We’re moving along on several of the projects described earlier, so I thought this would be a good week to talk about another change everyone will see on the grounds in 2009 – tram service and transportation. With all the changes, upgrading the way people are moved through the grounds is essential. I asked Karen Kryzaniak of the EAA staff, who is part of the group spending a lot of time on those issues, to give us an update:
Thanks, Steve. We’ve heard many good suggestions about improving tram service on the grounds, and also studied ways to geatly reduce the number of vehicles in some of main areas. While it’s still a work in progress, here are some items that have already been finalized:
The flight line transportation service will be divided into three main sectors. These may be color-coded or marked in some other easy-to-recognize way.
-- The North Route will run in a loop from near Exhibit Hangar A, past the forums and to the warbirds area. There will be double the number of trams from previous years – as many as 10 or 11 at peak times, operating from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Handicapped visitor srvice will also be available.
-- The Central Route will operate through the main exhibit area, past Theater in the Woods and into the Vintage area to the tram headquarters near the Hangar Café. This area will also have double the previous number of trams, operate 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and also have disabled visitors services.
-- The South Route will operate from the Hangar Café to the far south area of showplane camping along Runway 18/36. Here we’ll use buses instead of open trams because of the road conditions and distances that need to be traveled.
Along with this, there will also be bus service from the grounds into Camp Scholler and, as in past years, to the AirVenture Museum and through the North 40 on the perimeter road around Runway 9/27. In addition, there will again be a bus for North 40 campers that makes the short trip to Target, Pick ‘n Save supermarket and other stores in that nearby shopping center.
One thing everyone wants to do is reduce the number of vehicles in prime pedestrian areas, especially in the areas in and around AeroShell Square and the main aircraft displays. Yet we realize services must be maintained, such as trams, garbage collection and toilet cleaning, in that area. Some of what you’ll see is as follows:
-- There will be NO vehicles on the taxiway between the main gate and AeroShell Square;
-- The only vehicles you’ll see on the new pedestrian walkways running northeast and southeast from the main gate will be trams for attendees;
-- Greatly reduced vehicle access “inside the V,” as we’re calling it, in the area that includes AeroShell Square and main aircraft display.
We’re also looking at other ideas to keep vehicles and people separated on the grounds, such as additional designated pedestrian walkways and crossings. Once everything is finalized, we’ll be posting detailed maps on the http://www.airventure.org/ site. We’ve included many ideas from visitors in the process and also brought in site professionals to study the best and safest way to move people and vehicles. Keep watching as it takes shape!