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Oregon Officials Are Trying to Ease Traffic Woes When Elton Performs

Thursday 17 February 2011 @ 16:04 - GMT

While so many people are looking forward to Elton's concert this evening, they're not looking forward to the limited parking around Matthew Knight Arena. That's why the university is encouraging people to take public transportation or a shuttle bus.


The shuttle program is part of the agreement between the University of Oregon and Fairmount neighborhood to limit spillover traffic during major events at the arena. That agreement not only includes the park-and-ride bus system but also parking limits in the neighborhood.

But unlike at mens basketball games, concertgoers will not be able to buy passes to park in the approximately 10-block arena event district that covers much of the Fairmount neighborhood southeast of the venue. Parking in the district is restricted to two hours until 11 p.m., meaning that anyone parking there for the whole show will exceed the limit and be likely to get a $32 citation.

Thats double the usual parking fine, and its backed up by extra parking enforcement funded by the UO.

For those who drive, the options are to park in one of the UOs surface lots or the arenas underground lot, which all cost $10. Or people can seek out street parking outside the arena district, which includes some metered parking that must be paid until 8 p.m., two hours later than in other parts of the city.

Fans can dodge the parking hassle altogether by taking the bus, either the shuttle or a Lane Transit District route. The shuttles will run from three locations: LTDs Springfield Station, the east lot at Autzen Stadium and a pickup/drop-off spot downtown on East 10th Avenue between Willamette and Oak streets.

The downtown stop, just outside the Overpark parking garage, is a substitute for the usual park-and-ride lot at South Eugene High School, which wont be available for the Thursday concert. Shuttle buses will start running at 6:30 p.m. Round-trip fare is $3, with exact change required.

Parking at the Overpark is free after 5 p.m.

Another option is LTDs EmX line, which travels between downtown Eugene and Springfield on Franklin Boulevard with a stop at Agate Street just a short walk from the arenas front door. The EmX fare is $1.50 each way.

To catch the EmX, people can park at the Overpark, which is less than two blocks from the EmX station. The UO is paying to add capacity to the EmX line for the concert.