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Back to the Garden   Print

by Lee Bosco
Orange County Times Herald
June 23, 1998

Peace and love may yet bloom again at August's Day in the Garden concerts, but if the Gerry Foundation has its way, traffic jams will be as much a part of history as the 1969 Woodstock festival.

That's the purpose of the foundation's 25-page transportation plan for the Aug. 14-16 shows that could draw up to 30,000 people per day to the field at the corner of Hurd Road and West Shore Drive.

The plan, worked out by the Granite Foundation's Darrell Supac and engineers from Creighton Manning Engineering of Delmar, NY, calls for 26 traffic control points spread out on all roads leading to the event. A combination of state police, Sullivan County sheriff's personnel and Gerry Foundation employees will man the checkpoints.

Also included in the plan are four parking lots within walking distance of the concert. Capacity for those lots is a minimum of 7,500 vehicles. Additional parking near Jaketown Road will hold 1,600 vehicles. Sullivan County International Airport will hold another 500. Shuttle buses will ferry concert-goers from Jaketown Road and the airport to the site.

"The idea is to keep the traffic flowing and not disturb residents and tourists who may not be going to the show but still need to use the roads," said Supac.

To do that, the Gerry Foundation has built in controls which Supac feels will help alleviate traffic headaches.

- Anyone without a parking pass will not be allowed near the site.

- Local residents and some local businesses will be issued special passes which will allow them to pass through the checkpoints.

- Parking passes will be color-coded to each day's event.

- Maps of the local area will go out with each ticket package to prevent concert-goers from getting lost.

- Shuttle buses will travel between outlying parking areas and the site.

- Tow trucks will be stationed at key points along the entrance and exit routes to clear disabled or abandoned vehicles.

- A combination of state and local law enforcement officials and Gerry Foundation representatives will be staged at check points to assist guests.

- Charter bus service from New York City, Philadelphia and Boston will deliver concert-goers to the site between 11 a.m. and noon and pick them up after the show.

- Ticketed guests will be encouraged to arrive at the site early. Attractions are planned to entertain early arrivals prior to the concerts which will start at noon.

- Six alternative entrance and exit routes will be designed on small roads to reduce traffic on Route 17B, the county's main road to the site.

- Signs will be posted directing ticket-holders to their parkimg area.

"The Creighton group is very experienced at this kind of plan," said Supac of the organization that has worked with the state police and the Department of Transportation on events like Woodstock '94 in Saugerties. "We also solicited input from law enforcement organizations in the area. They have experience with traffic control gained from years of unorganized events. Their suggestions were valuable and we incorporated them in the planning."

What people say

"I don't know the bands and $80 is too much. If they changed the bands to Backstreet Boys, Boys 2 Men, New Edition or Shaggy, me and my friends would go."
-- Heather Avery, 18, student, Liberty.

"There are a lot of Jamaicans up here who really get into Ziggy Marley, so I know they'll show up for that day. But the other bands I don't know anything about them. The price is reasonable -- it's a historic site and the concert will keep that tradition going
-- Kelvin Thomas, 20, mall employee, Monticello

"Great performers, really representative of the original Woodstock and people. A lot of money for a day, and you don't even get a chair."
-- Annie Schmeller, 42, Circleville

"I know of Woodstock, I don't know any of the singers. It's very expensive, for only a day."
-- Roberta Rivera, 24, Middletown

"Terrific concert idea, as far as the performers go, it's a very good mix. I would go on Friday. The price is cheap, for a full day of entertainment like that. I'd pay 40 bucks just to see the Stones at the Meadowlands just for the night."
-- Joe Doucette, 39, Middletown

"It sounds pretty cool, better if I knew who all the performers are. I'd rather go to a fancy restaurant with my girlfriend then waste the money to see people that I don't really know."
-- Joe Spano, 19, Middletown

"It's a good thing, it's too far to go though. It's a good price if you have your own camping equipment."
-- Bob Francis, 40, Middletown

"I don't who they are, I don't think I know any of them. I could listen to them for a day in the mud for that much? I would rather sit on my sofa and listen to a CD."
-- Gloria Woodie, 49, Greenville

"Sounds like a really interesting day, a lot of good performers. I think the price is pretty reasonable, especially when you can pay 40 dollars to see one act."
-- Jessica Samuels, 21, Milford, Pa.

What local folks say about the performers and price of A Day in the Garden:

"It's a good selection of artists who keep with the theme of Woodstock. If you like the bands, I guess $70 isn't too bad. I don't know if I'll go."
-- Linda Darnell, 27, postal worker, Loch Sheldrake

"I would never spend that kind of money on a concert of people I've never heard of. Now, if they brought a Broadway show or the New York Philharmonic, then I'd go."
-- Shirley Rosencrantz, 73, retired,Loch Sheldrake.

"I wouldn't go near it with a 10 foot pole. It's the last thing this county needs. I didn't go to the first one and I won't go to this one."
-- Peter Kowalczyk, 46, social worker, Sullivan County

"Woodstock doesn't affect me, so I don't pay it any mind. But I definitely wouldn't pay $70 for something like that."
-- Annie Luster, 64, retired, South Fallsburg.

"The music is too broad. It's not focused on Woodstock. The concert is a great thing ... it's about time. But the price is crazy. Say you have a family of four, that's nearly $300. Without camping? Forget about it. They are going after city yuppies because local people will be working to make a buck."
-- Dan Sarnicola, 27, farm manager, Bethel

"To me it's a positive thing. It means we're going in the right direction and will draw people into the county. Yeah there'll be traffic but those cars will bring money. The bands are good, I know all of them. And the price is OK -- you're paying for tradition."
-- Jose Nieves, 36, owner Sullivan County Auto Detailing, Loch Sheldrake.

"The musical line-up is all right. I could deal with it. But I wouldn't pay $70 bucks to see that bunch. The only one who'll benefit is the guy putting it on. He should put in a performing arts center so it's a year 'round attraction, not a two-day once-a-year event."
-- Guy Gugliotta, 30, truck driver, Livingston Manor

"I don't know the bands and $80 is too much. If they changed the bands to Backstreet Boys, Boys 2 Men, New Edition or Shaggy, me and my friends would go."
-- Heather Avery, 18, student, Liberty.

"There are a lot of Jamaicans up here who really get into Ziggy Marley, so I know they'll show up for that day. But the other bands I don't know anything about them. The price is reasonable -- it's a historic site and the concert will keep that tradition going
-- Kelvin Thomas, 20, mall employee, Monticello

"Great performers, really representative of the original Woodstock and people. A lot of money for a day, and you don't even get a chair."
-- Annie Schmeller, 42, Circleville

"I know of Woodstock, I don't know any of the singers. It's very expensive, for only a day."
-- Roberta Rivera, 24, Middletown

"Terrific concert idea, as far as the performers go, it's a very good mix. I would go on Friday. The price is cheap, for a full day of entertainment like that. I'd pay 40 bucks just to see the Stones at the Meadowlands just for the night."
-- Joe Doucette, 39, Middletown

"It sounds pretty cool, better if I knew who all the performers are. I'd rather go to a fancy restaurant with my girlfriend then waste the money to see people that I don't really know."
-- Joe Spano, 19, Middletown

"It's a good thing, it's too far to go though. It's a good price if you have your own camping equipment."
-- Bob Francis, 40, Middletown

"I don't who they are, I don't think I know any of them. I could listen to them for a day in the mud for that much? I would rather sit on my sofa and listen to a CD."
-- Gloria Woodie, 49, Greenville

"Sounds like a really interesting day, a lot of good performers. I think the price is pretty reasonable, especially when you can pay 40 dollars to see one act."
-- Jessica Samuels, 21, Milford, Pa.

 

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