Mike Archbold of King County Journal reports that opponents of Seattle's 20,000-seat White River Amphitheatre will be documenting traffic backups from the air during Saturday's (July 12) Ozzfest 2003 and next Wednesday's NEIL YOUNG concert, both of which are expected to nearly fill the facility for the first time.
Besides videotaping from overhead, opponents will be measuring sound levels in areas around the amphitheater.
Brent Warwick, co-president of the Enumclaw Plateau-based Citizens for Safety and Environment, said the first two concerts — HEART on June 14 and BECK on June 21 — were small shows that didn't draw much more than 6,000 people each, but still created major traffic problems.
"For both of them Auburn got much more traffic problems," Warwick said. "It was worse than imagined."
He said the traffic backups were on the fringe of the worst-case scenarios of both the group's and the city's traffic modeling for small concerts.
Cmdr. Larry Miller, who heads the Auburn Police Department's Patrol Division, agreed that the traffic was bad for both concerts and caused significant backups and delays.
"Ninety percent of the traffic for both concerts came through Auburn (on State Route 164)," he said.
With about 3,500 cars for the HEART concert and about 2,500 for BECK, Warwick said they saw backups on Highway 18 for three or four hours. Traffic was backed up in both lanes on State Route 18 past State Route 167 and up the hill toward Interstate 5, he added. Read more.