JRS VOLUME #14; ISSUE #32Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 14, Issue #32: TRANSPORTATION EDITION
August 23, 2010
+ BURNING MAN RIDESHARE BOARD
+ DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO BLACK ROCK CITY
+ I-80 AND BAY BRIDGE ROAD CLOSURES, DETOURS, DELAYS, ETC.
+ CAREFUL WITH THAT CELLPHONE WHILE DRIVING IN CALIFORNIA
+ DRIVING THE SPEED LIMIT IS THE NEW RADICAL SELF-EXPRESSION
+ SOME HELPFUL ADVICE FROM THE NEVADA HIGHWAY PATROL
+ HOW TO BEHAVE IF YOU GET PULLED OVER BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
+ ENJOY "AMERICA'S SOLAR HIGHWAY", COURTESY OF BLACK ROCK SOLAR
+ TRACK YOUR (AND OTHERS') WAY TO BRC WITH WAZE
+ PYRAMID LAKE BURNING MAN ADVISORY
+ VISIT THE SAFE HAVEN RESCUE ZOO IN IMLAY, NV
+ THE BLACK ROCK CITY AIRPORT
+ FLYING INTO RENO - RENO AIRPORT AND AIR PLAYA INFO
+ RIDESHARE OPTIONS IN THE RENO AREA
+ SHUTTLE BUSES SERVICES FROM SF TO BRC AND BACK
+ WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE GATE
+ OOOH OOOH OOOH! I WANT TO DRIVE ON THE PLAYA!
+ PLEASE REFRAIN FROM DRIVING LARGE MUTANT VEHICLES UP TO THE MAN
+ WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH OPEN CONTAINER ON MUTANT VEHICLES?
+ A HUMBLE REQUEST FROM DRIVERS OF LEGITIMATELY NON-MUTATED VEHICLES
+ HAPPINESS IS A SPARE CAR KEY
+ GO-PED STYLE VEHICLES AND BLACK ROCK CITY
+ THE BRC <--> GERLACH / EMPIRE SHUTTLE BUS
+ EXODUS: DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOUR ASS ON YOUR WAY OUT
+ EXODUS PULSING PLAN FOR PEAK DEPARTURE HOURS
+ DO NOT PASS ... DO NOT GET KILLED
+ YOUR MOM DOESN'T LIVE HERE: WHERE TO TAKE YOUR TRASH AND RECYCLING
+ RENTING A VEHICLE? CLEAN IT THOROUGHLY ... INCLUDING THE ENGINE
CONNECT WITH BURNING MAN:
+ Burning Man on your favorite social networks
Greetings from Black Rock City, where the playa is flat, the weather is hot, and the food is dusty. Welcome to the annual Transportation Edition of the JRS, wherein we fill you in on all the info about getting TO, AROUND, and THE HELL OUT OF Black Rock City.
We want you to get HERE safely, so you can play with us! We want you to get AROUND the playa safely so you don't kill anybody, or get yourself in any more trouble than you're already gonna (see: open container laws). And we want you to get HOME safely so you can play with us next year. And because, generally speaking, we like you.
So we'll highlight this one point right up front. DRIVE SAFELY, PEOPLE. Don't pass people recklessly and unnecessarily on 447 ... don't speed ... don't DUI ... don't be an idiot. Seriously. It's not worth it.
Second thing we'll highlight is that we're doing this cool new Pulsing system during Exodus that will get you out of BRC as fast as usual (as fast as we can push that many people through a 2-lane highway), but now with more sanity and less environmental impact. Read on and share the good info with your friends.
Oh and in case you haven't seen it yet, John Curley continues his wonderful chronicles of building BRC in the Burning Blog. Check it out:
The Man burns in 16 days people! 16 days!
BURNING MAN RIDESHARE BOARD
Save yourself some money, and save your planet some carbon emissions by ridesharing. Here, you can use our rideshare board ... g'head, we don't mind:
Oh, and some quick reminders when car sharing:
1. Pitching in gas money is cool. Way cool.
2. Tickets are not being sold at the gate this year. Yes, really. Make sure everybody in the car has their ticket, or none will be allowed in the gate. Yes, really.
3. When you post to the board, be honest about who you are, what you're bringing, how much (and whether) you can share driving responsibilities, your temperment, expectations, and any special needs. When it comes to ridesharing, surprises suck.
4. Make sure you're comfortable with the person with whom you're driving.
5. Have fun ... make a friend.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO BLACK ROCK CITY
Here are driving directions to Black Rock City, coming from all points of the compass:
Men, quietly memorize them, then impress your passengers with your unCANNy ability to divine your way to Black Rock City WITHOUT CONSULTING A MAP. You'll be throwing all kinds of stereotypes for a loop. It'll be fun.
I-80 AND BAY BRIDGE ROAD CLOSURES, DETOURS, DELAYS, ETC.
In April 2009, the California Department of Transportation launched a major construction effort on Interstate 80, which includes eight separate projects that will provide various road improvements over a nearly 80-mile stretch of the highway from Colfax, California to the Nevada State line. Project construction, which has been on hiatus since last November, has resumed and will continue through November 2010. Make sure you anticipate any delays or detours that might affect you and impact your travel plans. For full information, visit any or all of these sites:
CAREFUL WITH THAT CELLPHONE WHILE DRIVING IN CALIFORNIA
In case you happen to be passing through California, please note that it's illegal to use a cellphone without a handsfree device while you're driving. So there ya go.
DRIVING THE SPEED LIMIT IS THE NEW RADICAL SELF-EXPRESSION
During Burning Man, there are plenty of law enforcement officers patrolling the routes to the Black Rock Desert, just WAITING for you to speed, so they can write you a nice fat citation. Seriously. Don't speed. Like even 5 MPH over, and they'll nail your ass. It's just not worth it. And just the right thing to do, caring for the safety of the people, children and pets living in the small towns along the way.
SOME HELPFUL ADVICE FROM THE NEVADA HIGHWAY PATROL
Every year the NHP helps hundreds of burners who get stranded or otherwise experience problems on the road to and from the event. At a recent meeting they let us know some super helpful tips to avoid the most common problems that Burners experience while on the road:
...The NHP reports that bald tires are a significant factor in accidents and break downs so be sure to check your tires before you leave for the event and replace those old tires if you need to.
Too tired to drive...
...The NHP reports that of the accidents in September '07 that they relate to Burning Man traffic, the number one reported cause of these accidents was fatigue. Be sure to be well rested and sober (duh), with a copilot to help to keep you company while you drive. Behind the wheel is no place for a playa hangover.
Driving on empty..
Coming to Black Rock City from the West on Highway 80? Get fuel in Fernley as pumps in Wadsworth are not open all night. Coming from the Pacific Northwest? Gas up in Cedarville. For those coming from the SF Bay Area and all points south, fill up in Reno/Sparks. Sure there are other gas stations between these recommended stops and Gerlach, but do you really want to risk that the station is closed, out of fuel, or backed up with traffic for miles? And parking on the shoulder creates traffic hazards. Wadsworth, Empire and Gerlach CANNOT handle the kind of traffic created by fueling lines in 2009. And it will only be worse on the way OUT of Burning Man. Gas up at the recommended filling cities beforehand. And this goes for fuel for RV generators as well. One more thing--figure out what kind of fuel your generator uses BEFOREHAND. Most generators do NOT run on gasoline.
No camping ...
Camping is prohibited in Gerlach. Please respected the local citizens.
Traveling into Wadsworth after Burning Man...
The 2010 Reno-Sparks-Wadsworth Recycling Project has a new partner this year, Trash Pros, which is located a mile north of Wadsworth on 447, just before you enter the town. Expect a reduced speed limit, traffic-safety workers and signs, and slowing of traffic here during Exodus.
Going for broke...
...If your vehicle breaks down please carefully pull off the road to allow traffic to continue past you safely. NHP may push your vehicle off the road if needed but if you can safely coast or push your vehicle onto a gravel shoulder, please do so.
...The shoulders of State Route 447 and the other rural highways have *very* soft shoulders and the chance of getting stuck is much higher than you expect, especially in the soft sands around Pyramid lake. Only pull over if you absolutely have to and if at all possible only on fully developed gravel shoulders. It's also easy to roll a vehicle if you hit these soft shoulders at high speeds
Watch your load...
...Be sure your any loads on your roof rack or trailers are tied down properly. This especially applies at the end of the event on the way home when you may be tired and less careful about how you load and tie down. Taking a couple of extra minutes to tie down your load is a lot easier than scurrying about on the highway trying to pick up your gear while playing real life frogger with the oncoming traffic.
Hurry up and wait...
...the wait for tow trucks can be very long (think hours and hours). Sitting on the side of the road is a major bummer so please be careful.
HOW TO BEHAVE IF YOU GET PULLED OVER BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
Here's an informative video that explains how to behave if you're pulled over by a law enforcement officer en route to the playa (or anywhere else, for that matter). It's a great explanation of your Constitutional rights, and how to protect them:
ENJOY "AMERICA'S SOLAR HIGHWAY", COURTESY OF BLACK ROCK SOLAR
Over the last three years, Black Rock Solar (www.blackrocksolar.org) has been busy spreading free solar power arrays throughout northern Nevada. In fact, they've been so good at it that Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons just declared HWY 447 "America's Solar Highway," with the following proclamation:
Whereas; Nevada is a state rich in natural, renewable resources, such as solar, wind and geothermal energy; and
Whereas; Building a strong economy on renewable energy will benefit the residents of Nevada for generations to come, and
Whereas; Green collar jobs can provide a living wage for thousands of Nevada workers, and can never be exported or outsourced; and
Whereas; Nevada's Solar Generations rebate program provides millions of dollars for Nevada homeowners, businesses, non-profits, schools and public buildings to install solar energy; and
Whereas; In the last three years, a total of ten solar arrays have been built under the Solar Generations program along the 75 mile length of State Highway 447 between Fernley and Gerlach; and
Whereas; Those solar arrays total 451 kilowatts for an average of six kilowatts of energy produced per mile; and
Whereas; This is believed to be the largest amount of distributed solar power per mile of any highway in the country; and
Whereas: Travelers from across the state and around the world driving along Highway 447 to the Black Rock Desert in August will see these arrays and recognize the opportunities they represent for our state's future;
Now, therefore, I, Jim Gibbons, Governor of the State of Nevada, do hereby proclaim HIghway 447 to be 'America's Solar Highway.'"
TRACK YOUR (AND OTHERS') WAY TO BRC WITH WAZE
Waze just set up their first special driving group for Burning Man HQ and everyone headed to Black Rock City! Anyone with a smartphone can download Waze for free and watch people around the country converge on Black Rock City. You can see who else is going and ping them on the way for car pooling, planning stops, sharing information (like speed traps, for instance), or just chatting (passengers only please!).
This is a pretty cool way for everybody to connect with each other on their way to Burning Man!
How to get going:
1. Download waze by visiting www.waze.com/download
- http://m.waze.com/ from your phone – or searching for ‘waze’ in the Appstores (All smartphones)
2. Once you’ve registered, join the BRC group (from iPhone and iPad). To do this, click on ‘groups’ in the main menu, click on the magnifying glass icon and search for BRC, and join us!
3. You’ll be able to track other group members with the BRC logo next to their avatar, all across the country, as we advance towards the Playa. Along the way you’ll be able to send chit chats and road reports to other BRC driving group members and organize stops along the way.
PYRAMID LAKE BURNING MAN ADVISORY
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe would like invite all travelers to this year's Burning Man Festival to its native and sovereign lands. The Tribe would also like to advise all travelers to slow down and keep your distance while traveling through the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. The Tribe requests that all travelers obey the posted speed limits and to keep their distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. All of the State Routes on the reservation are two lane roads and the Tribe would like motorists to be aware of the dangers associated with high speeds on two lane highways.
Due to the expected number vehicles traveling to the Burning Man Festival, motorists are advised to be extra cautious while traveling on any of the State Routes that run through the reservation. The entire Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation is an open range area for livestock; motorists are to be cautious of livestock that may be on the highways. While passing though the Tribal communities of Wadsworth and Nixon, the Tribe requests that motorists be cautious of children and courteous to Tribal Members that may attempt to cross the highway or access their homes. For more important Burning Man travel information please visit www.pyramidlake.us.
Emergency Contact Numbers
All Emergencies: 911
Nevada Highway Patrol: *NHP (*647)
Washoe County Dispatch: 775-574-0444
Pyramid Lake Ranger Station: 775-476-1155
PYRAMID LAKE STORES
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe will have both of its convenience stores; the I-80 Smokeshop (Wadsworth) and the Nixon Store (Nixon) open for extended hours and fully stocked for the convenience of travelers to the Burning Man Festival. The I-80 Smokeshop located off exit #43 in Wadsworth, offers gas, ice, food, alcohol, ATM, Indian Crafts, pay phone, cheap cigarettes, and all of the supplies needed for the Burning Man event. For more information about the I-80 Smokeshop please visit http://www.plpt.nsn.us/tstores/i80.htm. The Nixon Store is located at the intersection of State Route 447 and State Route 446 in Nixon offers gas, ice, food, ATM, pay phone, and all of the supplies needed for the Burning Man event For more information about the Nixon Store please visit http://www.plpt.nsn.us/tstores/nixonstore.htm.
Throughout the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation motorists may find several vendors along the sides of the highway. The Tribe encourages all visitors to support Tribal Member vendors and other businesses located on the reservation. Motorists are advised to use caution and to not be distracted by the vendors while driving on the highways. These vendors may be selling food or supplies to travelers en route to the Burning Man event on the reservation. The Tribe reminds travelers that all the vendors are required to meet all Federal Health Code standards and other Tribal regulations.
The Tribe reminds all travelers to the Burning Man Festival that day use, camping and other permits are required for all non-tribal members to access Pyramid Lake. Proceeds from permits help support the Tribal Government, water quality and environmental programs that protect the unique eco-system of Pyramid Lake year round. To purchase a permit online or a list of permit locations and additional information about Pyramid Lake please visit www.pyramidlake.us
PYRAMID LAKE ART SHOW
Finally, the Tribe invites all travelers to the Burning Man event to stop and experience the unique art and culture on display at Pyramid Lake Art Show Sunday August 29th and August 30th at the Pyramid Lake Museum and Visitors Center (709 State Street in Nixon). Native American artists will be selling and displaying their artwork & crafts. Traditional entertainment will be on hand and unique refreshments & food will be for sale. Don’t miss out on this special arts show that will leave with an appreciation for the unique arts and culture of Pyramid Lake.
THE PYRAMID LAKE PAIUTE TRIBE WOULD LIKE TO WISH ALL TRAVELERS TO THE BURNING MAN FESTIVAL TO HAVE A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE TRIP.
VISIT THE SAFE HAVEN RESCUE ZOO IN IMLAY, NV
Traveling from the East to Burning Man on Hwy 80? Consider Visiting the Safe Haven Rescue Zoo in Imlay, NV
Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, in Nevada’s scenic Buena Vista Valley, shares the Burning Man commitment to nature and the environment. The sanctuary rescues, rehabilitates, and releases orphaned and injured wildlife, and provides expert, loving care for non-releasable animals. Many of the permanent residents were rescued from the exotic pet trade. Unprepared for survival in the wild, they live with dignity at Safe Haven. The animals enjoy a variety of environmental enrichment experiences that keep their minds and instincts sharp.
Visitors are able to observe Safe Haven’s wildlife in secure habitats that preserve the natural environment as much as possible. The sanctuary’s newest residents are a pair of Siberian tigers that were previously confined in a residential neighborhood in Washington State. These former “pets” were in urgent need of rescue, and Safe Haven stepped in to offer them a new life. The permanent resident wildlife also includes cougars, bobcats, and foxes. Safe Haven also provides off-site educational presentations to area schools and youth groups regarding caring for wildlife and their natural history.
Safe Haven’s location offers breathtaking views of Star Peak in the Humboldt Range. The surrounding area is rich with opportunities for back-country hiking and biking. There’s no better place to sample the treasures of Western folklife, historic inns, and the finest authentic Basque cuisine in the country!
Safe Haven is a solar-powered “green” facility. To arrange a tour, please contact Safe Haven’s director, Ms. Lynda Sugasa, by phone (775-538-7093) or e-mail (safehavenwildlife1 (at) yahoo (dot) com).
THE BLACK ROCK CITY AIRPORT
Want to fly your own private plane into Burning Man? We got you covered. In fact, we built an airport on the playa just. for. you. It has the official FAA designation "88-NV". All the info about flying into, camping at, and departing from the Black Rock City Regional Airport can be found on our airport web pages:
Oh, and the Rabbit wants a spin in your plane. Yes, really. And a pony.
FLYING INTO RENO - RENO AIRPORT AND AIR PLAYA INFO
Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the closest major airport to Black Rock City. Go here for all the information on the Reno Airport and Air Playa Info, which will be staffed by helpful volunteers chock full of information on local resources, transportation options, and more:
RIDESHARE OPTIONS IN THE RENO AREA
Every year there are hundreds of people from all over the globe that land in Reno on their way to Burning Man without much more than the pack on their back. Experience has proven that is possible to best negotiate a ride to the playa from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, or these three locations in the Reno area during Burning Man. Check in at Air Playa Info first inside the airport about what your best options might be at the time.
Save Mart Supermarket
525 Keystone Avenue
Open 24 hours
5035 S McCarran Blvd
Whole Foods Market
6139 S Virginia Street
Please read all of the details here:
SHUTTLE BUSES SERVICES FROM SF TO BRC AND BACK
Join other intrepid travelers on the Green Tortoise bus from SF to Black rock City. Their buses run on biofuel. And that? Is cool. Info:
Bio Tour is an eco-friendly rideshare on a vegetable oil-energized bus running from SF to BRC. For full information, fares, schedule and to book your seat, visit:
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE GATE
The Gate Crew works VERY hard in sometimes NIGHTMARISH conditions throughout the ENTIRE event, as they meticulously process EVERY SINGLE PARTICIPANT who comes into Black Rock City. The Gate has its own unique culture: part theater, a lot of pride, and deep-seated professional integrity ... and beneath every tough exterior beats the soft heart of a very good person. Here are some tips on what to expect at the Gate when arriving at Black Rock City and how to make the process go as smoothly as possible for you:
#1. DON'T SHOW UP EARLY
Don't be the dinner guest who arrives before the party starts.
If you do not have a special early arrivals pass, DO NOT arrive at the Gate until the event starts. Showing up early may cause you to get into the event later than if you show up on time (really, we mean it). If you arrive before the Gate opens you will not be allowed into the event and you will not be allowed to wait at the Gate. Under no circumstances should you wait on the side of the road anywhere along highway 447 or 34, or in Gerlach. This is a serious safety hazard and places our event at risk.
#2. BE PREPARED.
Don't be the person who shows up for the test without doing the homework.
When you roll up to the playa, have your ticket and any applicable paperwork (e.g., copy of mutant vehicle registration) in your hand. Not in your friends' hands, not in your trunk, not in your friend named Hans' trunk. Be prepared to show your ticket to the Gate volunteer as soon as you hit the gravel (heck, get it ready in Gerlach!).
Your car will be searched at the Gate. Keep this in mind when packing and the search will be easier for everyone, which means you get through faster. If you have a large vehicle or a lot of stuff, we appreciate your help during the search. Read the Survival Guide and know what items are not allowed into BRC!
#3. KNOW WHERE YOU NEED TO GO
Don't be like a tourist driving the wrong way down a one way road.
Buying a ticket or picking up a Will Call ticket?: stay in the FAR RIGHT LANE on Gate Road and look for the entrance to the Will Call Lot. Go to Will Call/Box Office, get your tickets and then get in line. Everyone in your vehicle must have a ticket in hand when you reach the Gate or your entire car will be turned around.
#4. SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Don't be like you were in so many of your failed relationships.
Thousands of people arrive in the first 18 hours of opening (Sunday night through Monday). If you arrive during these hours, expect a long wait at the Gate and be patient. If you want a smoother and faster entry, arrive after the initial rush. If your car will overheat from idling for hours, come after the rush. This is also true for Exodus - avoid leaving during the peak afternoon times on Sunday and Monday if you want your best chance at a shorter line.
#5. BE KIND, EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY
Don't be one of those people who loses their cool.
The Gate folks are VOLUNTEERS. They donate their time to help you get in and out of Black Rock City. Treat them like you would anyone else in our community. Please be patient, play nice and wait your turn. Cutting in line, running through fences, or being aggressive not only makes you uber lame, it will guarantee that you get into the event a LOT later than you planned.
See you in the dust!
OOOH OOOH OOOH! I WANT TO DRIVE ON THE PLAYA!
A public service announcement about driving on the playa from the Intercept Crew of the Black Rock Rangers:
As you may know, the Special Recreation Permit that allows Burning Man to take place contains a number of stipulations specifically related to motor vehicle use. Addressing vehicle safety concerns within Black Rock City is the responsibility of the Black Rock Rangers. The Rangers' Intercept Program was created in 2004 to address concerns that internal vehicle safety issues would otherwise be dealt with by law enforcement agencies. This is the most important point in understanding the rationale behind Intercept--If we don't address these issues ourselves, someone else will.
As a Citizen of Black Rock City, what do I need to know about driving on the playa?
If you are not authorized to drive on the playa, DON'T DRIVE during Burning Man. The ONLY people who ARE authorized to drive on the playa are registered mutant vehicles with visible licensure from the Department of Mutant Vehicles, artists placing art on the Playa with permits from the Artery, registered disabled persons displaying licensure and a placard, and limited staff vehicles.
ALWAYS operate your APPROVED vehicle in a safe manner. Remember that Black Rock City is primarily a BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN CITY. Take that in to account when operating a mutant vehicle.
Our established community standard is for vehicles to operate at 5 MPH or less. The unique characteristics of many mutated vehicles require drivers to exercise particular care when faced with limited peripheral vision and/or loading and unloading passengers. Please take this into consideration.
All of the laws and restrictions that apply to driving in the default world also apply on the playa. Additionally, playa conditions require that all vehicles STOP during white-out conditions, that you not drive on wet roads, and that you operate at speeds of even less than 5MPH if your vehicle is creating a dust plume in its wake.
What do Intercept Rangers do while interacting with vehicles operating on the playa?
First and foremost, we are Black Rock Rangers, volunteering our time to assist the community. We are available as a resource for vehicle safety, ensuring that citizens, drivers and mutant vehicles are operating in a responsible manner when it comes to driving/riding on the playa in our primarily pedestrian city. We are prone to stopping people to just chat about their kick-ass vehicles ... please chat with us if you can.
If you are placing art on the playa and your driving permit is a temporary slip of paper that we can't see from afar, please be patient with us if we stop you more than once, it's what we do.
We track interactions based on the VEHICLE, not just the driver. One person on your crew driving unsafely can ruin things for everyone.
Remember, in Black Rock City, driving is a privilege. More information about driving protocols can be found here:
PLEASE REFRAIN FROM DRIVING LARGE MUTANT VEHICLES UP TO THE MAN
Do you know how many rules there are in Black Rock City? Not many. Do you know why? Because a) we don't like them, and b) we rely on the collective civic-minded behavior of our citizens to do the right thing so we don't have to make them. Here's an area where we do NOT want to make a rule, and so we're asking participants to take it upon themselves to self-police.
Having a large number of large vehicles inside the L3K circle around the Man creates a significant safety hazard, and makes it hard to enjoy a peaceful respite at the Man base, or to enjoy the art project that's taking place beneath the Man this year. Often, large vehicles move bikes to make way for themselves, resulting in unnecessarily "lost" bikes. So we ask:
Large vehicles, especially those with massive sound and blowing fire ... please refrain from entering the L3K circle.
Your cooperation is VERY much appreciated.
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH OPEN CONTAINER ON MUTANT VEHICLES?
Keith, a 5-year art car owner/operator, wrote us a helpful email about operating a mutant vehicle on playa, based on his direct experience (and not all in a good way):
"WHAT IS OPEN CONTAINER ON AN ART CAR?
If the art car has NO separated cabin from the rest of the vehicle (e.g. a floating bed) then technically there can be no visible open container on the vehicle. This gets very tricky with certain vehicles especially if the driver's SEPARATION is somewhat subjective and if the driver relies on someone else to allow people aboard. Also throw in the factor of a guest pulling out their drink (or other substance) of choice out of view of driver and/or first mate, and then you have a ticket waiting to happen.
And guess what? The driver can get written up separate, cumulative fines for every different substance that is found on the vehicle. Each person possessing the substances also gets written up for what is individually found.
And while if you cooperate, you just usually get a ticket, it can end your burn, especially if the substance found is cocaine based, because of special Federal laws procedures pertaining to that. Also if they cannot identify the substance and don't trust your description, or you cannot or will not provide ID, then you are in for a ride to Reno.
WHAT IS LEGITIMATE PROBABLE CAUSE?
That is any obvious alcoholic beverage with a label, or any obvious drug use, but also the SMELL of any obvious drug use. That will get you boarded and searched. But it could and has also been stretched to when someone is drinking out of a plastic/glass type receptacle that is typical of a bar environment (martini glass) and is displaying inebriation.
And then depending on the agency, they usually search the rest of the vehicle (of call in the agency that can) and lean on people to 'voluntarily' give up that they have other substances, which 5 times out of ten works. Small art cars are also more vulnerable to the owner/op being penalized for their guests, while large art cars with separated cabins often get through with less fines unless they are repeat offenders.
Many many busts the last few years are related to these specific issues above. Obviously it doesn't always go down the same way but there are certain generally predictable proceedures that law enforcement uses."
A HUMBLE REQUEST FROM DRIVERS OF LEGITIMATELY NON-MUTATED VEHICLES
OK, we love that people are enthusiastic about the idea of a high-quality mutated vehicle. But at the same time, it's good to remember that there are other drivers on playa who are legitimately driving non-mutated vehicles (cars, golf carts, and scooters); it's HIGHLY likely that they are either Burning Man staffers or disabled persons.
It's not uncommon for these folks to get berated by passers-by with snide taunts like "Hey, nice art car!" or "Mutate your vehicle, man!" It's happened to this Rabbit on more than one occasion, in fact, while doing Burning Man-related business. And it kinda sucks, to be honest.
So unless you know the circumstances of their license, please don't be rude to these drivers. Much appreciated.
HAPPINESS IS A SPARE CAR KEY
Every year, Burners manage to lock their keys in their car, or lose their keys altogether. Not only is this a drag, it's an expensive drag. Having a locksmith re-core your lock, open a door, or cut a key can be expensive and time consuming.
So a wee bit o' preparation will save you plenty of strife, strain and struggle, (whether that be scraping up your car with a coat hanger, waiting for the locksmith, replacing a broken window or replacing an ignition core). Simply make an extra key (if you're renting a car, ask for one from the rental company, or go make your own copy), then store it securely *outside* of your car ... just in case it happens to you.
Self reliance at its highest power. Problem solved! Potential lost dollars and sanity saved. See, it really is the key to happiness (ha, get it?)!
GO-PED STYLE VEHICLES AND BLACK ROCK CITY
You may be thinking about bringing a go-ped type vehicle to get around at Burning Man... you may want to think more on that. There are lot of thoughts and strong feelings on this topic, so we thought we would address the issue.
Black Rock City is built primarily for pedestrians and bicycles. It is densely crowed and motorized vehicles can cause safety hazards and difficulties for those traversing our terrain. By necessity, we limit the number of motorized vehicles moving around. This is for reasons of safety as well as to encourage interaction and immediacy within our civic-minded community.
We have, thus far, allowed small, stand-up (with no seat attached, nor designed for a seat), two-wheeled, low-powered, single passenger, go-ped type "scooters" under the driving rules of Black Rock City, even though they are motorized and unlicensed by DMV. If your "scooter" doesn't meet every one of these criteria, please leave it at home!
GoPeds are generally frowned upon by the organization as well as the masses. They are one of the least creative or aesthetically pleasing methods of transportation available at Burning Man. They have historically been allowed mostly because their small size and mass generally doesn't pose a physical hazard much beyond that of a bicycle. However, they do create a number of other issues.
The first is speed. Because these are actually motorized vehicles, they need to obey the 5MPH speed limit and all other driving rules that apply to motorized vehicles. Be mindful of your speed and make sure you're not creating a hazard to others or being a nuisance to the population as a whole. In many cases, playa conditions are such that it is hard to remain upright on go-peds at low speeds--that doesn't mean you can go faster than 5MPH--it means you need to walk beside your mechanical steed. You should also be aware that no vehicle can operate at our event after dark without a headlight and taillight.
The second big issue is noise. Many of these little petroleum powered laziness machines are basically two-stroke, non-muffled, "weed-eaters with wheels". They are loud and annoying to many that they buzz by. For this reason, the electric, battery-powered versions are usually preferred to the gas, but if you do have a gas version, please be sure to get one with a muffler or add a muffler to the one you have.
Also, please do your best to decorate your ride or mutate it to the point that you are actually adding to the quality of visual experience out there instead of detracting from it.
In a tightly packed community of tens of thousands of people, we all need to be individually responsible in how we behave, as it does impact the whole, especially when hundreds or thousands are engaging in behavior that can negatively affect the whole community.
As far as electric bikes go, those are allowed. As per NRS 482.0287 “Electric bicycle” means a device upon which a person may ride, having two or three wheels, or every such device generally recognized as a bicycle that has fully operable pedals and is propelled by a small electric engine which produces not more than 1 gross brake horsepower and which produces not more than 750 watts final output, and: 1. Is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but is not a tractor; and 2. Powered solely by such a small electric engine, is capable of a maximum speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on a flat surface while carrying an operator who weighs 170 pounds. The term does not include a moped.
The Gate crew will be helping to identify any vehicle differing from the description above, or that appears to be more dangerous than the kind listed above. If you have such a vehicle, you must either be take it off site or leave it at the gate outside Black Rock City until after the event. Vehicles left outside the gate are left at their owner's risk, so you may just want to leave it at home. Once inside the city, the Rangers keep a close eye on the movement of vehicles, and will work to protect all of us by removing any that violate either the written, implied, or common sense rules of operation.
Please take these thoughts into consideration when planning your trip to Black Rock City. We hope your freedom to use motorized personal transport will be balanced with consideration for your fellow citizens and your sense of civic responsibility. We're confident that you can be more creative than just "buying a scooter" anyway.
THE BRC <--> GERLACH / EMPIRE SHUTTLE BUS
Burning Man runs a shuttle bus that takes passengers from Black Rock City to Gerlach and Empire and back. It costs $10 for the trip, and it departs from Wheel Road and 6:00 (on the outer edge of the Center Camp circle). Full details, schedule, etc. can be found here:
Oh, and you have to be sober and fully clothed to ride the bus. C'mon ... just this once, it's not that hard.
EXODUS: DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOUR ASS ON YOUR WAY OUT
As important as figuring how you are getting to Burning Man is how you are planning to leave, and when. Exodus gets more interesting every year as the population of Black Rock City grows. It's important that you know what to expect and plan accordingly. To state it simply, the highway that leads away from BRC is at capacity for most of the time that Exodus is running.
Short of building a bigger highway between BRC and Reno, there is not much we can do to get more cars off the playa any faster. What we can do though is make the process as run as smoothly and efficiently as Possible, but for that we need your cooperation and participation.
Plan on a 3 - 4 hour wait, on average, in line from BRC to the paved highway, Highway 34. Plan for another 3 hours or more from the start of the highway to Reno. Either of these times could increase to as high as 6 hours or more if there are accidents or other traffic issues, including too many people trying to leave BRC all at once.
If you are making flight reservations or need to get somewhere at a certain time, take this into account. You should not plan on leaving the city and catching a flight the same day! Give yourself some safety margin. Also be aware that if you leave in the evening, you may be driving until early in the morning. Be prepared. Be safe.
So you are asking, "What can we do? When is it best to leave?" Any night from 2am to dawn, Monday night after dark, or yes, Saturday before the Man burns traditionally have less congestion and are the best times to leave. However this does not mean that there will not be any line, you should plan on the same wait times mentioned above.
As far as what you can do, start listening to BMIR radio when you are getting ready to leave, and hang around your packed vehicles in camp. When you hear a positive status report, jump in line. If you hear things are backed up, stay in camp and enjoy a little more of our fair city ... does your camp need another MOOP sweep? Once in line follow the signals from the Exodus personnel on gate road and Flaggers on the highway.
Be sure to read your Survival Guide or check the Burning Man web site for more detailed information on Exodus: http://tinyurl.com/55vwr2
Above all, keep that playa vibe with you! No sense getting road rage, cutting in front of your fellow community members, or trying to dangerously pass cars on the highway in order to save a few minutes. Take your time, have fun, and remember, Leave no Trace and the community spirit do not stop once you leave Black Rock City.
Want to do more? We need your help! This year Exodus will need more people than ever. We run shifts from Saturday night all the way through Monday, as well as set up earlier in the week and tear down after our operations end. To volunteer for Exodus fill out the questionnaire at:
Your Exodus Team
EXODUS PULSING PLAN FOR PEAK DEPARTURE HOURS
We are instituting a new, more efficient, more environmentally-friendly, fossil-fuel saving way of doing Exodus during peak hours (Sunday and Monday). Here's how Pulsing works ... please share this with everybody you know!! You will get out IN EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME YOU WOULD OTHERWISE, BUT MORE EFFICIENTLY!!
YOU: So, what is this "Pulsing" thing?
By now, you probably have heard that we are going to something really interesting, really innovative, and maybe even really wonderful to the Exodus. That thing is called the Traffic Pulsing System (TPS), or "Pulsing." This note hopes to describe what pulsing will be like for you.
YOU: Why are we going to be pulsing?
We all know that if you leave Black Rock City on Sunday or on Monday, you are going to be creeping along the 8 lanes of gate road at ONE (1) MPH (yes, we did the math!) for three hours. For some of us, that is the longest three hours of our life. Painfully long. In that three hours, we forget we are citizens of Black Rock City…we revert to being citizens of *insert name of your default metropolis here*, and we begin to drive and act accordingly. We believe this creeping...this slow, painful, non-interactive drive, is at the root of some of the negativity that is experienced during the Exodus.
YOU: But it's necessary to creep for three hours, right?
This is the magic of pulsing. It is a little difficult to explain without a graphic, but bear with me. Let's say gate road is 3 miles long, and it is all full of cars. On the old exodus system, that three mile column of cars all moves forward, constantly and slowly, until each individual car reaches the highway.
Now imagine if we broke that 3-mile column of cars into three distinct pieces…call them mile 1, mile 2 and mile 3. Mile 1 is at the front of the line, and mile 3 is at the back of the line. Three chunks of cars…got that part?
Let's focus on mile 1 ... the chunk closest to the highway. We are going to further break mile 1 into 4 "15-minute zones", each a quarter of a mile. "Pulsers" (that's what we call our fearless volunteers) will be at the front of each of the zones, and they will systematically release cars from zone-1 until it is empty. During this time, zones 2-3-4 are NOT MOVING AT ALL! They don't need to be creeping, they don't even need to be running their engines. Furthermore, those zones know how long they will not be moving for, so they can plan their extra-vehicular activities accordingly.
Then we release zone 2...then zone 3...then zone 4...
Now, here is where it really gets awesome. Remember Mile 2 and Mile 3? They are sitting, not creeping also. In fact, they sit, not creeping, for a full hour. And at the end of that hour, when mile 1 is empty, gate road is "pulsed" forward one whole mile. Mile 1 refills, and the process repeats itself.
NOTE ABOUT EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY WHILE WAITING TO PULSE: This is not a time for vehicle drivers to start drinking beer. Law Enforcement will be present, and driving on gate road under the influence is the same as driving under the influence anywhere...still illegal. And, you are preparing for a long drive...time to be sober.
YOU: Wow, that was confusing and hard to understand.
That's OK. That's why we have BMIR (94.5FM), that's why we have pulsers with megaphones on the ground, and that's why we have signage. We will do the work to make the system fair…you can sit back and reap the benefits.
YOU: This is the greatest thing I have ever heard. I want to help with the process. (OR) This is dumb and I want to email someone and let them know.
If you think you have what it takes, Exodus is still accepting applications to be pulsers. If you have feedback on the Traffic Pulsing System, we would love to hear. In either case, email exodus (at) burningman (dot) com
YOU: Will you let me know how it worked after the Exodus?
We will. We have high hopes for the Traffic Pulsing System (TPS), and we hope it goes as planned with the planned benefits. At any rate, there will be a post-event TPS report. Yes, we just said that.
DO NOT PASS ... DO NOT GET KILLED
We were going say this ourselves, but Leslie, who wrote in asking us to remind participants about this important issue, is pretty spot on, and she has particular cred in this department, as she notes: "I was struck head-on by a person passing and my car was left three feet shorter. I suffered unbelieveable pain, spent time in a wheelchair and in physical rehabilitation as the result of his one bad choice to pass. Much of what was good in my life has been taken from me as a result."
So ... please take a moment to read and consider her invaluable advice ... since we prefer our Burners alive, thank you. She writes:
"Please, while driving to and from the event do not pass at all between the freeway and the event. Passing simply isn't safe and can lead to fatal head-on collisions. Full-size 18 wheelers regularly use these roads and go the opposite directions from the main traffic at high speeds; they are not watching out for you at all.
You simply cannot count on other drivers in a long line of cars bumper to bumper leaving Burning Man to hang back and let you back into the line when an oncoming vehicle is coming at you head-on at 55-85 mph. The delay for just not passing and patiently following the car in front of you may be only a few additional minutes. The cost of passing may be your life.
Besides, when everyone is in a line to leave Burning Man it is just selfish and pointless to pass an entire line of cars as if they didn't want to go faster. We all have to put up with slowly leaving the playa.
One year while leaving Burning Man I saw a catastrophic accident as the result of someone passing. I've also seen numerous near misses that would have resulted in severe head-on collisions, some with full size 18 wheelers going over 40 mph, that would have killed everyone in the car.
Many people who go to Burning Man just do not understand or appreciate the risk."
YOUR MOM DOESN'T LIVE HERE: WHERE TO TAKE YOUR TRASH AND RECYCLING
First off, please make sure and fully SECURE YOUR LOAD so that you don't have any random bits and bobs falling off as you drive on the highways. Second, and this really should go without saying, never ever ever dump your trash on the side of the road. Leave No Trace does NOT end at the edge of Black Rock City ... no sir, it doesn't.
Where can you get rid of your trash and recycling that you've carefully packed and secured to your vehicle? Answers here, along with some helpful hints from the Nevada Highway Patrol about getting to and from the playa safely:
RENTING A VEHICLE? CLEAN IT THOROUGHLY ... INCLUDING THE ENGINE
If you're renting a car or RV, you want to clean the living hell out of it, INCLUDING the engine ... you might get dinged for an extra fee if you don't. To clean the engine, you can use one of those air blower hose things at a gas station. And, returning rental cars in bad shape reflects badly on our community and risks our people's future ability to rent cars.
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Soundtrack for this JRS: Cloud Cult, Beulah, The Go Team!, Ra Ra Riot