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dmccall

Absurd Dean Dome Experience

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After busting our humps and leaving some of the day's work undone, we got to University Mall at 7:25 for the 8:00 game intending to ride the bus system. We were amazed when we saw a line of people 1/2 the length of the mall waiting in cold rain with no busses in sight.

THIRTY FIVE minutes later (at game time, mind you), we finally boarded a bus headed to the Dean Dome. Little did we know that the trip would take an additional 30 minutes. After sitting in front of Hinton James dorm on Manning Dr. waiting to turn left for FIFTEEN MINUTES, we finally arrived at the Dean Dome at 8:30.

EIGHT THIRTY!!! In other words, it took over an hour for the transit system to move us TWO MILES. This is a second-rate, inexcusable excuse for "accomodating the fans". We were in line with people who had driven through rain for over two hours to get to University Mall, and they were seriously ticked-off. In fact, my sister-in-law went to the Friday Center and had the same experience.

It won't take too many more experiences like this to turn fans off for good and leave the University wondering what happened (see empty seats in Kenan Stadium). Somebody at the University, the Town of Chapel Hill, and/or Chapel Hill Transit has some serious explaining to do, especially if Chapel Hill and UNC want to be taken seriously. I keep on running into things like this in Chapel Hill. NOTHING is easy over there. Whether it is buying shelves, poster board, or going to entertainment events. There are too many things in the Raleigh area on which to spend our money and time to put up with this.

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I went to a football game at Clemson this year and they had a fantastic trasit system. They dedicate lanes for buses only which allows them to zip right into the stadium. 5 minute commute tops.

I'd imagine it would be alittle more difficult to do in Chapel Hill given its size, but dedicating lanes part of the way during game days would really cut down on time for buses. They should at least consider this.

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The timing of the busses arriving does seem bad, but there really isn't any easy solution in reducing the time on the bus. If you dedicate a lane for busses, you now have 6,000+ vehicles in one lane instead of 2. Even converting manning drive to 3 lanes in one direction still leaves you with a bottleneck at the entrance to parking spots. (maybe pushing park and ride even more and reversing a lane on manning and making it "bus only" might be a decent solution)

While I definitely sympathize wth you, the problem is not a Chapel Hill problem. Any time you assemble 20,000 plus people in a small amount of space and they arrive and leave simultaneously, you are going to have a logistical problem. Unless you have an interstate adjacent or rail solution, there will be a traffic jam. I don't even want to talk about the hour I spent getting out of Charlotte last year at the tire bowl. This is why I definitely think that the TTA rail system should go to our major venues. It could help ease game time headaches and serve as park and rides at other times.

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Hopefully this will happen again for the State game in early January :P The less people the better I say! ;)

j/k guys, I guess I'm spoiled with parking at the RBC Center for State basketball games, we whip in and out in 5 minutes (I guess thats a perk of being out in a field next to an interstate).

I'm going to the tire bowl this year, but we're taking the train to Charlotte - hopefully there won't be many delays and we can get there before kickoff!

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I'm going to the bowl game in Charlotte, too - the Meineke Car Care bowl, in fact. Wish we could have taken the train (I suggested it) but I'm going with a pretty big group who turned it down on account of driving being less expensive.

Oh well!

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Word of advice: beware I-85 outside of salisbury. Coming into Charlotte will probably be fine, but 64 is probaby a much better drive back to the triangle. When I went last year, I went a little early to snap some pictures and ended up parking in Hearst. Getting out of Charlotte took a while though.

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The timing of the busses arriving does seem bad, but there really isn't any easy solution in reducing the time on the bus. If you dedicate a lane for busses, you now have 6,000+ vehicles in one lane instead of 2. Even converting manning drive to 3 lanes in one direction still leaves you with a bottleneck at the entrance to parking spots. (maybe pushing park and ride even more and reversing a lane on manning and making it "bus only" might be a decent solution)

While I definitely sympathize wth you, the problem is not a Chapel Hill problem. Any time you assemble 20,000 plus people in a small amount of space and they arrive and leave simultaneously, you are going to have a logistical problem. ...

Hmmm. It almost makes one think that something OTHER than a bus, like, I dunno... maybe a <gasp> TRAIN might provide more efficient transportation to events and venues where thousands of people are concentrated on one area. Oh-- no, wait, that can't be possible. Rosemary Waldorf said that buses always provide the best option since that's the case in one city in Canada and that Chapel Hill can't use a train because its bus system is one of the best in the state. What was I thinking, geez....

:P

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Have you been to a game before? No offence intended, but you should know better than to try and arrive a half hour before tip off and expect to be in your seat on time. I think anyone who knows Chapel HIll well would know this...

Also, there are plenty of places where you can park your car and walk to the DES center, but you do have to pay a few bucks.

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When I didn't live in Chapel Hill I used to take the bus from UM to the football games and never had a problem. In fact I thought they ran pretty efficiently but that was about 8 years ago. I can walk to bball games now but have noticed that the buses are packed like sardine cans.

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Have you been to a game before? No offence intended, but you should know better than to try and arrive a half hour before tip off and expect to be in your seat on time. I think anyone who knows Chapel HIll well would know this...

Also, there are plenty of places where you can park your car and walk to the DES center, but you do have to pay a few bucks.

I'm not talking about getting to "my seat on time". IT SHOULD NOT TAKE 65 MINUTES TO GET TO THE DEAN DOME FROM 2 MILES AWAY. (yes I am screaming). Please re-read the note. Remember the whole thing about the line going half the length of the mall with no busses in sight? Most of the people there had been there 45 min. or more before game time. Remember the whole thing about how the same thing happened at the Friday Center?

I spent nine years in schools over there. I know Chapel Hill and its bus system as well as anyone, thank you. Please explain why it took 15 minutes to move a bus 100 yards in front of Hinton James dorm. In my 20 years of going to the Dean Dome, I have never seen such a debacle (now, of course, we could talk about all of the design flaws to the Dean Dome and how ridiculous the whole situation is even for a normal game, but I digress).

It's funny how each person who wants to blame the hundreds of us in line didn't actually go to the game.

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I went to the game and live 2-3 miles from the dean dome. I left at 7:15 for the 8:00 game. I've never done park and ride for a carolina game, but I definitey agree that busses should show up more than 30 minutes before game time.

Improvements can be made, but it comes down to two things Access and Parking. Chapel Hill/UNC have intentionally created a shortage of parking to push their mass transit. I curse DPS at least once a week for lots not being available at certain times or becoming pay lots. Truth of the matter is that while its not perfect, the bus system actually makes up for a great deal of it. Chapel Hill, moreso than any other triangle city, is very mass transit friendly. It works fine most days of the year but when 15,000 out of towners descend on the town, its tough to convince all of them to take mass transit. The "field o'parking" isn't there, thats the main reason traffic backs up.

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Did you ever consider walking those 2 miles?

I'm not blaming anyone, obviously if your story is completely true then the chapel hill folx need to rework the bus system to handle this. But when I go to games, and I am also an alum, I usually arrive AT LEAST an hour early. I usually forego the park and ride mess and pay the 5-10 bucks it costs to park on franklin street. Sometimes I arrive even earlier and have dinner there and then stroll down to the DES center. I understand b/c of work constraints not everyone can do this. And I wish we lived in a perfect world where the busses always run on time and everyone is happy. But you have to be realistic about this sort of thing, you have to know there are going to be delays, and you have to find the best way around them.

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Psssssh walking is my main form of transit in Chapel Hill and I've made that walk several times. With late games however, it just makes more sense to drive at least half the distance. Even though I've done it, its not a good idea hiking through poorly lit areas late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Besides I wasn't the one complaining, I was there 15 minutes before tip.

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I would compare Clemson to Chapel Hill in this case. Clemson has its share of problems when it comes to football games (basketball for Carolina since nobody goes to their football games) The roads get flooded with too many cars at one time, however, clemson does convert all lanes but one to exit their city center. CH doesn't do this for some odd reason. A good example of this is Edwards Mill Rd. CH needs to get everyone out 2 or 3 ways to help alleviate these problems. If Clemson can do it for Death Valley (95000 people) then I think CH can do it for Dean Smith Center (21000 people)

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I would compare Clemson to Chapel Hill in this case. Clemson has its share of problems when it comes to football games (basketball for Carolina since nobody goes to their football games) The roads get flooded with too many cars at one time, however, clemson does convert all lanes but one to exit their city center. CH doesn't do this for some odd reason. A good example of this is Edwards Mill Rd. CH needs to get everyone out 2 or 3 ways to help alleviate these problems. If Clemson can do it for Death Valley (95000 people) then I think CH can do it for Dean Smith Center (21000 people)

True, they do have some traffic problems when 95K come into the small town of Clemson. Chapel Hill is closer to more major roads than Clemson is though. I still think their bus system is great down there and the park and ride lots further out really helps things out. I was surprised by their transit system for such a small community. The busses are great.

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