Clemson announces plans to improve gameday traffic flow
Clemson, S.C. – The South Carolina Highway Patrol, City of Clemson and Clemson Athletics announced today three new traffic policies designed to improve pregame and postgame access to areas around Memorial Stadium on gamedays. The new models were adopted following a comprehensive traffic study completed by members of the civil engineering department on Clemson’s campus.
“It’s exciting to have 80,000-plus people visit Memorial Stadium seven Saturdays each fall, but it does create challenges getting everyone on and off campus,” Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “These steps, along with the previous measures and improvements we’ve made, continue to make a better experience for our fans.”
The three new policies for the 2015 season, which will go into effect for the Sept. 5 opener against Wofford and be re-evaluated following the first two games, include:
1.) POSTGAME – Contra-flow of traffic (all four lanes) on Hwy. 93 from Perimeter Road eastbound through campus to Hwy. 76.
2.) POSTGAME – Closing College Ave. to through traffic from the downtown junction near Bowman Field to Hwy. 123. (Cars can leave garage and street parking to head north to Hwy. 123.)
3.) PREGAME/POSTGAME – Creation of bus/shuttle lane from Clemson Beach Parking to Perimeter Road
Associate Professor for Civil Engineering Dr. Wayne Sarasua, who conducted a 2003/2004 study of traffic flow and revisited it during the 2014 season, provided the recommendations to the athletic department and city and highway public safety officials for their consideration.
“We think these steps can greatly improve some of the bottlenecks we’ve seen at Hwy. 76 and Hwy. 123,” said Captain M. Warren, South Carolina Highway Patrol Troop Three Commander. “We’ll put these measures into place the first two games, and reassess during the three-week break prior to the Oct. 3 contest.”
Dr. Sarasua’s research found a major stress point at the Hwy. 123 and College Ave. intersection, which he suggested could be relieved in part by closing College Ave. The addition of two outbound lanes on Hwy. 93 through campus should move traffic to Hwy. 76, where fans can turn toward Anderson or back through Clemson.
Another solution presented sought to relieve some of the congestion caused by bus and shuttle traffic moving from Clemson Beach to Perimeter Road. By reversing one lane of traffic and creating a dedicated bus/shuttle lane, fans parking in that area and using shuttles should have an easier time getting to and leaving the stadium.
“Benefits from these adjustments not only improve traffic flow in the area, but along with prohibiting parking on the sidewalks of Clemson Ave., will create improvements in pedestrian safety in the downtown area post game,” City of Clemson Police Chief Jimmy Dixon said.