With current estimates of 1 million visitors in Oregon to view the eclipse, we’re planning that 250,000 to 500,000 of them could come to Salem and the surrounding area. Naturally, getting around could be challenging in the days leading up to, and through the August 21 eclipse.
We want residents to be able to enjoy this exciting celestial event. Ditto for visitors. We also want to make sure that anyone visiting the area enjoys our beautiful home state. As we’ve said before, planning ahead is key, so check out these tips so you know how to handle the potential traffic.
The roads around and east of Salem were not designed to handle the number of visitors we may get. In Salem, we are coordinating both internally and externally with county and state agencies to mitigate and address anticipated congestion issues.
For both residents and visitors, if you have a specific location or event to see the eclipse, plan ahead.
Enjoy the Eclipse From Home
If you live in area, and don’t plan on visiting one of the many local events planned, avoid the traffic headache by staying home if you can. Stock up on food, water, medication, and fuel, and let everyone else deal with the crowds.
If You Plan to Travel
We know that many want to go to their favorite spot or attend an eclipse viewing party. If that’s you, you’ll want to follow the Oregon Department of Transportation’s advice of “Plan to have fun. Plan ahead so you can.”
Check out these tips:
- Decide your destination before you go
- Let friends and relatives know where you are going
- Fuel up early-gasoline may become a scarce commodity
- Take at least three days of food and water with you
- Make sure you include a first aid kit, medications, emergency contact information, a paper map of the area, and your cell phone with charger or extra battery
- Be aware that cell service though out the area may not be reliable with so many visitors
- “Go” before you go. No one wants to stand in line waiting to use the bathroom
- Leave early and be prepared for prolonged travel times and heavy traffic
- Monitor traffic and travel by calling 511 or use tripcheck.com
- Stay awhile after the event and avoid some of the congestion
- When you do leave, leave no trace (garbage, litter, etc.)
- Be patient and remember to have fun
The Most Important Tip of All…
Be safe and have fun! Use common sense and be patient. While there will probably be some inconvenient situations due to the crowds, planning ahead will help you, your friends, and family make the most of this out-of-this-world experience.