy our tickets knowing what fellow burners maybe ridding together, we coordinate times and equipment and car pool as best we can. Some buy a ticket late and hope to catch a ride. But they have the option of driving in if they can’t. Now with this ticket/pass sale every one who can buy a pass will buy a pass because you won’t know if your friends got one or not until the sale is over. The tickets sell out in hours this does not give us time to see who did or didn’t get a ticket so buy one with every ticket just to be safe. We can sort it out later. 22,000 burners will be looking for a ride or a pass. And hey a $40 pass at the gate will go for$$$$$.

    Remember the lottery. A lot of people bought tickets with no intention of going just to scalp them. In the end many ended selling cheep I know because I got two. This is the lottery in reverse. Now there will be more tickets than pass’s causing a shortage of pass’s so you can’t hope to snag a cheap one at the last minute. As there are 22,000 more tickets than pass’s. Sure some folks will be able to connect up. But not all.

    This is no way to force carpooling. What if you and your burn buddies didn’t get a pass but you all got tickets and you live in Canada, Alaska, Small town USA what’s the chance of hopping a ride with someone who has a pass. And then someone with room and or is leaving and returning the days you have free. Its only a 1000 mile drive do I show up and hope they let us in? We all have tickets but no pass.

    If you want to increase car pooling give an incentive. If you want to drive in solo its $475, $425 for two and three or more $380.
    Incentives work. No body likes to be forced.

    Please stop this insanity its hard enough to just get a ticket any more.

    Has anybody else noticed there have been no comments from BMORG. Are they even listening or even care about the panic they have created. At least they were willing to admit the lottery was a failure.

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  • There is no panic brutha.
    Reality is what we take to be true.
    What we take to be true is what we believe.
    What we believe is based on our what we perceive.
    What we perceive depends on what we look for.
    What we look for depends on what we think.
    What we think depends on what we percieve.
    What we perceive determines what we believe.
    What we believe determines what we take to be true.
    What we take to be true is our reality.

    The real reality is that it’s F’ng ‘dirt cheap’ to go to this event.
    The real reality is that some people want someone to hold thier hand, others don’t.
    Create, Love, Live, Burn, Lounge!
    The real reality is that in order to be happy with what ya got,
    you gotta be happy with what ya got, vehicle pass or not.
    Do or do not. Your experience is created at your level. This is the events gift to you.
    When was the last time you voted on something you really wanted to change? Anything.
    When was the last time you voted on something )'( related? It’s an event.
    This space/time gives you unlimited freedom for Pete’s sake!
    YOU dont just pull off the freeway onto the local Raceway, then peeel out at dawn.
    Only to come back and mimic two more nites in the same arena and call it good.
    This event has its complications. One trip to the dysart will reveal this.
    It will undenialably be remembered as one of the key ‘times’ in your life though.
    That ember will never, ever be forgotten! Trust you.
    YOU can build shit and then burn it down for crying out loud. (or not, build a spectacular kamp if YOU CHOOSE).
    YOU can spritzer up your vagina or cock n’ balls and create your own parade.
    YOU can camp and build wherever you want and create an entire fantasy, per plan or abstract.
    People will be bedazzelled and thankful that you arrived, finally you’ve decide to act.
    Its a win ~ win ~ win ~ win all nite long. Where the Hell can you do this? Where on this level, with this dense energy, can you feel this. Where?
    Let’s quit this bannter awhile, and talk more about the enviroment – The Playa – and it’s GREAT SPACE (and the wind).
    It’s soooooooooooooooo key! It deserves way more attention than it gets. With all of it’s influences and nuances.

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  • As long as I can remember, all the Burners I know have carpooled to & from Burning Man to save money on fuel, and keep cars of the road. Adding a $40 “Parking Pass,” is stinky, and doesn’t motivate attendees to carpool.

    Just add $20 to each Entry ticket. It will also net more income. IF someone will pay $380.00 for a ticket, they will certainly pay $400.00 PLUS special handling.

    No one likes game playing.

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  • I hate to be negative but the vehicle passes will never ever ever have a impact on traffic. We already stuff are small cars and small trucks with stuff just for camp. there is no way that burners can all carpool, they will have no room for bikes, ice chest, bags, shade, etc… We need to set up a BUILD A ROAD FUND. Instead of taking money for your “staff” we need to set up a fund and build a second lane. Yes it would cost MILLIONS of dollars but I know its someything BURNING MAN can do if they saved for 2 to 3 years! Please consider this instead.

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  • Wake up sheep… smell the greed pigs that are enclosing all around you. New age hipsters only here for product placement designed to take your money and forget about the real community where you spend your time that is crumbling all around you like the ruins of Rome.

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  • AsOfTime – I think what I’ll do is show up on playa and meet my camp mates (read family) and we will hug and celebrate being home together. I will put my wallet away, as I won’t need it all week. Then I will go out with my family and meet amazing creative people, dance my ass off, and see how ridiculously powerful and fun art. I will be renewed for another year and bring back some of the freedom and good will with me when I come home, which will benefit those non-burners around me. What I won’t do is spend one minute worrying someone else might have some benefit I don’t have, or be concerned if the org ( the folks that make the event happen) could possibly make some money. Questioning peoples motives is a full time job and i have one of those.

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  • On the playa I’m a Fungineer. The rest of the time, I’m a Professionally Licensed Traffic Engineer. I would be very interested to see the analysis conducted by Traffic Works LLC to “study participant traffic in 2013”. I sincerely hope their scope of work included an assesment of the impact that limiting vehicle entry would have on the surrounding communities. Limiting vehicle entry has never been done at this event. The consequences could be dramatically counterintuitive. If people start using the parking lots of local businesses and roadway shoulders as park and rides, State and local officials may be forced to take drastic measures to prevent future occurances. I emplor all burners who are reading this: Remember the principle of Civic Responsibility. The communities surrounding this event deserve your respect;300 cars parked at the Fernley Walmart all week is not conducive of Civic Responsibility.

    As for for the FAQ above which states “regardless of what kind of vehicle you drive, it’s another vehicle creating traffic and doing damage to the roads.”

    This statement is not correct. You can make a case for traffic, but the pavement damage is a different story.

    Part of my job as a Traffic Engineer is to design pavement for Agenies at the State and Local level. Pavment designs vary from place to place and reflect the environmental and traffic conditions experienced over the pavement life. A vital component of this is an accurate estimate of the expected magnitude and frequency of traffic loads over the design life. In making this assesment, the prudent traffic engineer will notice that; the contribution that motorcycles, passenger cars, and pick trucks (light vehicles) make towards the pavement distress incurred during its service is VERY small in comparison to heavy vehicles such as tractor trailers, single unit box trucks and RV’s. In fact, the contribution of passanger vehicles is so small that many State and Local transportation agencies consider their effect on the pavement to be negligible, and the design engineer is permitted to exclude them from the pavement design calculations.

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  • @Fungineer – Since this is your area of expertise I need to clear this thing up…since the initial offering (not limit) of vehicle passes is 35,000 and the average vehicle going to Burning Man holds 1.9 people, and the most people allowed on playa is 65,000 or less…how exactly is the Org limiting vehicle passes? 35,000 would seem to be more than necessary.

    Also, since the community as a whole benefits from the contents of those big trucks coming to Burning Man, doesn’t it make sense that the cost would be shared across the entire community? Even if I show up in my Miata (yes I’ve seen one on playa) I’m still benefiting from the giant chicken art car that showed up on a semi.

    I would really like the traffic experts to focus on how to get people on and off playa a lot quicker, but I’m afraid the org is concerned that will mean more people bringing their own vehicle. So until the org can get the message out we need to use less vehicles, they really don’t have an incentive to improve the rate of flow for entry and exodus.

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  • So BMORG is now looking for an airport “volunteer”. Perfect place for a volunteer! BMORG spends $7 million on staff to make great decisions on ticket and vehicle passes, but when it comes to planes landing around us, they want more free labor. Burning Man is slowing burning to ashes….

    Fungineer adds another great point to the counterintuitive results of BMORG…. The jokes keep getting better. The “dude, it all be fine” mentality is the clear demise to a once, great event….

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  • Are vehicle passes one time only?

    Are vehicle passes required for early entrance?

    Are vehicle passes required for late entrance (returning after exodus for cleanup)?

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  • To all the folks who see this as the first horseman of the BM apocalypse and who are suggesting they may not now come…well the idea of the plan is to reduce the number of cars coming to playa…so apparently it’s working…

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  • @ pooh bear …but you will be picking that wallet up greatly before and after the event. So have a good hug and dance hard … You paid for it ! You deserve it! Lmao…

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  • @Pooh Bear- I’m not sure what you mean by “initial offering” The author has indicated that this figure may change in future years. However, according to the above “there are 35,000 passes available this year.” I’ve seen no indication that BMORG is going to re-evaluate this figure, where have you heard this? I think it would be wise for the BMORG to take a second look at this after all tickets and vehicle passes have been awarded. “35,000 would seem to be more than necessary”…… not necessarily. By only considering the ratio of ticket holders to vehicle pass holders; your analysis is too simplistic to account for the myriad of factors affecting how people will get to burning man. Let’s take a look at the axioms:

    1. All persons entering BLC MUST be in a vehicle.
    2. A vehicle pass MUST accompany each vehicle: therefore: no more than 35,000 vehicles can enter BM. Issuance is on a first-come-first serve basis.
    3. Each occupant of a vehicle MUST possess a ticket (Approximately 65,000 participants.) Geographical distribution of tickets is random (not really, but for our purposes let’s just say.)
    4. I’m willing to make the assumption that; when vehicle passes are sold out, people will buy tickets in hopes of connecting with a vehicle pass holder in the future.

    Your conclusion asserts that each ticket holder will be able to find a vehicle pass holder that can also take them into BM. Vehicle passes are awarded on a first come first serve basis; once they are gone there will inevitably exist geographically dispersed people with tickets who do not have vehicle passes. BMORG has spearheaded a few initiatives to satisfy this demand; Burner Express (5000 riders from local airports) and the Rideshare Board where people can connect. The real question is whether these initiatives working in tandem with the ingenuity and creativity of the affected burners (burners with tix but no pass) will be enough to connect most of them with vehicle pass holders. Sadly, my powers of omniscience were taken by Zeus when he defeated me in arm wrestling. If I had to guess… I would say that a significant number of ticket holders (hundreds, maybe even thousands) will not be able to connect with a vehicle pass holder because the vehicle pass holder will make the final decision regarding who will occupy their vehicle; some portion of vehicle pass holders (those who don’t sell their vehicle pass) will be unwilling or unable to accommodate ticket holders who need a ride. An equitable distribution of these passes cannot be guaranteed. This debacle would be eerily similar to the 2012 lottery policy which excluded critical event participants. This policy has never been attempted before. Since we have no experience to draw upon, a detailed travel forecast study CANNOT be performed to evaluate the consequences. These studies rely on data collection (experience) and analysis to establish causes, effects and mitigation measures. In fact, the travel forecast models and a trip generation analysis developed by Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants did not evaluate the potential effects of limiting vehicle entry to the event, nor did they recommend capping vehicle entry as a mitigation measure. The engineering consultants did recommend incentivizing carpooling: “Improvements that would continue to maintain acceptable levels of service with greater populations include: extending the exodus period, implementing a system that requires participants to sign up for an exit time, or incentivizing carpooling so there are more participants per vehicle (e.g., by charging a fee to bring a car or rewarding high vehicle occupancy rates).” That recommendation doesn’t even hint towards what BMORG has proposed.
    The above referenced study appears in article 4.21 ‘Transportation and Traffic’ of the Environmental Assessment dated June 2012 prepared by the US Bureau of Land Management to evaluate the event (for 2012-2016) for the purpose of issuing the Special Recreational Permit warranted by the NCA. This document can be accessed using the following link:

    The Consultants recommend several mitigation measures for the various alternatives evaluated. Refer to page 4-62 for the mitigation measures proposed for Alternative 1: 58,000-70,000 Person Maximum. BMORG is required to mitigate exodus traffic by metering vehicles: per 4-62“ No more than 1,000 vehicles per hour should be released from Black Rock City during the exodus period to avoid deterioration of the external roadway system to an unacceptable level of service (LOS E or F). “ LOS =Level of Service, it’s determined by vehicle volume to roadway capacity ratio where LOS A is freeflow conditions, and LOS F is a deteriorated or jam condition where the volume is far in excess of the facility’s capacity.

    Addressing your second point “doesn’t it make sense that the cost would be shared across the entire community?”; a careful read of my first post will reveal that I expressed no opinion regarding who should bear the cost of pavement damaged incurred by humungous trucks loaded down with cool stuff. Some of that cool stuff… is my cool stuff! I send everything out to the playa on the DC Container; a 52 foot shipping container (one of several actually) which embarks on 2700 mile journey to ensure that my sexy geodesic dome is available to BLC for hammocking.
    I respect your adherence to the principle of immediacy Pooh Bear, but let’s not forget radical inclusion; “Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.” There is a prerequisite for participation at Burning Man; it’s entry.
    From an engineering perspective, the best way to ameliorate traffic is to widen SR-447. The best way to ameliorate pavement damage, is to provide a more robust pavement. If capping vehicles was a viable and responsible mitigation measure; it would have been recommended by the folks at Fehr & Peers. For BM, this is a VERY unimaginative, and uncreative solution. You will experience long waits to enter BM this year, regardless of the vehicle pass policy (we can infer this from the above referenced study performed by the US Bureau of Land Management). The best way to alleviate the agony of waiting in line… is to cheer up! You only live once, what are you going to do… be miserable?

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  • Trains, trains, trains! If there was a pullout track near the Frog Pond then passenger trains would be able to drop people off at the event…no cars or trucks needed. It would be by far the most efficient way! And fun! The event could start in Emeryville, Salt Lake, Portland… Make BM 2015 the year of the train!

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  • @ Pooh Bear – You are correct, BMORG intends to assess the situation after all tickets and vehicle passes are sold. However since vehicle passes are issued on a first come first serve basis; once their all gone, the remaining tickets will be sold to geographically dispersed people. Some ticket holders will manage to rideshare with a vehicle pass holder, others will connect to a vehicle via burner express, the Rideshare Board, or the creativity and ingenuity of burners. But there is no way to guarantee that most ticket holders will connect to a vehicle pass holder (because it relies on vehicle pass holders being willing and able to share a seat plus coordinating schedules). The number of additional vehicle passes needed (if issuing more is prudent) to get most burners Home may result in vehicle-occupancy below 1.9. We don’t have data (experience) available to make a good inference about the risks, consequences, or benefits. The travel forecasting analysis and trip generation model in article 4.21 Alternative 1 of the Environmental Assessment (2012-2016) prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to evaluate the event for the purpose of issuing the Special Recreational permit warranted by the NCA recommends incentivizing ridesharing (i.e. price incentives), staggering entry and exit dates, metering exodus traffic (1000 vehicles at a time); however a vehicle limit was not suggested. The impacts of this policy are not in the Fehr and Peers Inc’s scope of services. My initial thoughts on this problem were to build a wider and more robust pavement section to accommodate the demand. SR – 447 is nearly 100 miles long; the cost to perform a full depth pavement replacement (tens of millions of dollars), or even resurface this road ($$$$$$) is enormous. This is also a high impact solution which may encourage further expansion of the roadway and the event (i.e. Superhigway to BLC Pop. Eleventy Billion). A more creative solution for Burning Man is to have regional transportation hubs. Dedicated burners could volunteer to organize containers (like the DC Container which takes my cool stuff!!!!!!) and bus transport on a regional basis. Regional congregation points (interstate nodes which could capture a broad region) could take place at various park and rides (good and legal rideshare hubs funded by your tax dollars). Busses could be arranged (renting or contracting with some company, or a burner owned bus convoy) to leave over the course of several days to accommodate burners’ individual schedule demands (we could call them Burn Wagons!) Stops and lodging is an issue to overcome for folks traveling from the east coast. This could be overcome by everybody pitching in to reserve entire campgrounds in advance (or something). The cost of establishing regional transit hub programs could be rolled into the tickets. Due to the potential for capitalizing on savings resulting from economy of scale; this model could prove to be extremely attractive to burners (especially those far away). If this model is well designed, and regional transportation hub programs are well planned, busses and containers could transport a significant portion of the population and their cool stuff to BLC without reducing the operational efficiency of the roadways serving the event. Busses transport dozens of people…. Trucks transport tons of stuff. This model also has the benefit of being adaptable because the distribution of tickets can be used to determine the demand for burn wagons at a given regional hub.
    With regards to your second point; I was merely disputing the claim that vehicles of all types contribute equally to pavement deterioration. I don’t know the pavement composition; it may be necessary to improve the pavement strength. My geodesic dome is delivered BLC courtesy of the biggest single combination tractor trailer permitted on America’s Interstate Highways (AASHTO Class WB-62). I’m all about this.
    With regards to your third point; what the traffic engineers need to do is contribute to the development of regional transportation hubs!

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  • I have only attended BM 2012 and 2013 but I have to agree this sounds like a more disastrous version of the lottery system. I have seen several very common sense remarks and solutions above. First and foremost, everyone who buys a ticket should be allowed to attend and the parking permits as defined could prevent this. My son lives in San Francisco and the past two years I have flown in from the Midwest to attend. We got tickets at the last moment and had to rent a vehicle to attend. The first year we rented a Uhaul Ford van. This only has room for two people to ride in but we had more than adequate space to carry supplies. If we were redoing that we could have brought other peoples gear. 2013 we rented a car and that was not so much fun. Every nook and crannie was filled and little room to keep extra things out of the dust. Also we camped with a theme camp and they were less than thrilled that we were unable to carry out our “camp share” of the trash. The description of how the tickets will be sold sounds insane to me. Especially since others have offered real solutions such as prices based on the number of people per vehicle. Actually the best suggestion was paying for the vehicle on arrival. Not sure if we will come because we buy our tickets late and it would seem that either there won’t be parking passes available, available only at scalpers rates or maybe no problem at all picking one up. But who wants to gamble with that uncertainty? Definitely doesn’t make me inclined to pick up a ticket. Approaching 70 and a late starter at Burning this is a disappointment because every year could be my last opportunity.

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  • My idea to alleviate some of the traffic issues on 34 and in Gerlach is to bypass Gerlach with an east side exit to Jungo Road that connects to 447 between Gerlach and Empire.
    The improvements to the road way being… A rebuild of the existing railroad crossing to make it a paved crossing at no incline or decline more than 2% within 100 feet of the track. Concrete treat the road base to 12 inches, apply leveling rock, compact and pave with asphalt to 3″ depth one 12 foot lane on Jungo road from the crossing to HWY 447. Where Jungo Road hits 447 install a traffic circle of sufficient diameter to accommodate any single vehicle combination. Make the traffic circle temporary use with HWY 447 running right through the middle for times when not in use. Develop traffic control signage plan for when traffic circle will be in use.
    This will alleviate some of the Gerlach based traffic woes by allowing south bound burners to bypass that restriction.
    Traffic flaggers would be needed at the rail road crossing to stop traffic for oncoming trains and a tow truck or machinery with such capability would need to be stationed at the crossing in the event clearing a stalled vehicle from the tracks was necessary. Stationing flaggers at the traffic circle is probably not necessary but would be an asset if driver confusion happened.
    As well as alleviating some exodus woes this could also be used as an access point to the playa and allow for more queueing of vehicles on the playa instead of 34.

    Yes it would be terribly expensive but since we are now seemingly investing in Nevada Road infrastructure beyond the fuel taxes we pay lets do something unique that will have a direct impact on participants entrance and exit times.

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  • WOW. i am ashamed to see all this opposition to change. you “real” burners are so full of poop. if you cant handle the rising cost of this event, then you should reconsider how important it is to you. this car pass idea is a blessing. think of how many weekend warriors this will discourage from coming. the people who actually want to make a difference and leave less of an impact will realize that 100,000 extra people traveling a road that was virtually untraveled for decades needs to be maintained by the people that travel it. we are the only major impact that stretch of highway has seen since the folks who settled it. we need to be responsible for keeping it safe, and clean. of corse the state and federal government will have its hand out when it sees how much money an event this size generates.

    logically, prices go up. no one said burning man was exempt from the default world. its a place to provide an escape, and inspire those who join to share that ideal with the outside world. but not everyone exposed to aids catches it either. i say, stay positive. see the light. if all the real burners buy up the car passes, its like taking the tickets out of the weekend warriors hands. that to me is worth $47 bucks.

    stop crying about it. if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

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  • also, thank you @Pooh Bear for showing @AsOfTime so much love. they obviously need a hug too. @Fungineer, @Santa, and the rest of you positive helpful burners, thank you for adding some form of intelligence to this list of excuses to complain. people just don’t realize how well they have it out there.

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  • GanjFett is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The overtly zen idea that it will all work out is the reason why everything is such a mess. You can’t run a multimillion dollar event with hippyspeak and a Taoist approach. Wait, yes you can, but BMORG would have to step away… For the last few years BMORG has imposed more and more control under the guise of freedom. Burning Man needs to evolve, not constrict.

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  • Things were fine until you started changing the ticket sales system, and we know what a disaster that was, Now a car pass, and according to you you can buy one pass per ticket, so what happens whit the last lest say 1000 people to get a ticket, and their is no more car passes? We have always commute to BM, but you know we can only fit two people per car since we have to take so many things with us from sf, you can’t expect to have 4 people on a sedan and on top bring everything we need in one car. To make it worst a huge RV pays as if it is just another car, so people with money NO PROBLEM, as usual is the poor that gets fuck, what about the low income people? The tickets go much higher than the cost of life every year, and the event is becoming very very very hard to afford, You keep making it harder for us to keep coming, SHAME ON YOU, im out of it.

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  • Call this what you want, but it’s nothing but another way to extract money from participants. Where is the estimated 1.4 million dollars going? Nevada dept of transportation? I doubt it. More than likely into the orgs pocket.

    But I don’t care. It’s the best party on the planet. All I ask is that if the org wants us to drink the purple kool-aid, tell us it’s kool-aid. Don’t try and package it as something else…

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  • Just got confirmation from another member of the “directed sale” group, that indeed they typically get extra tickets to scalp for higher prices to help pay for their camp. Again, these are the people that BMORG allows to get tickets first, but then tells us that scalping is wrong. This is the worst fraternity on campus!

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  • we are lucky to do this at any price.

    life is worth dying for much less saving money for.

    I think these people running this is doing the best considering

    what is being done. This is the most modern event in the world

    when all the people in the world are haves and there are no have nots

    burning man is what the whole world will be like. We are lucky to discover it now!

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  • Try putting will call immediately off the county road at the playa entrance. That way they don’t have to cross in front of everyone at the gate, where we all have to wait for them. We also had to wait for them when will call blocked us so that all the will call people who just got their tickets were escorted out into the entrance gate in front of us….again. That added hours to our entrance last year.

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  • We have our tickets, but sadly no vehicle pass. Please say there will be a way to still get one. To not get in just because we don’t have a $40 pass would be tragic. I am happy to pay for one. We’re Canadian so it’s not a small trip and it’s hard to plan and scheme even with a ticket now…

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  • Hopefully some of this vehicle pass money is going towards solving the gate and road issues. Open more lanes on the gate and man them with more staff. Improve your ticketing network so it doesn’t crash all the time. Will call is always a disaster. Actually, now that I think of it: what part of the gate actually does work efficiently for an event this size? I grant you that there’s only so much you can do about exodus, as everyone tries to leave at the same time and there is a road capacity limit. But the rest of it is embarrassing.

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  • I was wondering about the Low Income Ticketing/ Vehicle Pass. Are there passes available for those who are trying to go Low Income? I didn’t see any option there for us on the application as I am aiming to get a car this summer, but I am not sure if I”ll drive there or carpool, so I want to play it safe this year and have a backup plan. Any info guys?

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  • how does it work for low income ticket holders who pay for their tickets at the the pick up window….do we get to purchase a car pass at the window? this is particularly vital for disabled low incomer folks who need their vehicles.

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  • does anyone know if you can purchase a vehicle passes are available after ticket sales as my circumstances have changed and i know need to get my self there

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  • Maybe we could move the Gate Greeting Ritual to the base of The Man and let it go on all week. It would speed up ingress and create a kind of orienting pilgrimage for Newbies. “Go to the Man and ring the bell Newbie! Then you have arrived.”

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  • I’ve purchased the ticket but missed to purchase the vehicle pass. Is there a way I can still purchase vehicle pass after I purchase the tickets?

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  • I wonder if the negative commenters have actually been to Burning Man before.

    I’m all for reducing traffic and providing alternative means to get to Black Rock City. This year we’re flying to Reno and taking the Burner Express to and from BRC.

    At first it was a logistic thing (less time from work, lower costs than driving from Austin) but other than missing the epic travel through the desert and the inevitable side trips on the way there, I’m stoked to not sit in a car. Also, no waiting in the line, which is as fun as it is frustrating.

    I’m happy they’re taking steps like this and hope to see it expand.

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  • And, it’s clear not everyone actually read the blog post or has paid any attention in the past few months.

    If you’re towing a trailer you only need one pass.

    35,000 x 40 is $140,000, not $1.4m

    A corporation is a type of organization. Burning man is a non profit. If anyone has actually seen Black Rock City and has any idea of what goes into making it, it’s not an inexpensive or easy endeavor.

    Many of the above comments are complete gibberish and I’m not sure of the point they’re trying to make. People love their conspiracy theories and will stick with them (like “agenda 21,” chemtrails, the anti-vaccination people) regardless of how silly they are.

    Traffic is a huge and expensive problem. Some of you may be unaware of the problem, but it’s a sore spot for the state of Nevada and local municipalities. The two-lane desert highways aren’t designed for the drastic increase in traffic.

    They’re counting RVs and other big things the same as cars to keep it simple. Unless I’m wrong, they’re working with an average vehicle size and weight.

    Vendors, law enforcement, services aren’t part of the ticketing process and relevant with the vehicle pass. Besides, they enter through service roads.

    No one is forcing anyone to go to Burning Man. For people like me who aren’t fabulously wealthy, it’s a sacrifice and something I work for all year. I couldn’t make it last year and I’m stoked to go this year.

    I applaud the effort to reduce traffic and make it easier for us to get to Black Rock City and easier for the people who live there to tolerate us.

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  • Is it possible to buy a vehicle pass separate from a ticket? I’ve finally found a ticket, but without a vehicle pass I may not make it to my 21st year on the Playa.

    Should I only buy a ticket if it comes with a vehicle pass?


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  • @ Super Evil Brian 35,000 x $40 = $1,400,000 ($1.4 million).

    I’m a Civil Engineer specializing in roadway and pavement design. From my post here on January 30th:

    “Part of my job as a Traffic Engineer is to design pavement for Agencies at the State and Local level. Pavement designs vary from place to place and reflect the environmental and traffic conditions experienced over the pavement life. A vital component of this is an accurate estimate of the expected magnitude and frequency of traffic loads over the design life. In making this assessment, the prudent traffic engineer will notice that; the contribution that motorcycles, passenger cars, and pick trucks (light vehicles) make towards the pavement distress incurred during its service is VERY small in comparison to heavy vehicles such as tractor trailers, single unit box trucks and RV’s. In fact, the contribution of passenger vehicles is so small that many State and Local transportation agencies consider their effect on the pavement to be negligible, and the design engineer is permitted to exclude them from the pavement design calculations.” The FAQ of this article conveys misinformation about this topic; as an engineer, this bothers me.

    I have no misgivings with heavy vehicles bringing the burn to BLC; that’s how my stuff gets there and I think it’s a cost we should all bear. I would encourage efforts that reduce traffic volumes, but such efforts should be well planned; my chief concern is the unintended consequences that could impact local communities (i.e using the parking lots of Fremont businesses as park and rides). This policy has never been attempted before. Since we have no experience to draw upon, a detailed travel forecast study CANNOT be performed to evaluate the consequences. These studies rely on data collection (experience) and analysis to establish causes, effects and mitigation measures. In fact, the travel forecast models and a trip generation analysis developed by Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants in article 4.21 ‘Transportation and Traffic’ of the Environmental Assessment dated June 2012 prepared by the US Bureau of Land Management to evaluate the event (for 2012-2016) did not evaluate the potential effects of limiting vehicle entry to the event, nor did they recommend capping vehicle entry as a mitigation measure. The engineering consultants did recommend incentivizing carpooling: “Improvements that would continue to maintain acceptable levels of service with greater populations include: extending the exodus period, implementing a system that requires participants to sign up for an exit time, or incentivizing carpooling so there are more participants per vehicle (e.g., by charging a fee to bring a car or rewarding high vehicle occupancy rates).”

    The Environmental Assessment prepared by BLM contains stipulations for maintaining the permit for the event (i.e. implementing measures to reduce traffic) and also contains an explanation of the permitting requirements for the event (refer to ‘Permit Administration’). It’s important to understand that the cost of securing local, State and Federal permits for this event is borne by ticket sales (and therefore us); which is used for roadway maintenance, law enforcement etc.

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  • Hi, a friend sold me his ticket, but alas, no vehicle pass. What am I to do? I am already giving a ride to someone, who also doesn’t have a pass, but holds a ticket.
    This just doesn’t makes sence. I don’t care to sleep with strangers inside a small car. Please HELP BM organizers. This is UNFAIR!!!

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  • I’ve never heard so much whinning….what ever happened to the so called self reliance everyone preaches so much about…is it just words your throwing out or do you really believe in the voice inside your head? Take this as a positive…skip your starbucks coffee every other day…the vehicle pass equates to $4 a month…Im sure each and every one of us can save an extra 4 bucks a month Lets move on to more important happenings…

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  • So a trio of us are coming in early arrival. The plan is that we arrive in Reno on Friday, rent a car for a single day, use it for our last-minute purchases, go to the playa, drop off our stuff and two of our companions, and the third returns to Reno to take the Burner Express back in. We have a vehicle pass, but since we’re not contributing to the traffic, is there any way of getting a refund?

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  • Burner Express word of warning. Last year (2013) I was on one of fist Burner Express shuttles into BRC on Monday and happened to camp near the drop off spot. By late Monday, drug dogs were searching virtually every bus that arrived. Passengers were ordered to disembark and place all of their belongings on the playa. Dogs then had at it. When they got a hit, officers asked whose bag it was and then did a manual and very very thorough search. (Opening seams and disassembling electronics.) Many people got nailed. Some never claimed their bags and just walked away. The Burner Express is such a great concept and really is the fastest way home. But unfortunately it was like herding lambs to the slaughter. How this type of search is constitutional is a mystery to me. Best of Luck.

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  • Kitty in San Diego is selling tickets turning around and cancelling the transaction after she receives the money, I’m surprised Burning Man lets people do this SCAM

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  • I want to go in 2015, So what were the results?
    Did this decrease traffic jams at entry?
    What about exit?
    Was there less Art?
    Was there less gifting?
    Were there more problems with burners who didn’t bring enough to survive?

    Considering taking my 1994 minivan instead of my SULEV hybrid because the extra $40 per vehicle cost means its more cost effective to drive the dinosaur.

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