By Jane Dail
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Motorists will be barred from entering parking lots near Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium after 12:30 p.m. today, and anyone without a tailgating permit will have to clear out by 3, East Carolina University officials said.
Officials also have issued a strong recommendation that all campus activities, including afternoon and evening classes, be halted to make way for tonight’s 7:30 football game between East Carolina and Florida Atlantic.
The game, scheduled for a weekday to accommodate a television broadcast on Fox Sports1, is expected to bring 35,000 to 40,000 fans to the stadium. It is the Conference USA opener for both teams.
Traffic is expected to be heavy with tailgating lots opening at 4 p.m., officials said at a Wednesday news conference.
Police also will be out in force to help handle traffic, the crowd and work to prevent problems like a fight that injured one during tailgating before Saturday’s game against Old Dominion, Lt. Chris Sutton of the ECU Police Department said.
After 12:30 p.m., vehicles will not be allowed to park in the Minges commuter lots, Belk Building lots, Lot B1 at the bottom of College Hill, and lots in front of the Christenbury Gym, Brewster Building and Fletcher Music Center.
Vehicles in those lots must be moved by 3 if they do not have permits for tailgating, officials said. Anyone without proper permits will be towed.
At 4 p.m., 14th Street from Charles Boulevard to Elm Street and College Hill Drive will be closed to traffic except for those exiting.
Chancellor Steve Ballard’s executive council recommended all classes and operations end at 3 p.m., but the recommendation is not mandatory. Officials hope that voluntary compliance will free up parking and ease congestion.
Sutton expects traffic to be heaviest between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and encouraged people to avoid the area unless they are attending the game or live nearby.
ECU police will be using on-officer cameras and adding personnel in tailgating lots to manage crowd problems, Sutton said. Officers will use a scissor lift to see above crowds in response to the fight during Saturday’s tailgating.
“Aside from the fight that we had in the Student Pirate Club lot, it was probably the most seamless first game of the season that I’ve been involved with,” he said. “That was really the biggest challenge we dealt with.”
Greenville police will put following traffic restrictions in place to expedite traffic leaving the game:
No traffic will be allowed west on 14th Street from Elm Street. All traffic exiting from the C.M. Eppes parking lot will be diverted onto 14th Street, to College Hill Drive and 10th Street.
All traffic exiting from Berkley Road will be diverted east onto 14th Street. Fourteenth Street from Berkley Road to Elm Street will be eastbound traffic only. The center lane will be sent east on 14th Street to Greenville Boulevard, and the right lane will turn right at Elm Street. Traffic leaving the stadium area on 14th Street will not be allowed to turn north on Elm Street. Traffic traveling south on Elm Street will have to go to Greenville Boulevard. Turn-around cutouts will be closed from 14th Street to Greenville Boulevard.
Traffic traveling south on Elm Street at Greenville Boulevard will not be allowed to turn right onto Greenville Boulevard. Motorists only will be able to travel south on Elm Street or turn east onto Greenville Boulevard.
No traffic will be allowed east on 14th Street from Rock Spring Road.
Charles Boulevard will be closed to southbound traffic at 14th Street. All southbound traffic on Charles from 10th Street will be diverted west on 14th Street toward Evans.
At Greenville Boulevard and Charles Boulevard, no traffic will be allowed north on Charles Boulevard. Traffic traveling north on Charles Boulevard from Red Banks Road will be diverted right onto Greenville Boulevard.
Traffic exiting the stadium area onto Charles Boulevard from the east side (stadium side) will have to travel north until it reaches 14th Street. Traffic exiting onto Charles Boulevard from the west side (Carol Belk Building/Stratford Road side) will have to travel south until they reach Greenville Boulevard. No U-turns will be allowed on Charles Boulevard from Greenville Boulevard north to 14th Street.
Pedestrians will need to stay on the sidewalk on Berkley Road from Blackbeard’s Alley (rear stadium entrance/exit) to the railroad tracks near 14th Street. Pedestrians are asked to use the marked crosswalk to cross 14th Street due to vehicle traffic that will be exiting at the same time on the same route to 14th Street.
via The Daily Reflector.