Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

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Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby trilobyte » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:35 pm

New for 2014, all vehicles entering Black Rock City need to have a $40 vehicle pass. Please take some time to read this excellent blog post, which discusses the issue of traffic and vehicle passes in detail. They'll be sold in advance during all ticket sales.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Cactus Pete » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:15 pm

Re-posting right from the Blog:
Two questions come immediately to mind:

1) Will non-participant vehicles need these?
Every water truck and loo-sucker? DPW trucks? How about the trucks used to haul the containers (local or otherwise) on and off the playa? Being from Boston, we’ve had some issues in the past with the “vendor pass” system and getting our containers on site. Will this be one more hoop for us?

2) What to do with trash?
In years past, when our mid-sized camp did an efficient job of carpooling, nobody has room for trash at the end of the event. As un-green as it is, we’ve actually asked people to ease up on that efficiency in past years (until other solutions were created). This is going to make trash a pretty tricky issue for most non-mega-camps.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby cosmic-honey » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:30 pm

I can dig it!
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby trilobyte » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:30 pm

DPW/services company vehicles do not eat into that number.

As for hauling out your trash, you've got exactly the same responsibilities as every other camp. Trash isn't that difficult to sort out, my camp's nowhere near a megacamp and it's pretty easy. First, a good LNT plan would give some thought to ways you can reduce the amount of trash you bring out there, and second, make sure you factor in the space you'll need for packing your trash out on any truck rentals you book. If you're not renting a truck or have campmates with vans, pickups, etc, you'll just need to factor that in. Theoretically it should all fit, since the trash you're packing out is stuff you all carried out there to begin with.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby shLong » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:38 pm

What are the odds that the passes will sell out?
Meaning, can I wait until I know my ride situation before I pay the $40? (which may be July/August)

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby DrYes » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:47 pm

My guess is they don't sell out, if at all, until mid august. There couldn't have been many more than that many vehicles there last year. I assume they're introducing this now because they expect BM to grow per their permit the next few years, while slowly widening the gap between passes sold and vehicle passes sold.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby trilobyte » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:48 pm

According to the info in the post, the average was 1.9 humans per vehicle in the past. Last year's population was just shy of 70K, and that works out to around 36K. I think we'll see a slightly lower population from last year, and with passes being a thing people will actively look to reduce the number of vehicles they use.

I know that in my camp, we had a few use the Burner Express bus last year and had good experiences. We'll probably see more people using it this year.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:58 pm

And then, what is the theoretical maximum of Burner Express passengers? And will it be possible to get them all out during Exodust?
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby VultureChow » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:04 pm

I see it another way. I see a high potential for hoarding vehicle passes. They are not that expensive, and it's yet another limited commodity for people to worry about.

Given the numbers, it should be enough, but it all comes down to the distribution.

I'm not worrying about it. The man will burn, and I will be there. I'm just interested to see how it works out.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby shLong » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:18 pm

trilobyte wrote: I think we'll see a slightly lower population from last year.

Human or vehicle?

If human, may I ask why?

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Valgar » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:34 pm

I assume this will not apply to a towed in vehicle? I tow in the Mutard each year for Thunderdome, use it the week before for transport, let camp mates take it for bathroom runs (Seriously, it turns into the camp whore by the 2nd day of the pre-week), then park it as camp decor for the event (because a murderous mad-max motorcycle with skulls and spikes doesn't have enough 'whimsy' to be an art car).

It reads as if it is per-vehicle, no talk of trailers, number of axles, etc. If so, that is good.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:45 pm

Instead of raising prices they find ways to slap on new taxes.
Reminds me of something... oh yes, our government!
Oh well... mo' money, mo' money...
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby MikeGyver » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:51 pm

I'm guessing not, but do event staff vehicles count? DPW probably does since those are personal, but what about all the perimeter vehicles?
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Patamon » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:55 pm

I don't want to be a pessimist, but how is 35K passes going to cut it?

Everyone will horde and get the max passes (2) when they buy their tickets. it WILL happen, people horde $380 tickets, why not $40 passes?

This means after the early bird sales, and the camp (15K ticket) sales, there could be little to zero passes left for the other 40K tickets.

Then what? a black market in $40 passes. Not sure this was thought out very well.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby ozwald8804 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:59 pm

Patamon wrote:I don't want to be a pessimist, but how is 35K passes going to cut it?

Everyone will horde and get the max passes (2) when they buy their tickets. it WILL happen, people horde $380 tickets, why not $40 passes?

This means after the early bird sales, and the camp (15K ticket) sales, there could be little to zero passes left for the other 40K tickets.

Then what? a black market in $40 passes. Not sure this was thought out very well.



Whatever happened to people buying what they need and being happy with that? Why horde vehicle passes unless you are planning a black market resell?

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Canoe » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:01 pm

VultureChow wrote:I see it another way. I see a high potential for hoarding vehicle passes. They are not that expensive, and it's yet another limited commodity for people to worry about....

+1000

If you're not sure how many your camp will need, then "you'd better grab what you can so you're not doing without".
Last edited by Canoe on Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:06 pm

About two more fucked-up schemes like this one and I'll be done with all of this.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Canoe » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:08 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:About two more fucked-up schemes like this one and I'll be done with all of this.

What does one do? Leave the truck in Gerlach while someone with a pass comes out and takes you and your trailer in?
That sounds like fun...

If there was no cap on the number of vehicle passes, they could make a killing for road repair with the created "scarcity".
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby oly14 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:14 pm

VultureChow wrote:I see it another way. I see a high potential for hoarding vehicle passes. They are not that expensive, and it's yet another limited commodity for people to worry about.

Given the numbers, it should be enough, but it all comes down to the distribution.

I'm just interested to see how it works out.

I'm with VultureChow on this one. The vehicle pass is a relatively inexpensive commodity and I would be inclined to get the maximum available to me when I purchase my ticket 'just in case'. If the 3000 pre-sale purchasers get their limit and the 15,000 directed group sale get their limit, that's 18,000, more than half. Yikes.

As others have noted, it will be interesting to see if there is a "SVPEP" for people that realize they got more than they needed.
Last edited by oly14 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Patamon » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:17 pm

Whatever happened to people buying what they need and being happy with that? Why horde vehicle passes unless you are planning a black market resell?


Because at $40 bucks a pop, you might as well pick up extra "just in case" for camp mates.

As a camp organizer, I can tell you it is 100% IMPOSSIBLE to know whose going to be in camp, and whose going to be driving what Vehicle 6 months in advance. completely impossible, so the wise thing to do is to tell your camp mates to get as many vehicle passes as possible during ticket purchase time, and then figure out the passes once you get to early summer.

This whole thing is going to be 2011/12 all over again.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Canoe » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:23 pm

Patamon wrote:... so the wise thing to do is to tell your camp mates to get as many vehicle passes as possible during ticket purchase time, and then figure out the passes once you get to early summer.

This whole thing is going to be 2011/12 all over again.

Like really. They couldn't see this coming?

One hope:
blog.burningman.com/2014/01/news/solving-the-burning-man-traffic-issues/ wrote:There will be an initial allotment made for 35,000 Vehicle Passes.


And someone said.
This means a 26 ton box truck can pay less per person than a 3000 pound light truck that can't fit more people in.
So it's an incentive to bring the heaviest most road damaging thing you have, if you live close.

Road damage is done by pounds per inch.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby moonwatcher » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:39 pm

Well, as I look at different scenarios with the vehicle passes, one scenario I do NOT see is a 2012-style panic scenario.
I do not know if the 35k number for passes is a hard number imposed by BLM and NDOT. Assuming it is NOT contractually imposed, BM could easily say "ooops, we need more passes" and add passes to the individual sale. Maybe limiting their number to one per purchase.
Actually, this scenario would penalize hoarders and scammers (those who plan to take advantage of scarcity) by sticking them with now-almost-worthless vehicle passes.

Another fix would be to make vehicle passes eligible for STEP...

There is a constructive side to vehicle passes. It may force camps and individuals to think about how we move things and people to/from the playa.
Buy the ticket, take the ride!

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:41 pm

Patamon wrote:Because at $40 bucks a pop, you might as well pick up extra "just in case" for camp mates.


I can only say "word" to this.
I'm sure every camp has some totally disorganized people that wait until the last minute.

I guess we can assume vehicle passes will be available through STEP?

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Patamon » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:47 pm

There is a constructive side to vehicle passes. It may force camps and individuals to think about how we move things and people to/from the playa.


Uhhh... wut?

You say that is if that isn't the case every single year.

Not sure about your camp, but we have multiple meetings and discussions about transpo and how to most efficiently get stuff to the playa, and then individuals in camp repeat that process again with their own transportation needs.

Are there really that many hippies who just whimsically decide to go to the event, throw a bunch of crap into a Ford Pinto and drive to the playa by themselves?

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby AlexMN1984 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:51 pm

One thing that is not clear is whether we will be allowed to buy more vehicle passes than tickets. For instance, if I purchase 1 ticket, can I buy 2 vehicle passes, or would I need to purchase a 2nd ticket to be able to get a 2nd vehicle pass?

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby moonwatcher » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:58 pm

Hi Patamon,
there are highly organized camps...and highly disorganized camps. I've seen camps ask neighboring camps to move things to accommodate late arrivals, etc.
Many of the smaller camps (<50) do not get rolling on their prep until late spring/early summer.

Highly organized camps, camps that have many years of experience on the playa, probably already know how many vehicle passes they will need (+/-).
Buy the ticket, take the ride!

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby moonwatcher » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:00 pm

Yes, I was wondering about that.
Forcing a one ticket/one pass rule would be another way for BM to avoid a 2012-style panic. There is still time to do that.


AlexMN1984 wrote:One thing that is not clear is whether we will be allowed to buy more vehicle passes than tickets. For instance, if I purchase 1 ticket, can I buy 2 vehicle passes, or would I need to purchase a 2nd ticket to be able to get a 2nd vehicle pass?
Buy the ticket, take the ride!

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby AntiM » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:38 am

Patamon wrote:
Because at $40 bucks a pop, you might as well pick up extra "just in case" for camp mates.



Not me. The other folks in my camp are big boys and girls, they can buy their own passes, or figure it out. We had two vehicles in camp last year, half the camp rode in with others. Not going to hoard vehicle passes, no "just in case" scenarios.

Does that make you feel any better?

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby Corvus » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:53 am

VultureChow wrote:I'm not worrying about it. The man will burn, and I will be there. I'm just interested to see how it works out.
This should be every burnar's mantra.

I'm wondering about the road damage comment. What with the sheetrock plant in Empire closing a couple years ago, I can see Ingress/Exodus being the most traffic by far for the two weeks they happen, but the number of BRC citizens driving 80,000 lb semitrailers has to be pretty miniscule.

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Re: Vehicle Passes and Burning Man Traffic Issues

Postby quadraspleen » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:18 am

Loving the way the Borg is giving us a new thing to bitch about every year!

What next year I wonder? Mandated Tank Girl boots for the ladies and tutus for the guys?

FTR I think vehicle passes are a great idea. Anything that lowers the vehicle count in/around/off Playa is good in my book, but what do I know....

Seeya in August! (In a vehicle; with a pass)

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