New traffic plan to be put to the test starting Thurby

New traffic plan to be put to the test starting Thurby
Churchill Downs (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Up to 300,000 people will be visiting Churchill Downs Derby weekend and a new transportation and traffic plan was designed to get guests in and out of the track faster.

Chain linked fences are now in place along Central Avenue. Starting Thurby, the street will be restricted. On Oaks and Derby Days, Central Avenue will be exclusively used by shuttle buses from the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Churchill Downs has 300 shuttles buses in place this year, but they won't be running from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium like in years past.

"For Uber, Lyft, any family or friends d ropping you off, that needs to happen at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and you will make that short walk over," Churchill Downs Spokesperson Katherine Kington North said.

It's about a mile walk and the fences that line a path down Central Avenue to the track take pedestrians to one of two openings.

The only openings are at 3rd and 9th streets, where you can cross Central Avenue.

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"It is really meaningful for the folks at TARC to be back in and be part of Derby once again," TARC's Executive Director Barry Barker said.

It's been 13 years since federal regulation stopped TARC from participating in Derby shuttles.

"The buses have padded seats, they have luggage racks, along with individual reading lights where you can charge your phone," Barker said.

If your Oaks or Derby tickets didn't come with reserved parking at the track or Exposition Center, TARC Routes 4, 6, and 29 are other options to get you closer to Churchill Downs.

"Please pre-plan your trip and be patient when leaving," LMPD Lt. Micah Scheu said.

LMPD will be directing traffic changes and out patrolling for drunk drivers. The SWAT team along with metal detectors will also have a presence at the track.

"LMPD as well as our partners are committed to making this a secure event," Lt. Jill Hume said.

If you live or have a business near a restricted road, LMPD says you will be able to get to where you need to go. The road closings are on specific days, can be found here.

Click here for the parking plan at Churchill Downs.

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