Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 6:30am

A special traffic plan will again be put into effect to handle traffic exiting the Warner Park area after the Rhythm and Booms fireworks display on Saturday, June 30. The event sponsors anticipate this year's display to attract more than 250,000 spectators. Following are elements of the plan to guide pedestrians and motorists away from the park area after the event:

• Crossing of and left turns onto Northport Dr will be permitted from northbound School Rd for the first time. This should better serve drivers who have parked west of Warner Park, and south of Northport, and reduce traffic loading on Westport Dr

• At the Highway 113 (Northport Drive)/Highway M intersection, travelers to Waunakee should use the right lane and travelers to Middleton should use the left lane of Northport Drive as they approach this intersection.

• East Washington Avenue between First St & Hwy 30 will be under reconstruction this summer and will be restricted to two lanes in each direction during the weekend of Rhythm & Booms. However, traffic delays are not anticipated in this construction zone.

• County Trunk Highway CV between Wheeler Road and US Highway 51 will be open only for ONE-WAY traffic, toward Highway 51, after the show. Parking on the shoulders of Highways CV and 51, and Hanson Road, as well as airport lands will be prohibited all day Saturday. The County Sheriff's Dept. deputies will patrol these areas.

• More than 200 police officers from the City of Madison Police Department, Dane County Sheriff's Department, the State Patrol and surrounding communities and several Madison traffic engineers will monitor the park as well as direct traffic at numerous intersections within several miles of Warner Park after the event.

• City Traffic Engineering Division crews will place special signs and barricades at key intersections to guide motorists and facilitate traffic flow away from Warner Park. Traffic signals in the Isthmus will also be modified to favor westbound traffic, away from the park.

• Metro Transit System will operate shuttle buses between Warner Park and the MATC parking lot (3,600 stalls) at Anderson and Wright Streets. Bus service will begin at noon on Saturday with 15-minute intervals. After the event, bus service will be continuous for about one hour after the fireworks. The round-trip fare will be $4.00 (children age four and under will ride free). Event sponsors will also charge a $4.00 parking fee at the MATC lot. Police will give priority to buses along the route. There will be no shuttle service for the Sunday rain date.

• Parking: Six parking enforcement officers will be working in the area. Proper parking is an essential component of the safe and orderly movement of traffic. Please look for signage that may restrict parking on streets. Do not block crosswalks, driveways or fire hydrants. It could cost up to $100 if your vehicle is towed. Parking on private property without the owner's permission could cost $40.

• Parking is also available at the airport economy lot, for $6.00 per vehicle, but will be payable upon exit and by credit card only.

• Motorists parked in the Warner Park parking lot during the fireworks will not be permitted to exit the lot for at least one hour after the fireworks (approximately 11:30 p.m.). Vehicles parked in handicap stalls will be given priority in leaving the park. Vehicles over 8000 lbs. including trucks, buses, motor-homes and campers will NOT be permitted in this lot. Paid parking will be available for large vehicles in the Sherman Plaza Shopping Center lot.

A goal of this exit traffic plan is to minimize traffic conflicts and delay for pedestrians and the anticipated 50,000 vehicles attempting to leave the Warner Park area. Spectators may help minimize congestion in the following ways:

(1) Take advantage of the Metro Transit System shuttle bus. Arrive early and park in the
MATC parking lot to ride the shuttle bus to and from Warner Park. Extra service will also be provided on Route 2. Call 266-4466 for schedule information. NOTE: Shuttles will operate for ONE HOUR ONLY following the conclusion of the fireworks display.

(2) Have patience. Approximately 50,000 vehicles will be arriving during the 12 hours prior to
the event. There will be extended delays in moving all these vehicles out of the area in the hours after the event concludes.

(3) Park According to Exit Direction. Motorists who park in the surrounding
neighborhoods should park close to the desired exit direction. For example, those wishing to travel to the northwest should park northwest of Warner Park. The attached map illustrates the desired exit traffic flow pattern. Drivers should review this map and choose a parking area that will minimize travel distance and left turns onto main streets after the event.

Suggested Routes from Warner Park:
• To Middleton - use Gorham Street, Northport Drive or Westport Road
• To Waunakee - use Northport Drive or Westport Road
• To west side Madison - use East Washington Avenue or Gorham Street
• To south side Madison - use East Washington Avenue and John Nolen Dr.
• To east side Madison - use Packers Avenue and Highway 30 (Commercial Avenue)
• To I-90/94 - use Packers Avenue to CTH CV, Anderson Street, or Highway 30


David C. Dryer, P.E.
City Traffic Engineer and Parking Manager

Go to: Exit Traffic Plan map (http://www.cityofmadison.com/trafficengineering/documents/RhythmBoomsExi...)


  • Capt. Richard Bach, MPD-North Side Patrol District245-3652
  • Dan Dettmann/Mark Winter, City Traffic Engineering266-4761