Friday, June 21, 2013 | 2 a.m.
This weekend’s Electric Daisy Carnival will draw tens of thousands of revelers to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But before attendees can shake their fuzzy boots while listening to dance music from some of the world’s top DJs, they’ll have to contend with the crush of traffic that has become a regular companion to the annual festival.
The best way to mitigate the traffic and make sure you don’t miss your favorite artist is to plan ahead and make sure you leave extra time to deal with parking, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson said.
Most of the vehicle accidents at EDC involve people in a rush who don’t anticipate the slowdown of traffic near the speedway, he said.
The most direct way to access the festival grounds is by taking Interstate 15, exit 54, and parking at the Blue Lot on the north side of the speedway. Parking on the west and south sides of the speedway can be accessed via Las Vegas Boulevard. Cars must be removed from the lots at the end of each day of the festival or they will be towed.
Nevada Highway Patrol and Metro Police officers will be stationed along I-15 and Las Vegas Boulevard near the festival grounds to help direct traffic and guide people to the right parking lots.
Hixson said drivers could help keep traffic flowing smoothly by paying attention to road signs and following direction from officers.
“Like any other type of big event, we anticipate quite a bit of traffic,” he said. “We station our troopers so we can get traffic efficiently in and efficiently out. One of the things we want to remind drivers: If you are planning to use private transportation, you want to plan ahead. You want to plan some extra time so you’re not in a rush.”
If possible, Hixson said attendees should consider alternate forms of transportation to help reduce congestion.
The festival is offering a three-day shuttle pass for $80 that will transport attendees to and from the festival grounds with stops at 11 Strip casinos and one additional stop downtown.
The biggest traffic-related change this year is those shuttles and taxis will take a new route through Nellis Air Force Base that will keep them out of the main stream of traffic to and from the speedway.
For those who want to skip ground traffic altogether, Maverick Helicopters is offering a variety of ride packages that range from $500 per person one way all the way up to $5,000 round-trip private charter for up to seven people.
The festival organizers encourage anyone arriving via private vehicle to carpool to the festival as much as possible. They also remind people to make sure they have a full tank of gas before departing because of limited refueling options near the speedway.
Picking up and dropping off will be limited to a lot at Gate 4 on Las Vegas Boulevard. Loading and unloading passengers on surface streets or access routes leading to the speedway is prohibited and will be enforced by police, according to the festival’s website.
Hixson reminded drivers not to drive under the influence and to make sure all passengers in the vehicle are wearing seat belts.
“It’s a huge responsibility,” he said. “You want to make sure you take the necessary steps to keep everyone safe.”
For complete information about directions to and parking at the festival grounds, visit EDC’s website.