Lexington traffic officers and traffic engineers are preparing for a crowd of 10,000 or more to attend a rally at Rupp Arena Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the Cats' 8th National Championship.
The rally is scheduled to begin about 3:30 p.m., shortly after the team is expected to arrive back in Lexington. Doors open at 2 p.m.
The traffic challenge in the early part of the day, said Steve Cummins, Lexington's traffic signal system manager, will be for a crowd that large to find parking in mid-day in downtown Lexington. Normal parking near Rupp Arena and in the downtown area will probably already be in use, Cummins said. "We don't have the parking available at mid-day that we do when the games are underway at Rupp."
Later, the challenge will be to handle the crowd exiting from Rupp Arena at rush hour. "We will adjust timing as best we can to make it smoother, but it's going to be a real challenge. The silver lining in this case, however, is that Fayette County Schools are on spring break, which will help us some."
There are a couple of steps fans can take to minimize the impact:
-If you are coming downtown for the rally, come early - Lexington Center lots will open at 1 p.m. and there will be about 5,000 available spaces, according to Carl Hall, Lexington Center.
-Plan on parking farther away and take a bus to Rupp Arena. Call LexTran at 253-4636 for more information or visit www.lextran.com
-If you are coming from campus, walk or take the trolley or bus.
-If you work downtown and aren't going to the rally, leave early or leave late to avoid rush hour traffic.