November 14, 2012
On Thursday night, the University of Virginia will host its first weeknight football game in six years. While no one can predict the outcome of the game, everyone is confident about the amount of traffic it will attract.
On any given day, thousands of UVa. employees fill parking lots all over and around grounds.
"Traffic's always heavy, going out and coming in on those days," UVa. employee Sherri Gustke said.
On Thursday, between 2,000 and 3,000 employees will need to remove their cars from parking lots starting at 4 p.m. Most lots will need to be completely cleared by 5 p.m. to accommodate football fans' parking.
"We will see heavy traffic all day because we have parking lots that need to be vacated," said Rebecca White, UVa.'s director of parking and transportation.
As UVa. employees are forced to leave, thousands of football fans will flood Charlottesville streets. Parking for the game at various lots throughout grounds will open at 5:30 p.m.
CLICK HERE for UVa.'s Thursday night parking plan
"We do have really good plans, great collaborations with the police department and the athletic department," White said.
"We're going to have staff out fairly early to deal with the key intersections to help push out some of the traffic so they don't wind up sitting there for a long period of time," said Charlottesville Police Lt. Ronnie Roberts.
UVa. employees have been kept in the loop through an email sent to all staff. Many say they're anticipating a traffic mess with clogged roads and confused drivers.
Police and university officials say they have advice for anyone not going to the game.
"If you don't need to be in that area, don't," Roberts said.
"Enjoy a very quiet evening at home," White said. "And try not to get on the roads."
For those people who need to leave the lots but are not able to leave work early, parking will be available in the Emmet/Ivy Parking Garage and in the University Hall and John Paul Jones Arena lots.