Fair Board looking at ways to solve traffic logjam - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fair Board looking at ways to solve traffic logjam

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If you've ever been to a big event at the State Fairgrounds, you've likely experienced the frustration -- huge traffic jams.

The State Fair Board is now working to unclog the logjam.

Ironically, one step the Fair Board took last year to try and improve traffic flow through its gates is actually making the problem worse. Now, the Fair Board is going back to the drawing board.

Fairgrounds customer Sandy Bilek has experienced the nightmare.  "These cars are bumper-to-bumper, like six lanes trying to get into four lanes. We were all livid," she said.

More than a half-million cars enter the Fairgrounds every year, and most come through the main gate off Phillips Lane.

During big events, lines can be long and tempers short.  "Whenever they do have the State Fair and big events such as that, it's pretty bad. It's pretty bad," said customer Ron Hays.

"I don't know who runs the entrances here. They should be shot. They're too stupid," said Bilek.

The Fair Board is hearing the frustration.  "We're just not quite satisfied with the amount of time it takes our guests to get into the gates," said Fair Board spokesperson Amanda Storment.

Part of the problem is self-service gates that were installed a year ago to try and speed up traffic. But they're actually having the opposite effect.

"There's some problems that we are having with the system. We are tweaking that, really trying to make that system work for us. However, The problems are humidity-related. When it's humid, some of the machines do not work," said Storment.

The Fair Board has now appointed a committee to try and solve the problem -- quickly.

Regular customers say they have a simple answer to the faulty gates.  "Take them out. I would tell them get rid of that stuff. The people taking the money can move cars faster than that thing," said Bilek.

"They put those machines out there, and that was crazy even to try to do that. This place wasn't designed to hold something like that," said Hays. 

Storment says no recommendation is off the table. There's no specific deadline, but the Board hopes to have some answers before the State Fair in August.

"We're asking them to take a look at everything but in a pretty short amount of time."

In the meantime, the gates will continue to be fully manned during peak events. And the Fair Board is looking at providing off-site parking and running more shuttles during the State Fair.

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