Reducing the line to get in the gate

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby lemur » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:04 am

dont reduce the line.. it gives people already in the city something to look at in awe on sunday night..

standing on a platform looking out at that line of lights snaking around in the dark, omg its huge.. much saying of "sucks to be them" occurs..
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby BBadger » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:26 pm

bradtem wrote:5 minutes per car was not an estimate of what it costs us today. I don't know if a good histogram exists, but often it's hours per person of wait, sometimes it's a breeze-through. The problem is not as trivial as you make it out to be. By my measurement over the years, it's been 10-12 hours each time between leaving the Bay Area and getting to camp. Many factors contribute to that, not just gate wait, but the drive from blacktop to camp is one of the largest expanding factors. Why this matters is that the daylight is not much more than 12 hours long at that time of year, so almost any departure means arrival in camp after sunset. This in turn causes many to spend the night in Reno before. Not that I have anything against Reno but this is a large added factor.


Yeah, but so what? That's not of relevance to the gate line. The gate line is not there to make your travel from Reno, or the Bay Area, to the playa that much more convenient. Plan ahead right? Leave earlier or find a hotel if it's such a problem. That's what we did.

The suggestion of computerized placement is serious, though it would be a fair bit of work. While I have always been in a placed camp (except in 1998) I find little to love about the current system for unplaced camps which is:

a) Early arrivals try to stake out places for others. Some are removed, some are not.
b) People who ignored the firm admonitions in all communications about not coming to the gate before midnight get let in many hours early, and get first crack at claiming space
c) People who did time to arrive at midnight find a long line, and make it to the playa even later to find what's left.
d) Either way most arrive at night, a lousy time to be scurrying around finding space, talking to potential neighbours and setting up camp. Some are delayed enough that the sun rises before they get in, but they are dead tired.


Boo hoo? If that's such a problem, STAY HOME. This isn't an egg hunt in kindergarten where every kid gets the same share of eggs no matter how dimwitted the kid is. You're at Burning Man dude. Radical self reliance right? You're only entitled to placement or space if you've put in massive efforts to earn that right. Outside that it's open season on space and placement. It's not like BRC will ever run out of space.

We arrived at the playa within hours of the gates opening, and simply decided to camp out on the I-ring so we didn't need to deal with all these problems. We had an absolute assload of space and hardly had neighbors until late the next day. If you're trying to park on the inner rings and trying to find a spot, that's your problem.

Reserving spaces for non-placed camps wouldn't even work. The only reason placed camps even work is that there are people on the ground who stake out the location and reserve it--the same way that first-in-the-gate arrivers do. Otherwise, you know what'll happen? People will just drive over these vacant lot signs and take them over. "I didn't see any sign when I got here, so too bad!"

If we start reserving spots what is the cut-off? Do we reserve spots for people who arrive Thursday night? If we're making the cut-off Monday, what have we even accomplished that wouldn't be accomplished by people just showing up earlier/on-time? I don't want to cater to slow-pokes, and I honestly think it would be a good thing to discourage entitlement crybabies from wanting to attend BM.

What's to love about that system? Why would you dislike a system where there is a fair and clear allocation (as much as the landgrab as you like) and people arrive at good times to set up, and also balanced over the day (particularly if you give them a means to judge when the wait will be shorter.)


What's not to love about it? Fairness as a function of ability? The fact that any camp that puts in the effort can get good placement and land allocation? That people can fill in gaps in the space that are unused at any time because there is no property reservations? The last thing I want to see BRC degenerate into is some pseudo-socialist, land-distribution scheme. I can only imagine the shitfest of enforcement for such a scheme.

We may want stowaways caught, but we don't want to wait hours to make that happen. Particularly when the reality of the new "no sales at the gate, really, we mean it this time" approach meant that there were extremely few stowaways. As long as those who knowingly carry stowaways have to turn around and go home, I predict there will be very little in the way of sneaking in that can be caught.


We don't? I think it's a reasonable sacrifice. Plus, it isn't just stowaways we're keeping out, it's all that other shit that people try to bring in.

Your statements there validate a fundamental reason to not do away with gate checks: the very presence of gate inspections is a massive deterrent for stowaways and illegal event goods (boas, etc.) entering the event. It's the same reason the luggage checks at airports do more to prevent dangerous goods from entering by their mere presence than by what they actually catch. A laxed gate check would mean that people could more easily risk such people and things being caught.

To reduce gate delays, key things you can do include:

1) Spread out the peaks


Arrive later if you want to avoid peaks.

2) Find special rewards for volunteers so you have more of them


Sure, free tickets are better than stowaways.

3) Only random heavy searches when line is >30min (apparently already done)


Most searches aren't even all that heavy, just that people have their packing so poorly done that it takes time (like cars on trunks). If they'd take time to make it easy, maybe everything could move faster.

4) Express lanes for dusty veterans who have sent in a contract agreement regarding all playa contraband. And possibly for carpools. This doesn't just get them in faster, it speeds up everybody because the time saved on not checking them as much means more resources to apply to virgins. (Still get random checks, and failure on random check means never getting the express line again, in addition to other penalties.)


What implies that a veteran is any more trustworthy than a virgin? Do we keep public records on how many times you attended? What if you're in a rideshare with strangers? How does a "contract" even get enforced if is not a high probability of actually being caught?

The only "express lane" should be for those cars and vehicles that have virtually no cargo that needs to be searched. They could be pre-inspected while in the line to see if the car qualifies. By virtue of their lack of searchable cargo, they would move the line faster.

In spite of what you might think, the "trust most people, and trust bonded people almost entirely" is the approach used at gates where much more serious stuff goes on than at Burning Man. Most cargo goes in and out of countries un-searched because it goes by bonded carriers who know they will lose their bond and their business if they cheat. And people go via nexus cards. That's how the people who worry about terrorists, illegal immigrants and drugs do it -- even when for them it's a much bigger risk and a less wise strategy.


Those are companies with certified cargo who will get heavily fined and lose out on lots of money and contracts if they break rules, not burners who clicked "I Agree" on some online "contract" driving in. Maybe someone can become a certified cargo carrier for people's shit going in, where the cargo is certified by a pre-line search. That'd be great. The "express lane" then is for those people with no cargo.

If you want to keep out "riff-raff and douchebags", however you plan to identify such people, good luck, but this is not the method. (BTW, some of the people who have been among the biggest contributors to the community look just like riff-raff and douchebags.)


Contraband and stowaways are prime indicators for riff-raff and douchebags. Keeping the gate works wonders for that.

Car passes are nothing new either. Drive-in movies use them, in spite of strong normal demands from movie studios to count how many go in.


That analogy is weak. Burning Man is not, with few exceptions, like a drive-in movie theater. Ticket prices, camping gear, effects of contraband, etc. are all different. The stakes are far higher in Burning Man. Waiting a few hours in line is not a terrible sacrifice for keeping out a large percentage of unwanted shit from entering the event.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:01 pm

You can have the "if you don't like it, boo hoo, stay home" attitude but I prefer the attitude that says if you don't like it, try to improve it.

As I said, Burning Man walks this line between being a community and a corporate event. Even if I were to concede your anti-radical-inclusion argument that people like being searched and find the wait worthwhile because it keeps out the "riff-raff" those people would still be quite happy if the process were faster and still kept out these unwanted riff-raff.

I do think virgins and veterans are different. Virgins are trying out Burning Man, and know what it's like only through descriptions. Veterans have made a commitment to it, have joined it as a community, and are being welcomed back home. Veterans will care more about the community, and feel they have more to lose if they are turned back at the gate, lose veteran privileges or are "banned-for-life." (Of course a ban would not stop you from getting in but it would push you to being a spectator which for veterans is a punishment.)

Point is, with the entire-car-turned-away rule the word I've gotten from Gate&Perimeter folks is that the stowaway problem is largely solved. As long as random checks exist (for veterans and virgins) it seems likely there will be insignificant stowing away -- and close to zero by veterans with more to lose. That leaves things like guns, fireworks and moopy things, and they don't really do a search for those, more a check and reminder, since you would not find them if somebody was actively trying to sneak them in.

There is, of course, another huge advantage to advanced placement other than the ones I have cited, which is knowing in advance what your address will be. This makes it easy for your friends and campmates to find your camp, lets you put events in the WWW that have your address, lets you plan a camp map if you wish to. Today more and more camps that are quite organized are not getting placed because they are just an organized camp, not a theme camp. It's been one of their most bitter complaints that they don't get an address in advance.

You're at Burning Man dude


One hears this a lot these days as an excuse for the status quo. One of the most distinctive things about Burning Man is its ephemeral nature. Things not only can change, they are supposed to change. "That's the way we do things around here" is not the answer.
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oh my god, it's EXTRA blathery...

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:52 pm

Image



seriously...
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby BBadger » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:29 pm

bradtem wrote:As I said, Burning Man walks this line between being a community and a corporate event. Even if I were to concede your anti-radical-inclusion argument that people like being searched and find the wait worthwhile because it keeps out the "riff-raff" those people would still be quite happy if the process were faster and still kept out these unwanted riff-raff.


It's not anti-radical-inclusion. I don't think anyone would object to keeping out the "riff-raff" I have described above.

My objective is that it is simply not worth giving into the whims of impatient people for a half-hour off the time of entrance, to allow a lot more undesirable elements to flow into BM.

Don't get me wrong either, I hate waiting in line too. By all means, think up new ways to reduce the line wait, but don't break the fundamentals of the purpose of the gates. I want those gates there to keep out the problems of defaultia from entering the event.

I do think virgins and veterans are different. Virgins are trying out Burning Man, and know what it's like only through descriptions. Veterans have made a commitment to it, have joined it as a community, and are being welcomed back home. Veterans will care more about the community, and feel they have more to lose if they are turned back at the gate, lose veteran privileges or are "banned-for-life." (Of course a ban would not stop you from getting in but it would push you to being a spectator which for veterans is a punishment.)


That's all cute and sentimental, but how do you codify all that into a single objective policy? Filling out a questionnaire? A numerical count of your years attending? Donation amounts? How many costumes you bring?

Does having attended before mean someone has more to lose than someone who has not attended before?

Really, think about it. How would you ever really nail down policies or objective criteria?

Point is, with the entire-car-turned-away rule the word I've gotten from Gate&Perimeter folks is that the stowaway problem is largely solved. As long as random checks exist (for veterans and virgins) it seems likely there will be insignificant stowing away -- and close to zero by veterans with more to lose. That leaves things like guns, fireworks and moopy things, and they don't really do a search for those, more a check and reminder, since you would not find them if somebody was actively trying to sneak them in.


Great! Therefore, if it is working so well as is, why change it?

There is, of course, another huge advantage to advanced placement other than the ones I have cited, which is knowing in advance what your address will be. This makes it easy for your friends and campmates to find your camp, lets you put events in the WWW that have your address, lets you plan a camp map if you wish to. Today more and more camps that are quite organized are not getting placed because they are just an organized camp, not a theme camp. It's been one of their most bitter complaints that they don't get an address in advance.


Yeah, that was exactly the same situation with our camp. An organized camp, but not a placed camp. We decided on a plot in the boondock areas where there were few people to potentially cause problems and had a great time.

Maybe the problem is that there aren't enough placed camps allowed? It that it?

It wouldn't even be hard to code up a placement optimization system, but the main problem I see is that having (only/mostly) placed camps means:

- To make pre-placement viable means limits on the amount of space that can be claimed (one of the reasons we may have foregone a placed camp status)

- Without limits, camps will claim more space than they need just in case, preventing arrivals from filling in the cracks. This is already a problem at times with people cordoning off space as they arrive, but at least then it relies on on-the-ground surveying and claiming.

- A mad rush to obtain "good" placed camp locations, and fighting over space, and rank in the placement charts. It would remind me of class scheduling for high schools.

- Hindering the ability of early-arrivers to stake out spaces themselves. That's your reward for getting there early right?

I'll be honest: I am biased. I like the fact that the city has no rules about non-placed camps. I want it to be a free-for-all based on who gets there first or not. I figure that if you're not already organized enough to get the plots you need reserved by your camps early arrivers, then your camp is probably hasn't reached the critical capacity to be worthy of the privilege of a placement anyway.

One hears this a lot these days as an excuse for the status quo. One of the most distinctive things about Burning Man is its ephemeral nature. Things not only can change, they are supposed to change. "That's the way we do things around here" is not the answer.


Absolutely, but it also means not undermining the fundamentals of the event, or reducing our standards (this is mostly with respect to the gate searches). I'd love to breeze through the line, but when it comes down to it, I don't want bad things breezing through the line either. So I'll gladly sacrifice some of my time before entering to prevent the rest of the time while at the event from being ruined by the things I want.

Stuff like more volunteers, more lanes, prioritized queue scheduling, better signage and preparation, etc. are great. Something like certified pre-searched cargo delivery might be a great way to both save money and move people and goods through the lines in an expedited manner. I still want the searches though. It's like having an air-filter: it may slow your airflow, but it's no good if it only works randomly.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby lemur » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:02 pm

mr addis was a veteran and he pulled an asshat of the year move in 2007...

hell, addis was very involved in burning man stuff at one point, as i hear it..



this vet/noob lane sounds like a bad idea to me..


aint nothing gonna make that line go any faster than it already is.. for reals.. its a cluster fuck, waiting in lines sucks.. being in the desert heat sucks.... having to drink tons of water sucks....

lots of things suck at burning man... you might be able to make it suck a little bit less (you have some shade, and have nice cool icy gatorade).. but really yo,... theres no fuckin way that you WONT be waiting in a line to get in to burning man..
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Rice » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:26 pm

bradtem,

The only reason that the so-called "Expert" lines work at airports is due to the fact that the people entering those lines actually make an effort to reduce their wait. (ie have their shit together)

Everyone in the line to BRC could be in a Expert line if they wanted to be.


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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:10 pm

stretch80 wrote:bradtem,

The only reason that the so-called "Expert" lines work at airports is due to the fact that the people entering those lines actually make an effort to reduce their wait. (ie have their shit together)

Everyone in the line to BRC could be in a Expert line if they wanted to be.


Rice


Not sure what you're saying. Actually, most people were surprised at reports the Expert line works, with no enforcement. However, Burning Man knows who its veterans are. Almost all of them buy tickets directly from BMOrg by mail to get in on the early price tiers. (There is much speculation about how that will work this year with fear of a sell-out.) People who register art and mutant vehicles and camps all fill out forms indicating how many years they have come. Sure, there are some who buy other ways but my understanding is that this is a minority.

Of course some veterans like Paul Addis will be bad actors. No system would stop somebody like Addis from coming in. If you think that's a dealbreaker then I haven't been clear about how such systems work. They are not intended to be perfect at all or even close to perfect. At most even the best system will find most but not all stowaways, most but not all contraband. It is not nearly so strict a goal as airport security.

The line is not half an hour, not at any of the peak periods where you would want to apply such systems.

Understand as well that the BM community is probably well above average in honesty and integrity. If you had no BLM rules, and there was no gate check at all, just a ticket collection with free tickets for those who can't afford them, my guess is that only a small fraction of the population would ask for the free tickets. I'm not saying we need to do this, and we've never tested this, but it's worthwhile to think about where the floor is. (There already are subsidized tickets of course but they are not free.)
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby BBadger » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:09 pm

bradtem wrote:Not sure what you're saying. Actually, most people were surprised at reports the Expert line works, with no enforcement. However, Burning Man knows who its veterans are. Almost all of them buy tickets directly from BMOrg by mail to get in on the early price tiers. (There is much speculation about how that will work this year with fear of a sell-out.) People who register art and mutant vehicles and camps all fill out forms indicating how many years they have come. Sure, there are some who buy other ways but my understanding is that this is a minority.


That's not really a solution when it applies to a micro-minority of people, and those people often already have the placed camps, early entry passes, etc.

Of course some veterans like Paul Addis will be bad actors. No system would stop somebody like Addis from coming in. If you think that's a dealbreaker then I haven't been clear about how such systems work. They are not intended to be perfect at all or even close to perfect. At most even the best system will find most but not all stowaways, most but not all contraband. It is not nearly so strict a goal as airport security.


No, not perfect, but that isn't an excuse to make the problem worse right?

The line is not half an hour, not at any of the peak periods where you would want to apply such systems.


No, not a half hour, but we're talking about shaving off a half hour. Even with zero checks the line is a function of simple traffic and causes huge waits (exodus).

Understand as well that the BM community is probably well above average in honesty and integrity. If you had no BLM rules, and there was no gate check at all, just a ticket collection with free tickets for those who can't afford them, my guess is that only a small fraction of the population would ask for the free tickets.I'm not saying we need to do this, and we've never tested this, but it's worthwhile to think about where the floor is. (There already are subsidized tickets of course but they are not free.)


Not relevant, nor is believing in the integrity of people a sound policy in any context.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:15 am

i would rather wait in line for an extra four hours than have to read this thread.


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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bigdane » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:02 am

I've been following this thread for a few days now and as an incoming virgin I felt I might not have anything of value to interject.
That being said, I'm wondering if someone could provide some perspective for me. If I understand correctly, this thread is about efficiency?
I expect my experience, as a n00b, will be significantly different... is part of that accomplished by providing me with an altered gate experience? I'm not being glib, but why wouldn't "veterans" want the same loving welcome? And is there some sort of competition for "preferred sites" between "veterans". I respect that I know nothing about BRC and its body politic so please don't misinterpret my observations as critical...just observations without personal substantiation.

Maybe once I've been I'll have a clearer understanding of some of the discussion going on here...but I thought the experience of the moment unfolding was part of the Burning Man adventure?
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby lemur » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:17 am

bigdane...


the line is really fuckin long.... it spans multiple miles and is surely the worst traffic many will ever be in.. even with the addition of extra porta potties this year they are still far away...

the entry is usually windswept and dusty... so theres not much to look at

its like 4 miles or so, usually, from the pavement to being through the gate.. maybe its longer some years..

it can take 5-8.. or maybe more hours to get through this line, it is big.. and oh yeah, its dusty..

i dont care how much you try to turn the line in to a party.. it sucks.


even the craziest 'enjoy the moment' person will surely start to become wary of this line that seems to go on forever after a good 5 hours..


edit: and yes there are 'spots' people think are better and there is much drama surrounding having these spots.. people cling on to neighborhoods they started in and become territorial..etc..etc..
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:20 am

bigdane wrote:That being said, I'm wondering if someone could provide some perspective for me. If I understand correctly, this thread is about efficiency?


This thread is about someone with too much time on their hands babbling about trying to fix something that isn't broken..

bigdane wrote:I expect my experience, as a n00b, will be significantly different... is part of that accomplished by providing me with an altered gate experience? I'm not being glib, but why wouldn't "veterans" want the same loving welcome? And is there some sort of competition for "preferred sites" between "veterans". I respect that I know nothing about BRC and its body politic so please don't misinterpret my observations as critical...just observations without personal substantiation.

Maybe once I've been I'll have a clearer understanding of some of the discussion going on here...but I thought the experience of the moment unfolding was part of the Burning Man adventure?


It is and you're right. But.. as it's been told many times over, BM is a different thing to everybody. In the end, it' your experience and no one else's. None of us has a right to try and dictate how or why we should experience any part of it. For me, the gate line is as much of an experience as any of it. The excitement.. the anticipation.. the collection of cars all in a row and the people all in file getting ready to blow their minds and holy shit we're at fucking BURNING MAN!!!! I wouldn't trade not a second of it for anything. What's your rush? Truth me told, I straight enjoy my 2-3 hour wait in line with everyone. It's alllllllll a part of the journey.



EDIT: As stated above, it's different for everyone. My post and lemur's illustrate that in the most glaringly obvious way possible.. :D
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby lemur » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:26 am

sure,.. it fuckin sucks but as said... i would rather be waiting in line at burning man than sitting at home watchin star trek..


this yeaR i was standing in the kitchen at burning man washing dishes on what shoulda been my day off (but ended up not because of stupid drama) i was telling someone how much better just being out here is than even doing 'fun' stuff at home.


sure, the line isnt fun... but yes, you ARE at burning man, and that excitement does build up and its awesome to finally be there but.. it still wears on mE, .. and others..
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Nipple » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:28 am

My take: I'm probably going to volunteer PG&E next year.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby ygmir » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:31 am

Nipple wrote:My take: I'm probably going to volunteer PG&E next year.


+1 especially opening days on gate, early morning and late night.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:31 am

lemur wrote:sure, the line isnt fun... but yes, you ARE at burning man, and that excitement does build up and its awesome to finally be there but.. it still wears on mE, .. and others..


It's true. I guess the fun level starts decreasing rapidly after about 3-4 hours. This year, I was in line exactly 3 hours to the literal minute. Wheels on playa at 12:03am Monday.. hit greeters at 3:03am. Year before.. wheels on playa at 2am.. hit greeters at 8fucking:00am. Yeah. Grueling.

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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Nipple » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:35 am

ygmir wrote:
Nipple wrote:My take: I'm probably going to volunteer PG&E next year.


+1 especially opening days on gate, early morning and late night.


Depends on if I'm doing early entry this year. If I am, I plan on doing opening day. If I'm not, I'm going to work exodus. Until then, I don't have much to add to this discussion. My pretty basic feeling is that moving people takes time. There are bottlenecks. Some of resolvable, most aren't. Things are going to take the amount of time they take.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby britzbitz » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:39 am

lemur wrote:dont reduce the line.. it gives people already in the city something to look at in awe on sunday night..

standing on a platform looking out at that line of lights snaking around in the dark, omg its huge.. much saying of "sucks to be them" occurs..


I've been working for Shambhala Music Festival for 6 years now. I used to be a keener "in-the-line-the-night-before-the-gates-opened" type when I was a ticket holder. So, getting to be in a lineup for the first time in years was actually kind of a special experience for me.

The lights as far as the eye can see…I remember thinking to myself that it looked like a land-bound constellation. So cool.

Now that I've been once, we'll see how I feel about it this year. lol. But I do kind of feel like the lineup is part of the overall experience. Can't wait to see the look on my hubby's face when he sees that long line of lights...
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby The CO » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:54 am

bradtem wrote:Understand as well that the BM community is probably well above average in honesty and integrity. If you had no BLM rules, and there was no gate check at all, just a ticket collection with free tickets for those who can't afford them, my guess is that only a small fraction of the population would ask for the free tickets. I'm not saying we need to do this, and we've never tested this, but it's worthwhile to think about where the floor is. (There already are subsidized tickets of course but they are not free.)


What. The. Fuck.

Go here and read any number of threads from the radically self-entitled about how they should get a free ticket.

In the interest of full disclosure, whenever someone starts talking about how tickets should be free, they lose most all credibility.
I would like to point out one simple thing:

bradtem wrote:with free tickets for those who can't afford them


IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY A TICKET TO BURNING MAN, YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO GO TO BURNING MAN.

"Free tickets for those who can't afford them" would attract every lazy, mooching, self-entitled ass-hat in the civilized world.

Seriously. I love the fact that you have to work your ass off to go to BRC. Those that think it should be free are..... wait for it...

DOING IT WRONG.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:54 am

ygmir wrote:
Nipple wrote:My take: I'm probably going to volunteer PG&E next year.


+1 especially opening days on gate, early morning and late night.

+ another for exodus...
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby ygmir » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:48 am

Nipple wrote:
ygmir wrote:
Nipple wrote:My take: I'm probably going to volunteer PG&E next year.


+1 especially opening days on gate, early morning and late night.


Depends on if I'm doing early entry this year. If I am, I plan on doing opening day. If I'm not, I'm going to work exodus. Until then, I don't have much to add to this discussion. My pretty basic feeling is that moving people takes time. There are bottlenecks. Some of resolvable, most aren't. Things are going to take the amount of time they take.



IIRC, even as a first year, you can get in a day or so early, to work as a volunteer. you could go the main site, and get contact info for GPE and ask. But, I think you can as long as you're working.......
once an established worker, you can get in much earlier, again, you have to work every day you're there early, though.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:12 am

The CO wrote:
bradtem wrote:Understand as well that the BM community is probably well above average in honesty and integrity. If you had no BLM rules, and there was no gate check at all, just a ticket collection with free tickets for those who can't afford them, my guess is that only a small fraction of the population would ask for the free tickets. I'm not saying we need to do this, and we've never tested this, but it's worthwhile to think about where the floor is. (There already are subsidized tickets of course but they are not free.)


What. The. Fuck.

Go here and read any number of threads from the radically self-entitled about how they should get a free ticket.

In the interest of full disclosure, whenever someone starts talking about how tickets should be free, they lose most all credibility.
I would like to point out one simple thing:

bradtem wrote:with free tickets for those who can't afford them


IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY A TICKET TO BURNING MAN, YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO GO TO BURNING MAN.

"Free tickets for those who can't afford them" would attract every lazy, mooching, self-entitled ass-hat in the civilized world.

Seriously. I love the fact that you have to work your ass off to go to BRC. Those that think it should be free are..... wait for it...

DOING IT WRONG.


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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:37 pm

One thing about this thread though....

OP is looking at his overall transit time as a "Gate problem" when in reality it's a shared issue. By his own account, it's taking him 12+ hours to get "from the bay area onto the playa during peak times."

It's funny...those of us that don't live in the Bay area don't even think of trying to make it in one bit shot. Sure there's some time spent transiting the gate, but that time is much more enjoyable if you are clean, well fed and well rested when you begin that process.

Why not just spend thenight in Reno, Fernley or Pyramid lake? Have a nice final night sunset cocktail and get up bright and early Monday and hit the line then?

I'm all for solutions/suggestions that improve our Gate ops. It's just that many of your suggestions are unworkable from a practical standpoint, or just don't have any basis in reality.

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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:22 pm

I often do spend the night before up in the Reno area. This is the point. It's not that you can't enjoy that. This issue is in fact that it has pretty much become a must if you want to arrive during the day, and still a majority of burners come from the nearby zones.

Burning Man is a large investment of time. I expect that. I just think it's better if I (and others) spend that time preparing, or on the playa building art than waiting in lines. I expect people to say "That plan has problems because...." but I don't readily accept the answer that "waiting in line is part of burning man." It may be part of it now, but it's not an essential part.

Yes, there is the argument that every adversity of the playa -- remoteness, dust storms, heat, waiting in line -- selects for people who are serious about being there, and reduces those coming for a "weekend party with topless girls." But that logic would turn any negative into a positive, and that's not how to work things out.

The things done at gate -- collecting tickets, keeping out stowaways, checking for and reminding people not to bring in moopy things and contraband -- have value to the city. But the value is not absolute. There are trade-offs and there are negatives. The long waits. The unfairness of lines that go at very different speeds. Making your first experience of the playa be "and now we're going to search you" rather than "welcome home." The land-grab. These are not insignificant negatives, though I realize that people can disagree about how negative they are.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby lemur » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:29 pm

tip:

Image


otherwise?


deal with it.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Dr Helix » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:49 pm

bradtem wrote:I often do spend the night before up in the Reno area. This is the point. It's not that you can't enjoy that. This issue is in fact that it has pretty much become a must if you want to arrive during the day, and still a majority of burners come from the nearby zones.

Burning Man is a large investment of time. I expect that. I just think it's better if I (and others) spend that time preparing, or on the playa building art than waiting in lines. I expect people to say "That plan has problems because...." but I don't readily accept the answer that "waiting in line is part of burning man." It may be part of it now, but it's not an essential part.

Yes, there is the argument that every adversity of the playa -- remoteness, dust storms, heat, waiting in line -- selects for people who are serious about being there, and reduces those coming for a "weekend party with topless girls." But that logic would turn any negative into a positive, and that's not how to work things out.

The things done at gate -- collecting tickets, keeping out stowaways, checking for and reminding people not to bring in moopy things and contraband -- have value to the city. But the value is not absolute. There are trade-offs and there are negatives. The long waits. The unfairness of lines that go at very different speeds. Making your first experience of the playa be "and now we're going to search you" rather than "welcome home." The land-grab. These are not insignificant negatives, though I realize that people can disagree about how negative they are.



I gotta say bradtem, you are passionate in your plea for change. Just for giggles I counted your posts on this thread versus the total posts. Out of the 90 total, you have TWENTY of them. And none are of the 1 or 2 sentence variety. I may not agree with you, but I respect somebody that's as committed to a subject as you seem to be. Good luck Quixote!
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:55 pm

Dr Helix wrote:I may not agree with you, but I respect somebody that's as committed to a subject as you seem to be.


Rain Man was pretty committed to his Hanes tighty whitey's, too. I guess both will still be sitting in a corner still trying to figure out who's on first for some time to come.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:43 pm

lemur wrote:tip:

Image


otherwise?


deal with it.


Ok, now that's crazy, bringing your Citation to the playa. Props are one thing, but if you can afford a Citation you can afford to get a prop to zip you over from another airport. But yes, being rich is one way to avoid the line.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Rice » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:49 pm

bradtem wrote:I often do spend the night before up in the Reno area. This is the point. It's not that you can't enjoy that. This issue is in fact that it has pretty much become a must if you want to arrive during the day, and still a majority of burners come from the nearby zones.

Burning Man is a large investment of time. I expect that. I just think it's better if I (and others) spend that time preparing, or on the playa building art than waiting in lines. I expect people to say "That plan has problems because...." but I don't readily accept the answer that "waiting in line is part of burning man." It may be part of it now, but it's not an essential part.

Yes, there is the argument that every adversity of the playa -- remoteness, dust storms, heat, waiting in line -- selects for people who are serious about being there, and reduces those coming for a "weekend party with topless girls." But that logic would turn any negative into a positive, and that's not how to work things out.

The things done at gate -- collecting tickets, keeping out stowaways, checking for and reminding people not to bring in moopy things and contraband -- have value to the city. But the value is not absolute. There are trade-offs and there are negatives. The long waits. The unfairness of lines that go at very different speeds. Making your first experience of the playa be "and now we're going to search you" rather than "welcome home." The land-grab. These are not insignificant negatives, though I realize that people can disagree about how negative they are.


Gate basically has to do the vehicle searches. It has to do with the BLM stipulations of the lease. Who would you rather search your vehicle, a gate volunteer or a BLM Ranger?

Time and distance is relative my friend. Google maps claims that my drive to Gerlach is only 24 hrs from the outside of my city. My experience is more like 28 hours. Then I have the drive into BRC which is somewhere between 20 minutes and 8 hours depending on when I choose to drive in. And I am quite close compared to some burners. Try and plan for arrival at the "optimal" time when you have multiple days of driving to consider. Some burners need to commit to at least 6 days for driving, plus burn week. Heck, I drive at for 5 hours and I just get to the US border.

How about this. One's entry into BRC should be the inverse of the distance travelled by car/truck/etc (ie: the farther one has to drive the further ahead in line they should be.)

As far as my processing times at gate: 1-2 minutes when I had my Civic (which was loaded to the roof with a bike rack), 4 minutes for my SUV with 15 foot covered cargo trailer) and recently 30 seconds when I was driving a VW beetle.

Gate line waiting times: Year 1: 2 hrs in D-lot (my bad) and then 2 hrs in line (opening night) at greeters around 3:30am. Year 2: 3 hrs from Gerlach to my camp (opening night) at greeters around 3am. Year 3: 7 hrs in line (opening night) at greeters around 7:30am. Year 4: 30 minutes (Friday -pre-event). Year 5: 15 minutes (Sunday, week before gates opened).

There is no reason to expect a seasoned burner to be any more organized than a virgin. Some people are organized, others aren't. If there were 8 gate lanes, I would support 3 lanes for organized burners and 5 for the rest. Although, I have seen people driving towards the gate in the exit lane. (which is marked as such) ;)

The design of the gate lanes, will-call, D-lot, etc is a evolving process. Everything that works is added to the plan, new layouts are tried and revamped each year. Unfortunately, only a certain number of lanes are allowed. Demand is a highly unpredictable factor. Sufficient experienced volunteers and new staff are also a factor (having volunteers and them actually showing up for shift). Burner breakdowns in line, Law enforcement encounters, medical emergencies can also mess up the flow of a line. The participant's behaviour once at the gate can affect the thoroughness of the search.

I believe a shift at gate during the burn would give you a better idea of what gate is up against. There are 4 shifts a day. ( http://www.burningman.com/participate/volunteer.html ) Surely you can find a 1/4 day to participate in a different way ... I am not saying, volunteer at gate and you will be proven wrong! Some hands on experience, a chance to observe the excited/grumpy/tired/wired from a different perspective will help to refine your ideas.

What do you think??

Sorry I didnt address all of your concerns!

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