State, Festival Trying to Avoid Repeat of Last Year's Traffic Is - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

State, Festival Trying to Avoid Repeat of Last Year's Traffic Issues at Firefly

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The Firefly Music Festival in Dover is just two weeks away. And event organizers and the state have been working hard to make sure the massive traffic problems that plagued last year's festival don't happen again.

Traffic backed up from Dover to Middletown angering lots festival goers and Delaware residents. US 13 and DE 1 were the worst roads by far. DelDOT and Red Frog Events, which puts on Firefly, want to avoid that this year.

Perhaps the most important part of the potential fix is extending the event from three to four days, which should spread out the arriving traffic.

"Last year we had 100 percent of our traffic on Friday. This year we're expecting a third of our traffic Wednesday, a third Thursday and a third Friday. So, that in and of itself will be helpful." said Greg Bostrom, director of the festival.

Bostrom says there will also be more points of entry and more entry capacity for vehicles this year. That plus new entry technology should get people into the festival and off the roads faster.

DelDOT has been working hard since last June on the new traffic plan. Sec. Shailen Bhatt thinks it will work well. But he's also tempering expectations.

"You can't have 70,000 people show up for a four-day festival and not expect there to be traffic impacts," he said. "I just don't want people to have the expectation that - oh, they made some changes, so this year it will be free flowing all throughout the festival."

Bhatt says while traffic could still be an issue, it's an issue lots of communities would love to have.

In addition to any issues in Dover, the closure of I-495 in Wilmington could cause serious traffic problems in the northern part of the state, too.

Arriving traffic was the big problem last year. So, that's where the focus has been. Exiting traffic was not nearly as bad.
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