JRS VOLUME #15; ISSUE #27
Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 15, Issue #27 TRANSPORTATION
August 11, 2011
+ DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO BLACK ROCK CITY
+ BURNING MAN RIDESHARES - GET 'EM HERE
+ FLYING INTO RENO - THE RENO AIRPORT AND AIR PLAYA INFO
+ THE BLACK ROCK CITY AIRPORT
+ RIDESHARING FROM RENO TO BRC
+ CALIFORNIA I-80 ROAD CLOSURES, DETOURS, DELAYS, ETC.
+ RENO I-80 AND US-395 RECONSTRUCTION
+ GASSING UP IN WADSWORTH & NIXON
+ DRIVING THE SPEED LIMIT IS THE NEW RADICAL SELF-EXPRESSION
+ HOW TO BEHAVE IF YOU GET PULLED OVER BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
+ SOME HELPFUL ADVICE FROM THE NEVADA HIGHWAY PATROL
+ PYRAMID LAKE BURNING MAN ADVISORY
+ RACK YOUR (AND OTHERS') WAY TO BRC WITH WAZE
+ ENJOY "AMERICA'S SOLAR HIGHWAY", COURTESY OF BLACK ROCK SOLAR
+ WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE GATE
+ OOOH OOOH OOOH! I WANT TO DRIVE ON THE PLAYA!
+ A WORD ABOUT VEHICLES BY THE BURNING MAN AND OTHER ARTWORKS
+ 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 TRAFFIC PULSING
+ 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
Hey, so, what did you do on Monday? Well, the hard-working crew of the Burning Man Department of Public Works got up before dawn, and spent the better part of the day pounding T-stakes by hand, and tying 9 miles of trash fence to it, creating the boundary of Black Rock City.
Every year they set a new record, and this year is no exception. In the time it took them to build just over 7 miles of fence last year, they did 9 this year. Unbelievable. Check out John Curley's striking pictures in his blog post:
And now that he's on playa, you can follow the creation of Black Rock City in his ongoing blog series. It will blow. your. mind. Here ya go:
OK, this JRS is dedicated to getting TO Burning Man, getting AROUND Burning Man, and getting the hell OUT of Burning Man. Transportation, people.
If there's just ONE thing you get out of this JRS, please please let it be this:
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE. DON'T DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE (OR EXHAUSTED). DON'T SPEED. DON'T PASS CARS ON ROUTE 447. DON'T BE DUMB. ARRIVE ALIVE.
Was that clear enough? Did it seem emphatic? Cool. We want you to arrive in Black Rock City in one piece, and back to your other home the same way.
This is a big one, but it's important ... so please, print it out and read it on the toilet if you have to, but read it ... and make sure your friends read it too.
See you in Black Rock City ... the Man burns in 23 days!
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. Unless you forget, of course.
BURNING MAN RIDESHARES - GET 'EM HERE
Save yourself some money, and save your planet some carbon emissions by ridesharing. Burning Man has its own rideshare board here:
Rideshare data is transferred from this service to the Directory at Playa Info in Black Rock City, so you can follow up on return rides and input new ride offers and needs while in BRC. So if you want to handle rideshare stuff while on playa, it's best to use this system since the only internet access in Black Rock City can be spotty, and you may not be able to connect reliably to source your ride.
Also note: We will soon be releasing a revamp of the Burning Man Rideshare website, but in the meantime, continue to use the current one, as all the ride data will be transferred to the new version, no worries.
There are other rideshare services out there, if you want to use them ... here are some that have been in touch with us:
Burning Man Rides www.burningmanrides.com
(not a Burning Man web site)
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, stops you have planned on the way, 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. Bad vibe? Don't go, find another ride.
5. Have fun ... you just might make a friend.
FLYING INTO RENO - THE 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:
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.
RIDESHARING FROM RENO TO BRC
Thousands of Burners fly into Reno on their way to Burning Man, and many are looking for rideshare options to the playa (which is 2.5 hours away). Many are able to negotiate and hook up a ride to the playa from other Burners who get rental cars at the airport. At the same time, many thousands of other Burners drive into Reno and stop for supplies on their way to the Burn. To best match those looking for rides with those who have a ride to offer, there is one location in Reno -- next to a major travel route to Burning Man and 10 minutes from the Reno Airport -- where you are most likely able to negotiate and hook up a ride. In any case, if you are flying into Reno and are looking to rideshare to the playa, check in at Air Playa Info (see above) inside the Reno Airport to see if there are any Burners renting a car who may have a seat for you, or about carpooling a taxi with others perhaps to this rideshare location:
Save Mart Supermarket
525 Keystone Ave - 775-786-2150
Some things to keep in mind about ridesharing:
The parking lot -- the best spot to inquire about a ride -- is not just for Burners. Other people shop there too, so please only inquire for a ride among Burners, and be respectful. We tend to stand out!
Offering to chip in for gas is helpful if you can.
Leave No Trace!
Everyone in the vehicle must be wearing a seatbelt -- it's the law.
Make sure EVERYBODY in the vehicle has their Burning Man ticket, or has one at Will Call. If riders aren't holding a ticket or a will call receipt, we ask you to PLEASE not bring them to BRC. All Burning Man tickets are SOLD OUT!
Finally, BE COMFORTABLE before hopping on-board with your fellow would-be travelers.
CALIFORNIA I-80 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 will continue into 2012. 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:
RENO I-80 AND US-395 RECONSTRUCTION
Highways I-80 and US-395 throughout much of the Reno-Sparks area are undergoing major reconstruction. Expect reduced speed limits and traffic delays, as well as narrow lanes and some exit detours particularly on I-80. Plan accordingly and drive with caution. For further information visit here:
GASSING UP IN WADSWORTH & NIXON
We had a meeting with the Washoe Cty Sheriffs recently. One of their biggest concerns is that when people are arriving and stop for gas at Bruno's in Gerlach, the traffic backs up past the railroad tracks, and then people trying to get around the backup move into the oncoming traffic lane. And this? Is bad.
So here's what we'd like you to do if you're coming up Hwy 447 from I80:
1. Get gas in Wadsworth or Nixon!
2. If Bruno's is full and starting to back up, don't stop on the highway and block the road. If people ARE stopped, don't do risky things like moving into the oncoming traffic lane or stop on the railroad tracks.
There really is no good solution, except for people to gas up in Wadsworth or Nixon. So please, do that.
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, we hear this EVERY year: "Wow, you were right, I was barely speeding and I got a ticket." Right, so don't speed. Like even 3 MPH over. You'll get nailed, we promise. 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. Thanks!
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:
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 that 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. 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...
One of the partners in the 2011 Reno-Sparks-Wadsworth Recycling Project, Trash Pros, 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, and have a lot of trash bags to carry. 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.
PYRAMID LAKE BURNING MAN ADVISORY
They Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe writes to say:
"The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe would like to 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 Paiute 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 turn on their headlights during the day and night, and be aware of the dangers associated with high speeds on two lane highways.
Due to the expected number vehicles traveling to and from 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 Paiute 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 that are accessing their homes, businesses, or Tribal Services. For more important Burning Man travel information please visit http://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 AND OTHER RESOURCES
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, Native Crafts, pay phone, cheap cigarettes, and many other 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 many other supplies needed for the Burning Man event. For more information about the Nixon Store please visit http://www.plpt.nsn.us/tstores/nixonstore.htm.
There are also lake tours, RV Parks and campgrounds, a restaurant and saloon, trash/recycling services, auto/tow service, and car-wash to be found on the reservation. Check out all the information here:
Throughout the Pyramid Lake Paiute 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.
TRASH AND RECYCLING RESOURCES
During Exodus, please pack carefully! Every year the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe reports large amounts of garbage littering their roadways as Burners exit the event. Every year Burning Man's Playa Restoration team sends crews of folks to pick this trash up. This year, however, consider paying to leave your recycling and trash with the Trash Pros center in Wadsworth, or with any of the several Tribal members who rent dumpsters and make a little money from Exodus. You'll see the signs as you drive down Highway 447. It's a great way to support the Tribe -- our neighbors -- and cut down on MOOP. Leave No Trace follows you all the way home!
This year the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is selling Fireworks that you may shoot only on the reservation. They are illegal everywhere else, including Burning Man. Please be advised, if you purchase fireworks on the reservation, you must shoot them on the reservation, and only in very specific locations. You must be over 18 and shooting hours are between dusk and midnight.
PYRAMID LAKE CAMPING AND DAY-USE
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 to see the list of permit locations and additional information about Pyramid Lake, please visit www.pyramidlake.us
PYRAMID LAKE ART SHOW
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 September 4th and Monday September 5th 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 and 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.
WADSWORTH CAR WASH
Finally, the Sacred Visions Powwow Committee will be sponsoring a carwash during Exodus for travelers next to the Natchez Elementary School, just as you enter Wadsworth on State Route 447. The wash will be available for vehicles of all sizes during daylight hours from September 3-5. All funds raised will go to support the 4th Annual Sacred Visions Powwow.
THE PYRAMID LAKE PAIUTE TRIBE WOULD LIKE TO WISH ALL TRAVELERS TO THE BURNING MAN FESTIVAL TO HAVE A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE TRIP."
TRACK YOUR (AND OTHERS') WAY TO BRC WITH WAZE
Waze HAS set up A 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.
ENJOY "AMERICA'S SOLAR HIGHWAY", COURTESY OF BLACK ROCK SOLAR
Since its inception, 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 declared Highway 447 "America's Solar Highway".
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, totaling 451 kilowatts for an average of six kilowatts of energy produced per mile, believed to be the largest amount of distributed solar power per mile of any highway in the country.
So as you're cruising up Route 447, keep an eye out ... you'll see 'em.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE GATE
Since every ticket to Burning Man has been sold, we are expecting this will be the busiest year yet at the Gate. Do your part to be prepared and know the process, and you will help make it easier for everyone.
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.
For a full list of frequently asked questions about the Gate and Exodus, go here: http://gate.burningman.com/faq-gate
#1. DON'T SHOW UP EARLY
If you do not have a special early arrivals pass, DO NOT arrive at the Gate until it is open to all participants. 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
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 for a list of prohibited items; if you have any of those items in your possession you may be denied entry and told to store or dispose of them off-site.
#3. KNOW WHERE YOU NEED TO GO
Buying a ticket or picking up a Will Call ticket?: NEW FOR 2011 - WILL CALL IS LOCATED ON THE LEFT SIDE OF GATE ROAD AS YOU APPROACH THE GATE. STAY IN THE SECOND LANE FROM THE LEFT TO MAKE A LEFT TURN INTO THE WILL CALL LOT. (The left most lane on Gate Road is the exit lane). Go to Will Call, get your tickets and then get in line. Don't have one person in your vehicle go to will call while you wait in the entry line - every year many people lose their rides. Everyone must STAY WITH THEIR VEHICLE.
#4. THERE WILL BE LONG LINES
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. There will be lines at other times as well, so plan your trip accordingly!
#5. BE KIND, EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY
The Gate folks are volunteers. They donate their time to help you get in and out of Black Rock City and do the best they can in sometimes chaotic situations. 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.
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:
A WORD ABOUT VEHICLES BY THE BURNING MAN AND OTHER ARTWORKS
There is a subtle understanding about vehicles near the Burning Man in the center of our city. The area inside the Man’s “L3K” perimeter of orange ground lights is populated with pedestrians at every hour of the day. While it’s understood that sometimes a piece of mobile art or a mutant vehicle interacts with the Man in a creative way, for the most part, vehicles are encouraged to park away from the Man and outside of the “L3K” perimeter (and avoid driving over it). Flame effects and fire-breathing vehicles are discouraged from this area, for obvious reasons. Pay attention to the vibe when you pull into the Man, or up to any other art piece – blasting your music may or may not be a welcome addition to the moment at hand, but don’t assume.
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH OPEN CONTAINER ON MUTANT VEHICLES?
Keith, a 6-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, getting caught can end your burn, especially if the substance found is cocaine based, because of special Federal laws procedures pertaining to that form of possession. And, 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 - we imagine especially so for a disabled burner using what might be the only tool she can use to get around our fair city.
So unless you know the circumstances of their license, please don't be rude to these drivers. Those driving 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.
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. But if you do bring one, remember this:
1. You must obey the 5MPH speed limit and all other driving rules that apply to motorized vehicles.
2. No vehicle can operate at our event after dark without a headlight and taillight.
3. They are loud and annoying. Electric versions are preferred to gas ones, but if you do have a gas version, get one with a muffler or add a muffler.
4. Do your best to decorate it to the point that you are adding to the quality of visual experience on playa instead of detracting from it.
Electric bikes 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 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.
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.
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, and we expect this to be the busiest year yet. 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 maximum carrying capacity for most of the time that Exodus is running. Due to many factors, we simply cannot get vehicles off of the playa any *faster* than we already are.
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 during these peak times. 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.
"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.
For a full list of frequently asked questions about Exodus, go here: http://gate.burningman.com/faq-gate
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.
EXODUS TRAFFIC PULSING
We will be implementing Pulsing again on Sunday and Monday, generally from 10am until 2am (or until there is not a need). Pulsing is a system of moving vehicles at regular intervals toward the highway on Gate Road to avoid the long slow creep forward that challenges the sanity of even the most patient among us. With Pulsing, vehicles stop and turn off their engines. Then, every hour, vehicles are “pulsed” a mile forward all at once.
Pulsing does NOT get you out of the city more quickly, it just lets you take a break from driving. During Pulsing operations, expect to be stopped along Gate Road for periods of time. Listen to BMIR 94.5FM for Exodus and Pulsing info.
Want more info on how Pulsing works? Check it out here: http://gate.burningman.com/Pulsing_Diagram.jpg
Your Exodus Team
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, after MOOP-ing your camp one last time and hugging your neighbors and kissing the playa goodbye, when you're about to hop in your vehicle and begin the journey off-playa and to Burning Man year-round, please stop and make double-triply sure that your load is FULLY SECURED TO YOUR VEHICLE. Absolutely cannot have any random bits and bobs falling off as you drive happily home along the highways...
Second, and this really should go without saying: Never EVER dump your trash on the side of the road, in some rest area, or in some dumpster behind some business. Leave No Trace does not end at the edge of Black Rock City ... no sir, it doesn't!
Errant trash and irresponsible disposal are not only illegal, litter makes Burning Man and all of us look really bad. Not to mention it costs time, energy, and money spent by others to clean up after such all-too-easily avoided messes...
Besides, there are a PLENTITUDE of recycling and responsible trash disposal options in all directions from BRC, open at all hours during Exodus to take a load off at your convenience.
On the journey home you may find roadside trash vendors in Gerlach, Cedarville, Nixon, and Wadsworth. You can find information about all of the recycling and trash centers throughout the region, many operating 24 hours during Exodus, by reading your Survival Guide and taking a look here:
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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