Exodus 2013

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.

Re: The Gate Access Radio broadcast did more harm than good.

Postby danibel » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:27 pm

crstophr wrote:
In the end nothing the GAR broadcast said ended up being true. The rains never came in any meaningful way, and the small sprinkle we did see caused the gate crew to panic and close the gate. Staring at dry ground while being told the roads were too wet to drive on strained even my well expanded sense of the surreal. The exodus times were off by a wide margin.

PLEASE either commit to making the GAR a reliable and regularly updated source of information or take it off the air. Providing outdated or incorrect information is far worse than having no information to go on. Have someone record the date/time of the latest update so we have some idea if the information is current. Update the broadcast hourly at a minimum even if it's just to re-record the date/time message. We really need this service and it's a wonderful idea in principle but it was so poorly handled this year that I'll have a hard time trusting it in the future.


This 1000%!

We started calling it Burning Man uninformation radio. Or misinformation. Whatever it was, it sucked.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby maladroit » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:24 pm

Left around 9PM Monday, hit highway around 1AM. We took a nap about 20 miles down the road, rolled into Reno around 6AM. The rain Monday afternoon was significant but not sustained. Just enough to scare me as I biked back to camp, and start up some playa platforms as we ran around throwing stuff under cover. Was dry in less than an hour. BMIR message Monday morning was intended to scare as many people off-playa as possible against the chance of an actual major storm arriving. The real forecast was 20% chance of rain. There was no actual knowledge or suspicion of a storm that would last all afternoon.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby Canoe » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:34 pm

maladroit wrote:...There was no actual knowledge or suspicion of a storm that would last all afternoon.

Bullshit.
If what could have hit had hit, it would have been heavy rain lasting from the a.m. through until near midnight, with a 45 min. to hour break starting around 8:00 p.m., with the possibility of a half dozen pauses in the 15 minutes range spread throughout. The playa would have been soaked.

Canoe wrote:A line of medium to heavy rain went through heading north, passing just to the west. Parts of it did hit the playa, and more hit around Gerlach and just north of BRC, and a bunch onto the east side of the Black Rock Desert.
(to see a couple of snaps of what almost hit BRC viewtopic.php?f=69&t=66754#p973065, viewtopic.php?f=69&t=66754&start=30#p973080)

Had that line of rain hit the Exodus line (it was many hours worth of rain), anyone in that line would still be in that line, and until the ground dried out. Two days, maybe three, possibly longer. And if it hit the whole of BRC... no one in or out, including porta-potty servicing trucks.
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Exodus 2013

Postby Fiver » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:35 pm

My time spent in Exodus has been either mind numbing (8+ hrs, 2011), or non-existant (freakishly easy Monday Exodus 2012). I loved just rolling straight out in 2012, but given the alternate, my 2013 departure was the best Exodus ever....

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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:46 pm

The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:50 pm

Some people might prefer watching in the thread itself.

[media]
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby bradtem » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:02 pm

We decided to sacrifice watching the temple burn to get a fast exodus, but in spite of it being posted here on ePlaya, nobody seemed to know about the 8pm Temple Burn plan. So we ended up missing the burn and getting caught in the line after it, since "just before the burn" is normally a great time to leave because it requires that sacrifice. No more though. About 6 hours to pavement, total of 10 hours to Truckee (no rooms in Reno.) Got there so late we lucked out and did an "early check in" for Monday night rather than a late check in for Sunday night.

I've proposed that next year, as many burners as possible run a GPS logging program on their phones or cameras when they enter and leave, to produce a large selection of tracklogs. This will reveal very precise wait times with no subjective impression, speeds of driving over all segments and a lot of other data. In fact, with the lanes so wide it will even tell if all lanes are really even. (Though GPS won't spot a lane reliably, it will give you sense of what side of the lanes you were on.)

Exodus and gate waits are becoming a major impediment. Yes, they want BM to be painful to get to, to keep the demand down. But the Gate+Exodus "tax" is on the full-week people which is a shame. Exodus is a hard one to fix, there is only so much capacity, and many hard to change factors about when people have to get home and what burns they want to see.

Gate, on the other hand, is a matter of choice. You can solve gate by throwing money at it. Not quite so trivial as that but it can be done. But I'll tell you, I doubt there are many vehicles in the long gate lines at the start of the event who would not happily fork over enough cash to meet the budgetary needs of a mega-gate with consistent sub-30 minute waits. The gate has a lot of volunteers right now, which is a barrier to solving the problem with money -- people don't like to volunteer next to others who are paid unless the paid staff are clearly at a different level of work -- but I am afraid that's not worth the huge amount of wasted time a long gate entails. If 20,000 people do a 4 hour gate wait, that's 80,000 wasted hours and $1.7 million at the national average hourly wage. Yes, you're not working, you might even enjoy yourself in line, but if you prefer, you can add another number to this.

I figure that if you're lucky, you get 60 to 80 hours of time at Burning Man, not counting sleep, camp set-up, tear-down and other required work-time. According to the 2004 census, the average person spends $2,000 to attend BM (for me it's much more) so if you spend $2K for 80 hours they cost about $25, and you could either look at that on its own, or add it to the national wage to get a $3.7M cost of the gate wait.

In other words, it might make a lot of sense to solve this one by throwing money at it.

(Some of these numbers are wild-assed guesses, but I know that 35,000 people were in the city by Monday noon -- when the wait was still 3-4 hours)
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby unjonharley » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:29 pm

14 will see me leaving Tues. Or later if it rains.
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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby Savannah » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:54 pm

Great video, Fishy. :)
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby rosne » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:54 am

Last year we left Sunday morning, and never had to stop on gate road.

This year was a clusterfuck. We stayed for temple burn, went to sleep, and woke up at 3am. We left camp at around 3:30am on Monday, and didn't get to gate until 8:30am. No one seemed to be paying attention to "no cutting" rule. We were camped at 9:30&G. We could see people getting out of line, and driving up to 7 to get a better place in line.

We got lucky and hit pavement at 3:30pm, right as the rain started. So 12 hours total for us.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby Lonesomebri » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:36 am

bradtem wrote:Gate, on the other hand, is a matter of choice. You can solve gate by throwing money at it. Not quite so trivial as that but it can be done.


Of course the greeters, hugging, rolling in dirt, various combinations of participants lined up for photos, etc, add ahellofalot of time to Gate. I got my ticket, I been sitting in my truck for 10 hours, the vehicle has already been looked over and cleared.....now to wait another hour while watching people do stuff at the gate that they can do to their hearts content once they get inside without holding up the line.

There, I hope I have offended the sensibilities of everyone.

Exodus was brutal but the rolling street party, the doe eyed girl looking hopelessly for her van, the roving snack trays, the last glimpse of bottomless guys and topless gals.....it's a wash.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby PL_FL » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:50 am

We left at 2am, after temple burn... 6 hours later, just after 8am, we hit the pavement, then got stuck in the Gerlach traffic, so another 2 hours. I don't know about the "pulsing" thing, but the longest I was able to stop and "sleep" was about 10 minutes.

Most people I was around were pretty cool about cutting line, etc., we all just kinda hung in there.

But with 2 hours sleep, everybody needed a quick car-horn to wake them for the next "move-50-feet-and-wait-10-minutes" cycle... not impressed with the pulsing implementaion.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby Canoe » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:57 am

Lonesomebri wrote:...now to wait another hour while watching people do stuff at the gate that they can do to their hearts content once they get inside without holding up the line...

I thought the right-most lane was designated the no-holdup greeters?
Get your map, book and boot away (at 5 mph)?
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby CapSmashy » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:06 am

For everyone complaining about the Exodus wait times, what are your grand plans for funneling some 25 to 30k vehicles off of the playa and onto a single lane road in a timely, orderly fashion?

What are your plans regarding when a cracked out, sleep deprived maniac rolls his vehicle past Gerlach and shuts down 447 for 3 hours while the accident gets cleared out?

This is not some grand plan to delay your departure by the org, BLM or any other entity to sour your experience and make you not want to come back next year. It is basic physics regarding the limitations of a finite space handling an enormous load of traffic that it was never designed for.

The pulse system utilized for Exodus these days is the best possible option and was conceived and designed by people that are experts in the field of traffic flow management. It would not matter if Gate Road was 42 lanes wide, the choke point of a single lane black top at the end of it is the problem.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby Just_Joe » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:11 am

Lonesomebri wrote:
bradtem wrote:Gate, on the other hand, is a matter of choice. You can solve gate by throwing money at it. Not quite so trivial as that but it can be done.


Of course the greeters, hugging, rolling in dirt, various combinations of participants lined up for photos, etc, add ahellofalot of time to Gate. I got my ticket, I been sitting in my truck for 10 hours, the vehicle has already been looked over and cleared.....now to wait another hour while watching people do stuff at the gate that they can do to their hearts content once they get inside without holding up the line.
<SNIP>

I noticed that all of the bells (scuba tanks?) were removed from Greeters on Sunday night. They *were* there pre event and I remember hearing them after Sunday. I don't think they were missing because of noise complaints...they were prolly stashed to keep the line moving during the incoming crush.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby Just_Joe » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:21 am

CapSmashy wrote:For everyone complaining about the Exodus wait times, what are your grand plans for funneling some 25 to 30k vehicles off of the playa and onto a single lane road in a timely, orderly fashion?

BMORG would probably like to funnel as many as possible onto the Burner Express busses. It's about the only way they could significantly grow the event. I camped near the bus stop at 6:15 and G and everyone I talked to had a positive experience. Less of a wait at gate is a powerful motivator. For that matter, I could see a HOV/Carpool lane(s) working. I believe that 2.X is the avg peeps per vehicle. Stuffing 3 to a car would reduce entrance/exodus significantly.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby PL_FL » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:28 am

For me, the pulsing sounded like a great idea, I was not sure about the implementation... It would have been glorious to be able to turn off the car and sleep an hour instead of 5-ish minutes.

Also, another 18k people last-minute didn't help. Where does it end? 100k? 250k? One Mill? Two Mill?
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby CapSmashy » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:41 am

Just_Joe wrote:BMORG would probably like to funnel as many as possible onto the Burner Express busses. It's about the only way they could significantly grow the event. I camped near the bus stop at 6:15 and G and everyone I talked to had a positive experience. Less of a wait at gate is a powerful motivator. For that matter, I could see a HOV/Carpool lane(s) working. I believe that 2.X is the avg peeps per vehicle. Stuffing 3 to a car would reduce entrance/exodus significantly.


I had mixed emotions regarding the Express Busses. I got to go aboard several of them for ticket scanning at Gate.

On the one hand, it is an awesome concept for reducing traffic flow into and out of the city and it is an excellent resource for those coming to the event from far away places that have some kind of infrastructure waiting for them in a camp.

The part that kind of bugged me was the entitlement aspect of getting to skip gate lines and such with pilot cars leading them into the city.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby bradtem » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:50 am

That entitlement doesn't bug me much, it's similar to the carpool lanes. (Or at least the _theory_ behind carpool lanes, which is that they should induce carpools and reduce traffic for all. In practice this doesn't happen so they are all moving to carpool-or-pay "HOT" lanes.)

My impression, sitting in the lines, is that there are very few solo drivers going to Burning Man. Everybody is already carpooling, and more to the point, most cars are "full" with either people or gear in the seats. We had only 2 people in our car but the back seats were down and the rear fully loaded with stuff, and others were similar. Some RVs come in without all of the 6 or 7 seatbelts onboard in use. I wonder what the impression of gate crew is or if any specific statistics have been made about how many "empty seats" come onto the playa? If there are empty seats, you could reduce exodus waits by inducing a reduction in the empty seats, but my fear is there aren't so many of them, not like the commute highway where there are 3-4 empty seats per car.

The extreme would be nothing but semi-trucks and buses coming onto playa, the trucks full of gear, the buses full of people. You could, in theory, have 68,000 people come in 1,400 busloads (just 2 hours of highway capacity) and fewer truckloads. With no RVs, art cars etc. Another great idea would be to bring trainloads of people to the Trego crossing, or failing that Gerlach, but attempts to get the Union Pacific to agree to that have failed in the past, I don't know if anybody has tried recently. (One kicker is that the UP line is westbound only, so a train full of Californians would have to go to Winnemucca and loop back, though the trip west would be much shorter than driving. And more interesting, and a giant burner off-playa party to boot.) Who knows, perhaps now that there is more money, the UP can be interested. (Ideally you would want to be able to stop long enough to have a crane offload shipping containers as well as get the people out. You would think that would not be hard, there are only a few trains a day on that line, but again, they resist it.)

It should be note that trucks and other heavy vehicles take twice the highway capacity than cars do, due to their longer stopping distances and slower accelerations. Slow, underpowered ancient RVs and burner buses and overloaded trailers are even worse!

Generally, I have not seen much delay at Greeters. Being Greeted is fun, though after 16 years I would not wait in line an hour for it, so as stated I think they have quick-greet lines. They could go further and have no-greet lines, go later to Playa Info to get your what-where-when. (Most people don't read what-where-when until they get home to see what they missed, anyway.)
Last edited by bradtem on Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby Savannah » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:02 pm

It took us less than 5 minutes to be Greeted this year . . . 'cause we didn't get out of the truck. Pleasantries, chit-chat, extra warnings about not speeding; got my book, maps and stickers way faster than if I'd had to take a bike ride to Playa Info.

Frankly, if you don't want even that, you generally don't have to. Just aim for a lane far away from any people walking around, keep your speed nice & low, drive through. Done!
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby Lonesomebri » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:21 pm

Greeting us? I brow beat my newbie into lying about her status, though she still opted for a hug. We, the time we took, was thru in minutes, but the wait depends on what others in front decide, who can refuse friendly beautiful people and photo ops?, and I don't cut lanes unless directed to or a breakdown or some other excuse I can muster, and every lane has people mulling around, enjoying the greeters. The purpose of a line is to get thru it, not prolong it...unless it was that rockin' exodus street part, or getting ice... I think I need to continue this conversation on Page Two
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby bradtem » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:53 pm

BTW, on the way in, I noticed that almost every single gate lane had a breakdown in it, even RVs that people were pushing in groups. Just unreliable burner vehicles, or were people running out of fuel at the start of the event? There were also breakdowns on the way out, but fewer. Pulsing eliminates most of the running out of fuel, one of its advantages. You can't push a vehicle on exodus though. In gate crawl it goes so slowly that people could pull off pushing all the way to the gate.
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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby bradtem » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:24 pm

Better than sitting in a car. But on the other hand, on the playa, if you don't like a party, you can just walk away from it. I have sympathy for anybody who had planned -- or indeed needed -- to sleep during the pulses, and ended up every pulse next to a giant party. This year we did a night exodus, and by got to Truckee around 7am unsafe to drive. We didn't have an RV this time, but if we had, it would have been great to be able to get onto the bed and sleep off the pulses. (Can't sleep in car seats, unfortunately.) In fact, it's my plan for the next time we have an RV. Earplugs help but not if the party is right next to you!
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Re: Exodus 2013 - How was it?

Postby maladroit » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:00 pm

I definitely believe that the Burner Express was faster...had one riding my tail for a few miles in a 55mph no-pass zone and then peel out to pass several of us in order to speed through the reservation, during my second trip into BRC on Tuesday.

During early arrival traffic, I got to see some really bad behavior. Great big white van swerving and careening down 447, driving in opposite lane during no-pass sections, passing six of us while going up a hill (with no visibility as they dodged in at the hilltop), poor little overloaded trailer skittering and bouncing behind it. An hour later I was sitting in the Gate line, glanced over, and she was sitting right next to me. We got to Gate at exactly the same time, except I didn't endanger 20-30 lives.
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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby Eric » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:06 pm

I've merged the two Exodus threads under the one in "Experiences at Burning Man". This last page is a little odd as the posts go by the time they went up, not by the thread they originally came from.
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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby Canoe » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:59 pm

Eric wrote:...This last page is a little odd ...

Well then, something odd on ePlaya, that'll be unusual.

(thanks for the merge!)
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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:18 pm

Savannah wrote:Great video, Fishy. :)

It's Fiver's. I just changed it from a link to an embed. (Is that the most felicitous phrasing?)
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"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby Fiver » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:06 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Savannah wrote:Great video, Fishy. :)

It's Fiver's. I just changed it from a link to an embed. (Is that the most felicitous phrasing?)


You can take credit for it, I don't mind. ;)
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Re: Exodus 2013

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:02 pm

I mind!
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"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Re: The Gate Access Radio broadcast did more harm than good.

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:08 pm

crstophr wrote:Our strategy was to pack on Sunday and listen to the radio for an opportune time to leave. Our plan failed due to inaccurate and not updated radio information. GAR seemed like it should be the authoritative source for exodus information. Unfortunately it was a recorded message that was rarely updated. We went to bed Sunday night with the radio saying that the current exodus times were near 8 hours. They said it WILL rain all afternoon on Monday starting at noon and the city was expected to be locked down all afternoon. They suggested the best time to leave was 3AM Monday morning and insisted that everyone who needs to go should be out before noon Monday.

We set our alarms for early Monday morning and attempted to sleep.

When we got up at 4AM Monday we realized we were on our own. They hadn't updated the radio broadcast. It was STILL repeating the same message and suggesting that people leave at 3AM, an hour ago... Nobody had bothered to update it with new exodus information which left us with essentially no trustworthy source to decide on when to leave (BMIR wasn't better...). We decided to go back to sleep and face whatever came in a better rested state.

In the end nothing the GAR broadcast said ended up being true. The rains never came in any meaningful way, and the small sprinkle we did see caused the gate crew to panic and close the gate. Staring at dry ground while being told the roads were too wet to drive on strained even my well expanded sense of the surreal. The exodus times were off by a wide margin.

PLEASE either commit to making the GAR a reliable and regularly updated source of information or take it off the air. Providing outdated or incorrect information is far worse than having no information to go on. Have someone record the date/time of the latest update so we have some idea if the information is current. Update the broadcast hourly at a minimum even if it's just to re-record the date/time message. We really need this service and it's a wonderful idea in principle but it was so poorly handled this year that I'll have a hard time trusting it in the future.


This IS updated hourly during exodus except in the very middle of the night when the person sleeps. They have a policy that has them awakened by Exo folks if the prior message changes dramatically. Sounds like that didn't happen that day.

They record canned "wait times" and put them into effect as needed. Your recommendation about putting timestamps on the updates, and perhaps indicating when the next update will be would be a good thing.

The rain closure procedure is something agreed on/formulated with the BLM. It's not because "the gate crew panicked." Don't forget while you're off at your dust rave, we're standing out there 24/7 in the elements doing that job. So yea...a little rain isn't cause for panic.

I politely disagree with your assessment of GARS. While the time you needed it, it didn't get updated, there were tons and tons of things it helped with. How about the warnings to incoming people about BLM interactions? How about weather warnings (which are taken from NWS and involve predictions of what will happen based on what's on radar miles away)?

You need to learn the phrase: Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Or how about volunteering to camp with Gate and get up hourly to make the calls for update info and then doing a fresh recording? Do-ocracy!
The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion - W. Blake (attribution corrected)
Lord Of Ruin
 
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