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THE PLAYERS proactive for parking, traffic into the weekend

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Updated: 5/09/2013 8:46 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- With another record-setting turnout expected this weekend at The Players, staff are working to ensure traffic and parking are not problems for those attending.

The tournament at TPC Sawgrass is a family tradition for the Meeks of St. Augustine. They always count on beautiful scenery and sprawling greenery. But they say, there's a price to pay for the breathtaking views.

"Parking is kind of bad," said Meeks. "This year wasn't that bad but probably not as good as it could be."

TPC Sawgrass property can hold an estimated 14,000 cars in the primary parking lot.

Action News obtained a bird's-eye view of that lot, and the picture proves the parking lot is always packed.

Tournament chairman, Robert Davis, predicts record attendance this weekend. Action News asked if there's enough spaces for everyone coming to the big show.

"We believe so, especially if people take the car pooling," said Davis.

This year, The Players' is offering free parking to any car with at least four passengers and more than 2,000 people already redeemed the pass for Saturday.

That means 8,000 people will attend Saturday and only take a fourth of the parking spaces.

But getting to the tournament is also a concern for many attending The Players.

As law enforcement keeps cars flowing near TPC Sawgrass, Ryan Crist acts as a quarterback. He coordinates traffic control from a high-tech center nearly 30 miles away.

"An informed motorist is going to be able to make smart decisions on what they're doing if they are aware of what lies ahead," said Crist.

Crist studies traffic patterns like a playbook. That's why officials with The Players tapped his team for help this year.

There's a new tool in FDOT's arsenal. The traffic control center in Jacksonville has a plane in flight monitoring traffic patterns from the sky. For DOT traffic information updates, people can call 511.

"As traffic gets built up in one area we have release valves where we can now looking at the slope from the sky," said Davis.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

barbnjohn - 5/13/2013 8:35 AM
0 Votes
Well, Mr. Crist, epic fail on your parking plan. I was also in the same lot as hig4s, which was also where handicapped parking was. Every lot was cleared out and ours was saved for last. The sole volunteer refused to radio for help and the SJSO officer (J. Priester) was unhelpful and confrontational. The current plan is clearly non-ADA compliant and the PGA is lucky no one in the lot needed medical attention.

hig4s - 5/13/2013 7:24 AM
0 Votes
My friends and I have been going to TPC every year for14 years, this was the worst parking issues ever.. We waited an hour and 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot. One major issue was those of us that came in early were put in the farthest lot from the exit and were the last to be let out. What was really stupid was we were parked right next to a gate on Palm Valley Rd. It could have been opened and they could had anyone using he turn right only. Another problem was they had police at the Mickler traffic circle stopping traffic to "help". If left along the traffic circle would have done it's job and traffic would have continued to flow. Several times they would stop one side of the circle and it would be backed up all the way around to the lane they were trying to let out so no one could move. They made a big fuss that they had a new company doing parking, well they need to be fired, not given a chance to screw it up again next year.
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