Traffic this year appears to have been among the worst ever.
From Voices of Burning Man:
We are experiencing significant traffic delays due to slow vehicles on Highway 447. Estimated delays are up to 8 hours to reach Gerlach from Wadsworth. We recommend participants wait in Reno or elsewhere for several hours until the congestion is cleared.
For your own safety, if you’re stopped on Highway 447, please remain in your vehicle. And do not park on the shoulder of Interstate 80 — find an off ramp and park on a side road.
We will update this message with new information as soon as it becomes available.
[UPDATE: 8/31/15 2:00am]
At this time, the drive from Wadsworth to Gerlach is taking about 5 1/2 hours. Stay safe out there!
Once you get to Gerlach, it takes hours to get to the 8-mile entrance, and hours more to get to the Gate. The good news is right now, it’s “only” about 3 hours from Wadsworth all the way to the gate.
The “pulsing” system was used for cars on the way in, leaving large areas of gap with no cars in them, while many stayed still for up to 2 hours before moving forward as little as 500 feet.
Last night, there was an 8 hour plus wait even to get to Gerlach.
Even in the 140-character Twitter format, BMOrg couldn’t just report the facts about this situation. They had to put a spin on, one that absolved themselves of any responsibility by placing the blame on others. In this case, vehicles moving too slowly were responsible. I mean, really?
BMIR, on the other hand, was saying that the delay was due to people getting out of their cars. Sure, just sit still in your car for 12 hours while BMOrg sorts the gate out.
Burners were not invited to resume their journey until 5:30am Monday
Burner Jerrod put together this graph:
Here are some of the statistics from 2014, which link arrival and departure time to hours of travel:
[Source: Reddit, compiled from @bmantraffic hourly updates]
For many Burners last year, once they got to the Gate they had a long wait ahead of them, because Burning Man was unexpectedly closed due to rain.
Another Burner compiled this list of Exodus times from 2011-2013, based on information from Reddit.The RGJ brings us some highway safety information from the Nevada Highway Patrol:
Burners Leave Hazardous Objects on Roadways
Every year, several drivers crash because of unusual objects that fall on the roadways, NHP Trooper Duncan Dauber said Sunday.
“(The Interstate 80) will be a real mess during the week,” Dauber said. “Drivers should watch out for very odd things from tricycles to couches to mattress and bags of trash.
“Almost every year there are accidents.”
Dauber said Burners tend to drive vehicles that are oversized and carrying large objects that aren’t tied down properly.
“When they pack everything they pack it nice and neat, but when they leave they accumulate trash and maybe don’t have extra cables to strap things down,” Dauber said.
“When they’re leaving, they’re extremely exhausted, and they’ve been out on the sun for a week, and it’s time for them to leave, so they don’t pack everything as tight as they should.”
Dauber said I-80 westbound between Fernley and Reno usually is a hot spot for fallen objects. The Nevada Highway Patrol often receive multiple calls every year of debris falling off vehicles, he said.
“Even though most people are already at Burning Man, some people still continue to flow through there,” Dauber said.
Burners tried to make the most of it all and keep morale high. The picture being painted on social media was a little more grim than from BMOrg’s description.
In other news, Burners got some celebrity shout-outs on Social Media. We doubt any of them are stranded in traffic.