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 Dr Helix » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:35 pm

junglesmacks wrote:
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.


See now that's funny! And....hopefuly..................we're done here.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:47 pm

Why are there only a limited number of lanes? Construction costs, or a known limit of volunteers, or some other factor?

As for what's in the permit, there is what is in the permit and what can be in the permit if the BMOrg really wants it. I'm not saying that improving gate has to be their top priority in the permit negotiation. But my own discussions with the head of the BLM for the area indicate that numerical precision and a strict opening time are not (or at least were not -- there is a new chief) one of their dealbreakers. Though numerical precision is not the difficult thing.

Does anybody have any figures on how many vehicles come to Burning Man, along with breakdowns by vehicle type (car/truck or trailer/rv) and as well as how many vehicles attempt to enter during the peak periods? Just to hazard a guess since there seem to be an average of 3 people when I look around, I would guess it's about 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles. I presume there is a count on vehicles that do early entry (where there are a few rush periods but not too bad) and how many come in the first 12 hours after the gate opens (which is the big crush.) Anybody have these numbers?
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Rice » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:19 am

bradtem wrote:Why are there only a limited number of lanes? Construction costs, or a known limit of volunteers, or some other factor?

As for what's in the permit, there is what is in the permit and what can be in the permit if the BMOrg really wants it. I'm not saying that improving gate has to be their top priority in the permit negotiation. But my own discussions with the head of the BLM for the area indicate that numerical precision and a strict opening time are not (or at least were not -- there is a new chief) one of their dealbreakers. Though numerical precision is not the difficult thing.

Does anybody have any figures on how many vehicles come to Burning Man, along with breakdowns by vehicle type (car/truck or trailer/rv) and as well as how many vehicles attempt to enter during the peak periods? Just to hazard a guess since there seem to be an average of 3 people when I look around, I would guess it's about 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles. I presume there is a count on vehicles that do early entry (where there are a few rush periods but not too bad) and how many come in the first 12 hours after the gate opens (which is the big crush.) Anybody have these numbers?


There is a limited number of volunteers, at least from what I have seen for the last several years. I am just speculating on the reasoning for the number of lanes that currently exist. Numerical precision is something that someone at gate tracks, although I have never ever heard a number (other than what I have read on the BLM lease). I do know that at least 1 person has attended Burning Man each year I have attended, but I cannot speak for everyone else there ;)

Gate tracks tickets going in and people leaving. Maybe someone counts vehicles too, again, I have never heard a number mentioned. I do know that there are enough vehicles to line up from the gate to Empire, and have heard that lasts most of the night. therefore, lots.

I do not believe that the negotiations between BMorg and BLM have started for the next 5 year lease.

Regardless of what happens, it promises to be a wild ride.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby BBadger » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:47 pm

britzbitz wrote: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...


There is something magical about it, like a moving city of lights. I also like the tension it builds. It's like the salt before the sweet.

IMG_0400_stitch_smaller.jpg
IMG_0400_stitch_smaller.jpg (177.86 KiB) Viewed 990 times


The CO wrote:"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.


Not to mention that with the cost of just attending BM sans ticket, most people would rationalize that they "deserve" a free ticket for all that effort. Hell, I'd rationalize that. You can never depend on ethics or character to get such policies to work.

bradtem wrote:As for what's in the permit, there is what is in the permit and what can be in the permit if the BMOrg really wants it. I'm not saying that improving gate has to be their top priority in the permit negotiation. But my own discussions with the head of the BLM for the area indicate that numerical precision and a strict opening time are not (or at least were not -- there is a new chief) one of their dealbreakers. Though numerical precision is not the difficult thing.


No, not a dealbreaker; there is flexibility but only in terms of what cannot be reasonably accounted for. BMOrg has to show a reasonable attempt to remain under the confines of the permit, mitigating such problems as overpopulation and the passage of contraband into the gates. It is all part of preventing liability in the event something does go wrong (e.g. a fire in BRC due to fireworks or too many people at the event). Solutions such as car tickets would not work as it would permit, on average, at least one extra person per car to enter the event than would otherwise; the main reason people would buy a car ticket is to enable more people into the event than would otherwise be paid for by single tickets--not to decrease line time. Reducing the frequency and coverage of car checks would also indicate that BMOrg is not doing its part to abide by the terms of the permit, especially for reasons such as allowing people in faster. Quality vs. quantity.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Again, this is going to sound dismissive, but it's not really intended that way. It's intended more in the spirit of when we tell people "Don't try to volunteer for the Org your first year; there is much you don't know, and you need to find it out and let it settle with you before you can take on more."

You raise some interesting points for sure. But most of them are simply exercises of the most philosophical type, with little recognition of some of the realities of your problem. One way I, and others, have suggested for you to get some recognition of those realities is to work for Gate so you'll see some things. You're too busy for that by your own account. So you've now classified yourself as an armchair quarterback, and that undermines your credibility to me.

Your replies, although well-reasoned and worded, are founded on much misinformation or outright ignorance (in the literal sense, not the perjorative one).

Ok, so let's proceed with your exercise in the same spirit it's been following: I think that Gate entry line sucks. It's very unburningmanlike to have to wait that long, and to have people search your belongings, and it's hard. Therefore, next year all ticketholders shall be teleported directly to the camp of their choosing from their home, all gear included. Free tickets will be available prior to the mass teleport for those who wish them (because we all know honest burners won't take a free ticket if they don't "need" one).

Ok? Problem solved with direct application of the same logic found so far; let's take a real problem, and heap on fanciful solutions that have no chance of ever being workable.

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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby britzbitz » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:55 pm

stretch80 wrote: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.


…This post warmed my heart a little. I love it when people understand what events have to contend with just to get people in the door.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Dr Helix » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:51 pm

Lord Of Ruin wrote:Again, this is going to sound dismissive, but it's not really intended that way. It's intended more in the spirit of when we tell people "Don't try to volunteer for the Org your first year; there is much you don't know, and you need to find it out and let it settle with you before you can take on more."

You raise some interesting points for sure. But most of them are simply exercises of the most philosophical type, with little recognition of some of the realities of your problem. One way I, and others, have suggested for you to get some recognition of those realities is to work for Gate so you'll see some things. You're too busy for that by your own account. So you've now classified yourself as an armchair quarterback, and that undermines your credibility to me.

Your replies, although well-reasoned and worded, are founded on much misinformation or outright ignorance (in the literal sense, not the perjorative one).

Ok, so let's proceed with your exercise in the same spirit it's been following: I think that Gate entry line sucks. It's very unburningmanlike to have to wait that long, and to have people search your belongings, and it's hard. Therefore, next year all ticketholders shall be teleported directly to the camp of their choosing from their home, all gear included. Free tickets will be available prior to the mass teleport for those who wish them (because we all know honest burners won't take a free ticket if they don't "need" one).

Ok? Problem solved with direct application of the same logic found so far; let's take a real problem, and heap on fanciful solutions that have no chance of ever being workable.

LoR


+100 for this post. It's easy to sit and bemoan a problem. It's when you won't actively be part of the solution that makes it hard to take it seriously. As for me, there is a simple way to beat the line. CREATE SOMETHING! A CAMP, SOME ART!!!!! I have never seen the line that is the bane of the OP's existence because I have come in early for all four of the years I've been to the burn. It's work but I enjoy the process and it pays off BIG TIME.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:15 pm

If you think somebody is unaware of something, the best thing to do is not to say "you're ignorant, you need to work a shift of gate to understand" but to explain what is not known. Should I decide to work gate, I can't do so for 10 months in any event.

People here also seem ignorant of how problems like these are often solved in the real world, either with negotiations and policy changes, process engineering or new technology. Outside of Burning Man, how many things can you name that have a wait that every year gets as long as several hours to get in? I doubt you can name many, and there is a reason for that. (No, I'm not talking about people who camp out ahead of something opening for hours or days, I am talking about something that passing people through while they arrive, but so slowly that a backup of that level arises.) There are things that have rare surges that get long, and there are of course unplanned events in the world that cause long waits when things break down. But as an expected part of the system, every event?

BM tolerates it this much because there are some, like a few here, who might feel the wait is part of the experience, or at least not that negative. BM has different economics (and is sometimes downright anti-economic) while in the outside world, people value their time sufficiently that they would not tolerate such waits if money could solve them. BM also offers no alternative other than coming at a different time; you can't go do something else, like ride another ride at Disneyland, if the wait at one is too long.

For example, imagine that BM offered "For $50 per car, you can get a card that lets you use an express lane, wait guaranteed under 15 minutes or your money refunded" I know that many would jump at such a card. I know I would. And that card would pay for a lot more budget for the gate, which means there's more resources to process everybody, not just the people with the card. They get in faster, but so do those who did not buy the cards because there are more overall resources to run gate and total throughput is up. This is what happens at airports. The airlines pay for whole extra screening lanes for their premium passengers, which zooms those onto the plane and makes more room at the regular security gate. (A 2nd plan aimed at paying for fancy scanners to get premium passengers through more quickly failed but was recently reborn; its failure had to do with many things, including non-approval of the machines.)

The question is, is that a violation of a Burning Man ethic?

Airlines have other lessons to teach here, including electronic tickets and smartphone-based boarding passes. Indeed, based on the fact that the afterburn report says a whopping $319,000 was spent on ticket printing and processing in 2010, down from $350K in 09, electronic ticketing seems like a huge win other than the loss of the souvenir ticket. (They can make another souvenir.) With no need for a will call, no fraudsters, safe ticket transfer, drive-thru bluetooth ticket processing for cars not selected for secondary screening and more, this seems like a huge win.

But the reality is that I'm the sort of person for whom, "You are ignorant of the process, so go away" simply causes me to ask for the facts I don't know. I've had people tell me that many times in my life. Sometimes I'm wrong, but I also end up right often enough that it's clearly the right choice to ignore those whose only contribution is to tell me I need to learn more. Like everybody, there is always new stuff for me to learn, and the people who have actually taken the time to explain are the ones of greatest value here.

(BTW, I should not that this is not, as one poster surmises, a question of self-interest. I've had early arrival for at least a decade, having as many as six art projects going at a time in the years I have been really crazy, though at times have not used it for reasons that are my responsibility and encountered the long wait. I believe a faster gate is in the interests of the community.)
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Simon of the Playa » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:26 pm

brad, please tell me you're a troll.....please....

because if you are, well played sir...

if not, eh, well.....um......err.....

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

Postby Clar-i-ty » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:27 pm

You're completely right! It's absolutely simple. In fact I'm sure you could fix the entire problem in just one year. I suggest you go to the gate page and volunteer. Offer to take over the whole department. Silly GAYTE crew! If you only knew that it only would take a few simple changes.

Nothing's stopping you from "fixing" those problems!
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby trilobyte » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:41 pm

If you care as deeply as your posts seem to indicate, you'd find a way make the time to volunteer and try to help improve things.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby ygmir » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:52 pm

I dunno if it's been mentioned, but, no matter how fast you made "gate".........the highway leading in will still only handle a certain traffic flow.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:59 pm

Wait.. who's on first again??
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Nipple » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:03 pm

I think we've got some good solutions to the line that we can implement next year.

What do we want to handle next, the heat, or the dust?
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:11 pm

trilobyte wrote:If you care as deeply as your posts seem to indicate, you'd find a way make the time to volunteer and try to help improve things.


I may, and perhaps the others will too. While many opinions have been voiced, only 2 of the early posters in this thread, and one recent one give the impression that they have actually worked the gate. For the rest of you experts, you've apparently done no more than go through it, and in most cases fewer times than I have. Which doesn't make me an expert on it, but I do know a fair bit about process and technology. What I would love is for the people who have actually worked the gate to continue to be helpful. Some of the information needed to understand this problem isn't information you would even learn just by volunteering at gate. For example, a histogram of loads at various times over the years would likely only be known by the more senior staff. Ditto things like the number of volunteers and staff available at different times, limits on the numbers of gates. Volunteering would let you get a sense of typical times for the different types of gate procedures ranging from quick ticket collection and cursory look to in-line full search to D-lot secondary screen. It would also educate one on crazy burner in-line behaviours and their frequency. And of course what has been tried and what has worked and what has failed, at least in the years that the person volunteered.

If I got involved it would be at a different level. In the last 3 years though, I have be involved as faculty in a graduate program that finishes on the weekend before labour day weekend, which has made it much harder to do pre-event participation at the level I used to. But that doesn't stop me from being interested in good discussion and exchange of information from people who actually have information. (For those that prefer ad-hominem there is the killfile.)

As for incoming highway flow, I have been waiting to hear numbers on that. A typical rural highway is rated at about 2,000 vehicles per hour. This is reduced by a number of things in our case, such as slow trucks and RVs climbing hills (which create gaps in front of them which are never re-closed without lots of risky passing) and to a limited extent by slowages in towns, and finally the turn onto the 9 mile entrance. Yet while this number is the commonly cited ballpark among traffic engineers, I have seen people claim that 447s throughput is considerably lower.

While my experience is anecdotal, I don't believe that the gate is spitting out a vehicle every 2 seconds, or even every 10 seconds (360 vehicles/hour) but I would be curious to hear the numbers. With lots of resources, you could design a gate that spits out express-lane vehicles every 2 seconds (with N lanes averaging 2N seconds each) and so handles all the express-lane arrivals as fast as they come. However you would also need lots of resources for non-express arrivals, for people randomly selected for extra screening, and for D-lot processing.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Clar-i-ty » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:37 pm

Talk is cheap. Action! Action! Action!

If you have time to go to Burning Man, you have time to work at Burning Man.

Can I get a "Fuck yeah?"
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Nipple » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:46 pm

I'm already signed up with GP&E saying "I'll come early... I'll stay late. What do you want from me?!"
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby ygmir » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:57 pm

Clar-i-ty wrote:Talk is cheap. Action! Action! Action!

If you have time to go to Burning Man, you have time to work at Burning Man.

Can I get a "Fuck yeah?"


FUQUEYAH!!!!
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby lemur » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:07 pm

might take a few years to get the people around you to know yer gonna get r done... but if you start now the gate could kick ass by 2015!!!

2012.. be a grunt, see what its like.. have some people recognize you
2013.. be a grunt but kick so much ass through previous years experience that the right people notice you and ask you to do more..

2014 youre given the chance to be in charge of something.. maybe.. you make some changes.. maybe..
2015 ..you been around.. you kno some shit.. now you fix all those problems you wrote 9000 words about on eplaya in 2011..



who needs 5 art projects on the playa at once anyways?

if ya ask me.. the better project is getting involved, hands dirty.. and taking hours off the gate entry time..
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby britzbitz » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:54 am

lemur wrote:might take a few years to get the people around you to know yer gonna get r done... but if you start now the gate could kick ass by 2015!!!

2012.. be a grunt, see what its like.. have some people recognize you
2013.. be a grunt but kick so much ass through previous years experience that the right people notice you and ask you to do more..

2014 youre given the chance to be in charge of something.. maybe.. you make some changes.. maybe..
2015 ..you been around.. you kno some shit.. now you fix all those problems you wrote 9000 words about on eplaya in 2011..


You forgot

2015 ..realize just how big of a project you were proposing. Implement part of it. Parts of it go horribly wrong. Plans get changed on the fly. After the Burn, review what worked and what needs to be changed.

2016 ..Repeat.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:29 pm

bradtem wrote:If you think somebody is unaware of something, the best thing to do is not to say "you're ignorant, you need to work a shift of gate to understand" but to explain what is not known.


Fair enough. But my exhortations to "come out and see for yourself" aren't so much from the point of "you're not in the club" as to "the answers to your questions have so many variable and so many nuances we COULD discuss, but it would take a huge amount of time and eventually (I'm convinced) in you saying for some specific solutions at least that they are completely unworkable.

So let's do something constructive in this thread. Let's put some strict boundaries on the issue and ONE suggestion of yours and then let's see where that takes us. Disclaimer: yes, I work Gate. Yes, I am a Ranger. Yes, I've done both for multiple years. Yes, I'm in a relatively supervisory role when on playa.

Ok, so let's take a look at your various permutations/solutions that I term the "express lane" solution. We can fiddle with lots of things about it....where is it, how much/what conditions do you get to use it, etc. But one helpful thing is to see if we have any empirical evidence about how Burners themselves would behave when it was in place, right?

Well, did you know that there IS an express lane already in place and has been for years? Technically there are actually two of them. Let's let that sink in for a minute. THERE ARE ALREADY EXPRESS LANES.

What's this, you say?! How come I've never seen them? How come I can't use them?

Ok, the first one isn't truly a dedicated epress lane; it's the dedicated exit lane. But by stipulation/permit it MUST be kept clear all the way from BRC to the blacktop. Why? To facilitate emergency service vehicle egress.

Second, there is technically a "staff lane" that is put in place for staff people running to and from Gerlach, Reno, etc gettting supplies to build the event. Anytime off playa is time that puts tightly staffed projects behind schedule (as an artist on playa, I'm sure you get this already).

So they are there, they are communicated to their constituencies, and they are "policed" by gate staff.

Know what the behavior is? Virtually every time someone uses one of them, or any time the exit lane is vacant and there's any backup, burners jump over into them. Yep, regardless of signs, regardless of Gate staff with bullhorns yelling at them NOT to. This creates lane crossing traffic jams while trying to straighten people back out. Sometimes, especially if the person clearly ignored a Gate staffer to not go into the staff lane, the person is DLotted so we can have a conversation and do the search/interaction there.

Because of Burning Man's radical inclusion tenet, most burners see any kind of favorable treatment as anathema. Of course, a lot of them just cite this when in reality they are just self-absorbed entitlement bunnies. My point is that while you've nominally helped one problem (traffic flow by sorting/prioritizing at least a portion of the traffic) you've actually harmed the overall situation because of the backups and eddies in traffic that happen when people end up where they are not supposed to be.

There are lots of other nuances with lane control, but again the example above shows just one part of one of your ideas and why it won't work. Sure, they could keep trying to tweak it over and over again at the hope of diminishing some traffic, but Gate staffers generally would see that as a non-started given their years of experience with the even minor version of it cited above. So shorthand for that would be to you "good idea, tried it, doesn't work" which you would feel is short-sighted and dismissive, but once you worked Gate yourself (especially on opening weekend/night) you'd reallize that most of the Gate processing issues are about human behavior vs. any sort of nifty tricks we might work out.

As others have stated, there are lots of places to find out how to make your transit of the gate as fast as possible. People ignore them in large part...in very, very large part.

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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby lemur » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:55 pm

i say we arrange for bradterm to get a point 1 pass.. along with all of the vocal line complainers.. err wait 'people looking for solutions'

..they get in fast.. we dont hear their complaints..

its win win!
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Nipple » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:06 pm

lemur wrote:i say we arrange for bradterm to get a point 1 pass.. along with all of the vocal line complainers.. err wait 'people looking for solutions'

..they get in fast.. we dont hear their complaints..

its win win!


I think that only fits Brad. Pretty much everyone else in the thread has been pro-line. I had a blast in line last year. That lead me to reading the gate website a month ago. I'd been kicking around volunteering there ever since. This thread kinda put me over the top and urged me on to filling out the form.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:40 pm

Nipple wrote:
lemur wrote:i say we arrange for bradterm to get a point 1 pass.. along with all of the vocal line complainers.. err wait 'people looking for solutions'

..they get in fast.. we dont hear their complaints..

its win win!


I think that only fits Brad. Pretty much everyone else in the thread has been pro-line. I had a blast in line last year. That lead me to reading the gate website a month ago. I'd been kicking around volunteering there ever since. This thread kinda put me over the top and urged me on to filling out the form.


You know I could have sworn there were a few people complaining about the exodus line as well and as I dug it up.. guess who the top pseudo-genius poster was? I'll give you one guess.

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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:39 pm

Lord Of Ruin wrote:
bradtem wrote:If you think somebody is unaware of something, the best thing to do is not to say "you're ignorant, you need to work a shift of gate to understand" but to explain what is not known.


Fair enough. But my exhortations to "come out and see for yourself" aren't so much from the point of "you're not in the club" as to "the answers to your questions have so many variable and so many nuances we COULD discuss, but it would take a huge amount of time and eventually (I'm convinced) in you saying for some specific solutions at least that they are completely unworkable.



Thanks for giving concrete information. (The negativity here is disturbingly high, particularly from people who also haven't worked the gate. But that's what online discussion often devolves to, alas.)

Yes, I certainly was aware of the exit lane (had to leave the playa early in 2002) but I would not really call it an express lane, though I understand what you say about people being highly chaotic and disobeying signs. I don't care if those who want to disobey lots of signs get a long wait, but the issue is when they use up gate crew time and argue about it. Yes, you can divert them to D lot, but they eat time of people there too. And while I've presumed there was a staff entrance (though I had figured there was more use of the 12 mile) it's not very obtrusive in that I haven't seen the signs not to go to it, but I'm not usually in the far left lane where I presume it is?



But are burners truly the most chaotic and cavalier crew of entrants to an event in the world? I'll buy they are in the upper range. It would be nice if the tons of cops who insist we pay for them to be there actually helped us more with our real problems like traffic management instead of wanting to patrol around looking for weed and topless women. Often just having a patrol car, even an empty one, makes people curtail their behaviour because they know the cops are watching something. I will presume there are reasons to not make use of the two playa entrances at the 12 mile more, but am curious as to what they are, since a too-obvious solution to the lanes you describe would be to use those. (I once was escorted out the 12 mile during exodus due to an emergency situation -- there are definitely a lot of folks along that path making sure that you are supposed to be going that way, including cops, and it's not suitable as an exodus alternative because it has to merge with the main exodus line at the 9 mile. But during the opening of the event it's a different story as all the traffic is inward.)

Now while there are a lot of troublemakers, the reality is that one's opinion of the average burner gets skewed by them. In the hours I have spent in the line, the considerable majority of the burners entering the city have not been troublemakers or problems. But indeed, there are some who have an attitude that there are few consequences to defecting. Indeed, I've often had the perception that those who defect are getting through faster than those who cooperate (these are game theory terms) and that makes it worse. People don't understand or see what others are doing wrong, they don't see people disregarding the rules and going to D lot. I'm sure some people see these things but not enough.

But BM is not the only place in the world that has to deal with these sort of people-caused problems. And others do solve them, though sometimes only using money, or things that, as we have both said, appear to be against the burner ethic. I'm all for the burner ethic but not when it becomes self-destructive, and I suspect most other people would react similarly. Particularly if BMProject becomes reality, because then an express line card would be viewed as a donation that improves things for everybody than a privilege for the rich. (In reality while the money would be of value to fund infrastructure, the main goal of a price would be to just make sure everybody doesn't do it. The real goal of the process would be to make sure anybody driving an express lane really understands the rules, the contraband, the consequences of breaking them and that they are actually enforced. The money just cements that in their minds -- I paid to be in this lane, so therefore I will work to make sure I don't screw it up and waste my money. It is one of the psychological tricks that is effective on this sort of problem. The express lane would come not just with a privilege but with duties, and the privileges and money would be lost if the duties were not performed.)

Anyway, the negativity and ad-hom in this thread leave a bad taste in the mouth. Discussing things here does not seem to be a good path to improvement, though the contributions of people who actually work the gate have been valuable.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Nipple » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:47 pm

bradtem wrote:(The negativity here is disturbingly high, particularly from people who also haven't worked the gate. But that's what online discussion often devolves to, alas.)


I think it is a matter of audience. People in this forum are just a collection of people not working in any kind of official capacity with any specific structure or goal . If you post here, you're merely stating your opinion and soliciting their opinion.

If you really want to do something, I'd imagine you could share your solutions with: gate@burningman.com
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby lemur » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:12 pm

bradtem wrote: Discussing things here does not seem to be a good path to improvement, though the contributions of people who actually work the gate have been valuable.


the chasm between discussions on Eplaya and the decision making parts of the various burning man depts is huge...
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby Rice » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:28 pm

lemur wrote:
bradtem wrote: Discussing things here does not seem to be a good path to improvement, though the contributions of people who actually work the gate have been valuable.


the chasm between discussions on Eplaya and the decision making parts of the various burning man depts is huge...


Sometimes, the eplaya thread gets passed on to the gate "powers that be". Although, that only happens when something amazingly stupid or revolutionary is being discussed. (usually the stupid ;)

It is both frustrating and humorous to follow threads that have two opposite sides and never any attempt to reach a common ground.

It is nice to see this particular thread evolve into functional dialogue. The only way to really understand the challenges of gate is to get involved during the event, and after having some experience, rise to the challenge and put one's ideas to the test. From my 4 years of involvement, I have so far only come up with a couple suggestions, which might get adopted. If the people in line for BRC behaved like a normal line, the thread's suggestions for improvement might make sense. But, I am still amazed at how un-normal some burners really are... (in the staying in line, with your vehicle, following instructions kind of way)


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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby bradtem » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:47 pm

Well, when it comes to staying with your vehicle, I do note that one reaction I've seen from a few folks here is "hey, don't sweat the line, treat it like a party" And indeed, that's the official line now on exodus, pulsing is there to make it more of a party (and save gas.) The longer the line, the more temptation there is to leave the vehicle, and that in turn can slow down the line.

I would venture that most people are not that informed about gate. They read a bit about it in the survival guide but especially for the newcomers there are so many new conventions, principles and rules for them to absorb I am not surprised that many forget about it, or as I have said, just ignore it because they don't see consequences. (Used to be that the consequences for stowing away were ridiculously low -- they just forced you to buy a ticket and pay a bit of stupid tax, making it well worth attempting in some minds. The new consequence -- the whole car gets tickets confiscated and sent home -- seems to have pretty much changed the math on that. Or at least I was told the whole car lost the tickets. The lesser penalty -- others keep tickets but must go to reno to drop off stowaway then come back -- would not be nearly as harsh but still a strong deterrent because when the line is long that's as much as a day's penalty.)

While signs say to tune to BMIR, it gives almost no information about gate. A gate-specific info radio might do more, though if it just repeats a recording people would tune it out quickly and thus not hear if it had an actual announcement. A blow by blow of stupid things happening at the gate, so people actually heard stories like "And here's another car of 3 people who brought a dog and just got sent back to Reno" or "Can you believe they had a truck full of palm trees? It's going to be at least 10 hours until they get back here" then people would come to understand what it means. Though you have to put in enough entertainment to keep people tuned in. Too bad the openBTS crew decided to switch to custom sims or you could do a phone-in show with people in gate line or even a chat room. (They had to switch to custom sims because the company putting in the external cell towers didn't like the competition, sigh. openBTS was the tool that was making the on-playa-only GSM network for SMS and some voice.)

Burners are strange. In some situations they are the most cooperative and helpful community I've ever seen. In other situations, and gate seems to be one, they can be nasty every-man-for-himself dickwads. But nonetheless I retain an optimism that others don't have that there are ways to nudge them more in the former direction.
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Re: Reducing the line to get in the gate

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:49 pm

bradtem wrote:Too bad the openBTS crew decided to switch to custom sims or you could do a phone-in show with people in gate line or even a chat room. (They had to switch to custom sims because the company putting in the external cell towers didn't like the competition, sigh. openBTS was the tool that was making the on-playa-only GSM network for SMS and some voice.)




Yeah.. that's uh.. quite a shame.


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