Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Rice » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:31 am

Oso wrote:Oh man, I just shoulda kept my fingers away from thread posting or maybe just quietly posted under another thread, such as "What a effin joke" or "Build a tunnel"!

I'm a dreamer, and we all know that there isn't any place for that here. Anyways, it's just a stupid discussion thread that won't make much of a difference to Burning Man or the world at large. Or.........

Okay, so at the risk of getting toasted:
(A) We all know that there IS enough space to expand the population out on the playa.
(B) There are creative ways of the handling the traffic to enable this expansion - like registering for a specific times to arrive and leave (there will always be a few emergencies and exceptions). Most events, including this one, have immutable start times and end times. Tickets could indicate your "time window" for arrival and departure. I would prefer knowing when I have to arrive and leave rather than no admission at all (the present situation). Anyways, that's one idea.

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I have recently decided that I needed to step up and not just shoot other eplayian's ideas down. Maybe offer suggestions of my own. I have a good working understanding of Gate and exodus. I have read the published contingency plans for BRC. I read the BLM permit and all assorted public info related to that permit (what the exclusion zone is, the laws that will be enforced, etc...). I volunteer with BM and help at the gate. I definitely have opinions.

For instance, the airport is in its current location because that spot is the least dusty location around BRC. and frankly, in the best weather we have airplanes crash there. So moving the airport is not a good idea.

Having traffic travel from Jungo road to BRC is kinda complicated, due to the fact that there is a FAA approved runway. A) It is illegal to drive across the runway B) when people do, a plane might be landing - not cool (yes, I have seen near misses). So, to make that plan work, the playa would need to be clearly marked with a fence (like Gate road) and the dust would need to miss the airport completely. That would mean that a second gate would have to exist at the east side of the city. (of course it would need to have the same gate infrastructure as the main gate, again not impossible but even if there were two gate entrances you would need 50-75 experienced people to make it work). From my research I believe that Jungo road is not a good option for 98% of the Burners travelling to BRC. So it would need to be improved in order to be used by more burners. Again, not impossible but requiring more thought.

Yes, the playa is huge. There is no problem there. I believe that us, the citizens of BRC can have a LNT (leave no trace) event, no problem. We need workable solutions on getting the burners into and out of the city. A managed solution which will meet the BLM's requirements and that is actually doable. My idea above might work. ?? It would require a lot of planning and at least 100 more trained gate staff and at least 60 exodus staff. (among other things, plus cones, fence, actual physical gate sheds, etc...) Plus it would need approval of the BLM. this might give us 10% more people. I am not sure...

So, what is your idea to get more people on the playa???
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Oso » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:34 am

Calm down.

Here's another idea: for those with just a backpack and a tent - big buses from Reno (for free!!) One big bus can replace 20 or 30 cars.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Oso » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:40 am

20 buses might replace 400 to 600 cars, 40 buses might replace 800 to 1,200 cars (I did the math!)
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Rice » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:45 am

Oso wrote:Calm down.

Here's another idea: for those with just a backpack and a tent - big buses from Reno (for free!!) One big bus can replace 20 or 30 cars.


Lots of people catch rides from Reno now. I think there was a group doing buses from Reno a few years ago. An organized bus transport would help a lot of burners...

The Green Tortoise offer a inclusive ride and camp experience from San Francisco (with pickups in Reno) and have been around for a while (longer than my 5 burns).

Free bus rides? I like the bus ride option, but don't think it needs to be free. say $50 return?? - just to cover part of the costs...
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Rice » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:47 am

Oso wrote:20 buses might replace 400 to 600 cars, 40 buses might replace 800 to 1,200 cars (I did the math!)

I do have some lagging issue with buses from the BLM perspective, but cannot put my finger on why just yet. - I am not saying it would not be workable, but that all concerns would need to be addressed...
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:56 am

Sure, just build a multimillion dollar stadium, as bunch of hotels (and casinos, it is Nevada not Michigan) and throw in a multilane freeway like they have in Ann Arbor.

Then, of course, it won't be Burning Man.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Rice » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:59 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Sure, just build a multimillion dollar stadium, as bunch of hotels (and casinos, it is Nevada not Michigan) and throw in a multilane freeway like they have in Ann Arbor.

Then, of course, it won't be Burning Man.


You are right there.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby ygmir » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:07 am

there were a couple of dramas related to buses last year........one fellow wanted to get in the "bus lane" (yes, he had a bus load of attendees, and had been told there was one), and was quite miffed that he had to enter BRC like everyone else.
and, (not sure if same guy) tried to drive in, outside the lane fencing, to pick everyone up (he had told everyone to meet him for pickup, at gate.....and that's a mile from greeters/city). He had to be educated, as well, IIRC.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Oso » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:18 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Sure, just build a multimillion dollar stadium, as bunch of hotels (and casinos, it is Nevada not Michigan) and throw in a multilane freeway like they have in Ann Arbor.

Then, of course, it won't be Burning Man.


Oh Ugly, you disappoint me. Ok, might have been a bad analogy to begin with, but the point was that for Michigan Stadium there's no issue with getting 115,000 people to and from a stadium in the middle of a populated area. Makes me wonder, that's all.....
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Rice » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:27 am

Oso wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:Sure, just build a multimillion dollar stadium, as bunch of hotels (and casinos, it is Nevada not Michigan) and throw in a multilane freeway like they have in Ann Arbor.

Then, of course, it won't be Burning Man.


Oh Ugly, you disappoint me. Ok, might have been a bad analogy to begin with, but the point was that for Michigan Stadium there's no issue with getting 115,000 people to and from a stadium in the middle of a populated area. Makes me wonder, that's all.....


curiosity is good. Something in the middle of a city with multiple entry/exit points vs something in the middle of no where with one entry/exit point... comparing apples vs grapes

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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby AntiM » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:31 am

The Biobus folks were picking up at the airport... which is a HUGE oops without the proper permits from the state of Nevada (and the airport people too). They were shut down. I think they tried to switch to another location, but never heard what happened in the long run other than there were so many minute legalities, they had to stop offering the service.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Rice » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:34 am

AntiM wrote:The Biobus folks were picking up at the airport... which is a HUGE oops without the proper permits from the state of Nevada (and the airport people too). They were shut down. I think they tried to switch to another location, but never heard what happened in the long run other than there were so many minute legalities, they had to stop offering the service.

Thanks AntiM, I could not remember the specifics...
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Oso » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:42 am

junglesmacks wrote:
Why is this so difficult to understand?
Cause I'm not too bright

Until you either have door to door train service or two more lanes on 447
Really?! Not until we have door to door train service??

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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby bradtem » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:09 pm

There has been talk of carpooling and trains in the past -- because it's greener, or because it would reduce waits on exodus and a little at the gate. It could be encouraged with a carpool lane at exodus or gate. The problem of course is that few people arrive solo as it is, so a carpool definition has to be larger. But 4 people, for example, while there are seats for them in most cars, means a lot of gear. A lot of cars I see with 2-3 folks have gear in the back seat. RV-pool makes more sense, as RVs tend to have room for gear and seats for 6-7 people. To get a good bus or van pool going you would need strong incentives (no ticket unless you buspool is such an incentive.)

Trains have been investigated at various times. The rail line is westbound only. There is a siding in Gerlach and Empire. Stopping at Trego seems problematic though the volume of traffic is low enough that it is possible in theory but complex. However, Union Pacific has resisted all efforts towards this. If you took people to Gerlach you then have to get them and all their gear onto the playa through the same routes as all the cars.

Otherwise it would be cool because you get to take a shorter route (at least coming back) and it would be a giant party train, burning man would start when you got on the train. But apparently there were even burners who worked for the railroad and could not make it happen.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:14 pm

Oso wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:
Why is this so difficult to understand?
Cause I'm not too bright

Until you either have door to door train service or two more lanes on 447
Really?! Not until we have door to door train service??




..or have a 4 lane major highway with adequate shoulder space.. nope. Not happening.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Rice » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:16 pm

junglesmacks wrote:..or have a 4 lane major highway with adequate shoulder space.. nope. Not happening.

So, what would you suggest??
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:07 pm

stretch80 wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:..or have a 4 lane major highway with adequate shoulder space.. nope. Not happening.

So, what would you suggest??


As far as the population issue at BRC? To me, there is nothing that we can do except what we are doing now. We're not changing the surrounding infrastructure anytime soon, so we have to deal with what we're dealt and accept that. We need to continue to put our efforts into making the event itself as well oiled as possible via LNT/entry/exodus/JOTs/etc which would in turn encourage the BLM to raise our population cap.

Honestly though.. 70k is pushing it and I don't personally see it going any higher than that. Know what else? 70k is only 13k higher than this years anticipated BLM permit.

All this crying and whining and bitching and moaning doesn't change the fact that more people now want to go to Burning Man than there are tickets available. Period. We have now reached a point where that is a fact and you're not going to change that. That's the real issue here.


So.. what do we do beyond that? The only other option if we are looking at a main event instead of simply say to make more regionals.. is to move it. That in and of itself is a whole other argument. I don't see the event being able to logistically be held anywhere else besides a dry lakebed type environment due mainly to the MV side of things. We would tear up any turf/grass situation and it would make a holy hell mess of things. We need a surface that's compact enough to drive on yet be able to drive rebar into. There are possible areas in NM that would fit the bill.. but then again.. that's just a whole separate can of worms.. yet.. may be our only hope if we are to wanting to continue to allow true radical inclusion via open population.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby graidawg » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:15 pm

I have an idea! its a really good one i think.

right empire is a ghost town now right? so everybody could be told to meet there, up to a week before or even two and register their vehicle (or car), then everyday at a nominated point people could go see if there car (or vehicle) is one of the many allowed into BRC that day. Empire could charge a nominal rent for the use of their facilites and provide basic services (water elctric etc) So we could have people admitted at say 10,000 a day till we reach capacity, then people coudl wait for admittance on a one in one out basis. more people would get to go And blm has the population cap.

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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Mojojita » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:30 pm

Please don't forget that 447 passes through Native American reservation land. This is a soverign nation that simply may not want the roads that pass through it widened. As it is now, some of the road is free range where you are likely to hit cattle if you aren't careful. I believe it is their perogative to just say no. They already endure the impact on their land and homes as a result of all of us travelling to and from the playa.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:37 pm

Mojojita wrote:Please don't forget that 447 passes through Native American reservation land. This is a soverign nation that simply may not want the roads that pass through it widened. As it is now, some of the road is free range where you are likely to hit cattle if you aren't careful. I believe it is their perogative to just say no. They already endure the impact on their land and homes as a result of all of us travelling to and from the playa.


Exactly :D


The existing infrastructure is what it is and I don't forsee anything changing on that front ever. We're kind of a big deal, but not THAT big of a deal.


IMHO
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Oso » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:54 pm

graidawg wrote:I have an idea! its a really good one i think.

right empire is a ghost town now right? so everybody could be told to meet there, up to a week before or even two and register their vehicle (or car), then everyday at a nominated point people could go see if there car (or vehicle) is one of the many allowed into BRC that day. Empire could charge a nominal rent for the use of their facilites and provide basic services (water elctric etc) So we could have people admitted at say 10,000 a day till we reach capacity, then people coudl wait for admittance on a one in one out basis. more people would get to go And blm has the population cap.

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You are a genius. Good idea. Of course not everybody could meet in Empire, but many thousands could. Combine that with the buses idea and some other ideas, and.....
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:56 pm

Oso wrote:You are a genius. Good idea. Of course not everybody could meet in Empire, but many thousands could. Combine that with the buses idea and some other ideas, and.....


..and you realize that not only does 6+6 = 12, but so does 3+9, 1+11, 5+7, and.....


No matter what, you are still dealing with an infrastructure that cannot exceed a certain capacity unless it's upgraded. Period. End of discussion.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Oso » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:57 pm

junglesmacks wrote:
The existing infrastructure is what it is and I don't forsee anything changing on that front ever. We're kind of a big deal, but not THAT big of a deal.



Every year I see the signs that are everywhere: "Welcome Burners"..... maybe we are THAT big of a deal. Let's ask the businesses of Reno if they would miss us.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:00 pm

Oso wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:
The existing infrastructure is what it is and I don't forsee anything changing on that front ever. We're kind of a big deal, but not THAT big of a deal.



Every year I see the signs that are everywhere: "Welcome Burners"..... maybe we are THAT big of a deal. Let's ask the businesses of Reno if they would miss us.



How about we ask the Nevada DOT and state legislature if they have or feel like spending the $150 million that it would take if not more to upgrade a 90 mile section of highway just so we can throw a one week party every year?
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Playa+Tom » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:11 pm

Forget about Empire. At its peak the population there was less than 500. The residences there have been sealed and there are no utilities. There was a small park (about the size of a city block) but it has not been maintained. No electricity, no water and no room, and sadly, no future for Empire.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby Eric » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:23 pm

stretch80 wrote:curiosity is good. Something in the middle of a city with multiple entry/exit points vs something in the middle of no where with one entry/exit point... comparing apples vs grapes lint brushes


They're not just different kinds of fruit, they're mutually exclusive. The only similarity is that a lot of people attend both. That's it.

I'm with Junglesmacks on this- unless you can convince the Nevada DOT to widen a road to the middle of nowhere for use 2 weeks of the year, it's not going to happen. We may bring a chunk of change to the local economies, but we do not bring the $150,000,000+ worth that it would cost to fix the road- which would have to be done just for Burning Man. No one else on 447 needs it wider. No one.
(oh, if for some crazy ass reason they did decide to widen it they would just need 3 lanes, not four. The middle lane would be north-bound up until the Man Burns (Sat night), south-bound from Sunday on. Good luck with the signage for that though...)

Solutions now have to involve making the ticketing as fair as possible when there is just no way that everyone who wants to can get one. Thats the subject of other threads.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby SnowBlind » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:39 pm

Eric wrote:No one else on 447 needs it wider. No one.


Maybe if we found oil under he quarry in Empire. Or coal. That would get the road upgraded before Juplaya ;)
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:01 pm

FWIW, I did some cursory digging and $150 million to add a lane or more to a 90 mile section of highway is way lowball.
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby JStep » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:05 pm

Here's an idea I have not seen, forgive me if it has been discussed, and I'm certainly not the one to do it, BUT...

Private foundations are certainly able to approach the local DOT and State Highway Dept and contribute to the building of a roadway. Local jurisdictions should be happy to get private donations to help solve a problem. It would be extremely expensive and require a lot of legal work, but it's not like priavte foundations or companies have never made large contributions to come to a mutually beneficial end on a large construction project.

Food for thought anyway...
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Re: Not enough space on the playa.... really?!

Postby bradtem » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:29 pm

Depending on your budget, there are options open.

After all, say you made a change that allowed 15,000 more people to come to the event each year, and you allocated $50 from each such ticket to a road fund. Over 5 years, that's $3.75M, which would be more than enough to chipseal the Jungo road in both directions based on figures I have seen, all the way to Winemucca. (The road could last a long time if trucks did not drive on it. While Burning Man could direct all heavy vehicles to 447 during exodus, during the rest of the year the trucks that are the main users of that road would be hard to keep off it. Sadly, trucks do almost all the damage to roads. Paving the Jungo road from Trego to Empire is quite easy to justify, however.

I have never seen numeric reports on the traffic at Burning Man, in terms of how many vehicles are going east, how many are going north (and thus go to Alturas) and how many are going south or west. A 2nd route to the south (Trego to Empire) would not reduce load on 447 south of Empire, but might help a lot if there is significant traffic on 447 N to Alturas, since right now all the traffic in both directions uses the same playa exit.

Something similar could be acheived by widening #34 to 2 lanes westbound from the 9 mile to the cutoff, and having those going north use the 12 mile. (Or even the 3 mile which is cheaper but I believe there is some risk the 3 mile might be soft some years?) There are a few tricks that can be done to limit an exit only to those going north, such as insisting on plates from northern destinations, which a special line for California plates where you show your DL, or a special NorCal exit ticket which you can buy for $300 and get $275 back at a store in Cederville. (Though I guess there might well be people who would pay $300 to bypass the exodus line.)

There is even an argument that since the northern route only takes about 3 hours longer to Sacramento and points south, that when the Exodus line is 4 or more hours, people would be happy to take it, though it costs a bunch more in fuel and miles. But of course, when the line is getting 5 hours long, we might very well want people to do that. While I've only exited north once when I was going to Oregon after the event, it does seem unfair to make those folks wait in a 5 hour line.
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