By Nick BeJeaux
LSU Football will be back this weekend, and with it the scourge of the human soul that is gameday traffic.
For those of you unacquainted with this monster, picture I-10 East at 5 p.m., make it single lane, and throw in a whole bunch of twists and turns. That is what it is like trying to escape campus after a game at Tiger stadium. So to help you cope with this brain-numbing adventure, we’ve come up with a list of tips we’ve gleaned from over the years of talking with cops, civil engineers, and, of course, driving.
Plan where you park, or you will never get home
Getting into campus to start tailgating is easy; it’s leaving after the game that’s hard. But simply being smart about where you park can save you a lot of headaches – this is where the LSU Football Parking map comes in. LSUsport.net released a map last year in their Fan Zone tab that not only shows where available parking is, but also how the LSUPD will direct the flow of traffic, pedestrian zones, and places that you cannot go.
Everyone has heard horror stories about people who had to drive 60 miles to get to their apartment off of Nicholson, and they probably had to suffer through that because they parked in the wrong area. Also keep in mind that while it may not feel like everything is going smoothly, this map was designed to maximize outward flow into the major roads. It’s for the greater good of everyone in a car, even though it’s terribly and frustrating boring for you.
There are other options to consider besides driving yourself
For those that refuse to deal with LSU gameday traffic at all, there is another option: the Capital Area Transit System’s Touchdown Express. CATS buses make trips to five stops around BR starting three hours before the game and offer trips back up to one hour after the game. UBER is also an option, if they can get to you.
But keep in mind that busses and ride shares have to deal with traffic too, so this option does not make it disappear all together. However, it does give you a while to chill out, decompress, and, if the ride is long enough, take a power nap so you can cap the night at Third Street.
Don’t be afraid to hoof it
Kids these days have more motorized vehicles than any generation of kids before them. Did you even know that people can walk hundreds of miles and survive? Yeah, you can do that. Luckily, that’s not the case because downtown is only 5.5 miles away – of you walk the Acadian Thruway. Still think that’s ridiculous? Good luck driving sucker!
This is really the only way you can beat the traffic on game day, and while it might take you an hour or two to make the journey it could very well take less time than driving out of campus. Also, there are the added benefits of exercise, bragging rights, and getting to the afterparty early.
A word of advice: be extremely careful if you take this approach. Even if you are sober and sticking to the sidewalks, accidents are more likely to happen on gameday and Baton Rouge is not exactly the most pedestrian-friendly city. If you are inebriated, or not comfortable with making the walk, take the bus.
Make an awesome playlist
Here’s another excuse to make another playlist – you can never have too many! Whether you’re walking, riding, or driving, this is a must for gameday transience. It fends off boredom and gives you something to think about other than the traffic jam in which you are currently sitting. Besides, more music in you life is never a bad thing.
Keep Calm and Idle On
The best advice we can give is to keep your head on straight. Driving is a very selfish pursuit; it’s usually very difficult to think that these giant metal boxes on wheels around us are piloted by people, all of whom are trying to do the same thing we are. We’re all trying to get where we’re going, and road rage does not help the traffic move faster. It can however, result in fistacuffs – or a drunken push/slap fight – not even drunk fratboys really want that.