Sunlight supply Amphitheater website traffic flagger Chad Cooper directs traffic prior to an Incubus concert in Ridgefield. Next-door neighbors of the amphitheater say traffic concerns have gotten worse end the past few years. Photo Gallery

RIDGEFIELD — Carol Roark has learned to it is adapted to concert nights at sunlight Supply Amphitheater.

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“I have actually a household room means in the back of my house, so ns go in there and turn increase the volume top top the TV,” claimed Roark. “I stay up late and also make sure I have enough beer. Ns have whatever I need to have and also just remain home.”

Roark has remained in Ridgefield due to the fact that 1995, and also lives practically across Northwest 179th Street indigenous the parking many the Clark county Event center at the Fairgrounds. ~ above concert nights, car are anywhere her neighborhood, yet it’s not the car or also the musicians she’s trying to drown out. It’s the flaggers.

“I deserve to hear them yelling in mine house,” she said. “They’re therefore loud and obnoxious.”

Neighbors have actually had concerns with the amphitheater because it opened in 2003, but a few who live near by speak they feel choose amphitheater-related troubles have worsened noticeably in the previous two years.

“They have actually to control it an ext so that won’t impact our neighborhood,” claimed Ramezan Nafeie, who has lived in Ridgefield because 1975 and also who has actually owned the Chevron station ideal by the amphitheater since 1981. “Our ar isn’t peaceful.”


One possible reason traffic appears to have worsened because that concerts in current years is due to the fact that nobody in ~ the county was in charge of amphitheater-related issues. The county’s contact person because that the amphitheater left for another job, and amphitheater duties weren’t reassigned come anyone else.

Bridget Schwarz, president of the Fairgrounds ar Association, said the county didn’t realize there was nobody in charge till the association got to out around a variety of issues.

“We want to make certain the county is hosted accountable and also the amphitheater runs favor it’s supposed to,” she said.

Matt Griswold, county traffic engineer and operations manager with Public Works, and Marilee McCall, county ar relations coordinator, have because taken end amphitheater duties and correspondence because that the county. Component of the process for Griswold and McCall to be to go ago through the traffic administration plan, i beg your pardon was produced in 2004. The neighbors had a role in setting that up in addition to officials indigenous the county, amphitheater and also the Washington State room of Transportation.

The association developed in 1999 in reaction come the county functioning toward structure the amphitheater. The neighborhood association hosted its own meetings, did its own studies and worked v the county on that is concerns about traffic, noise and other issues. The combination tried to protect against the construction of the amphitheater however was unsuccessful.


“I don’t also want come think around what the to work of the amphitheater would certainly be like,” Schwarz said. “We didn’t protect against them, but we certain made lock safer.”

She didn’t hear much around amphitheater problems for a while but started to hear part grumblings from neighbors more recently. What made Schwarz begin to take them seriously was the Dixie chicken concert on July 9, 2016. She claimed it took she 32 minutes to travel about 2 miles once heading home. A little an ext than a month later, she was stuck in traffic for practically a half-hour in the exact same spot while trying to gain home the night the a heart concert.

Those to be the two most well-attended concert at the amphitheater critical year, with Heart happen in 15,797 guests and also 14,909 human being attending the Dixie chicken at the 18,000-capacity venue, according to last year’s yearly concert event report for the county.

Griswold stated one issue with getting drivers off the highway departure ramp was the the very first two web traffic lights weren’t in sync for a while, however that trouble has to be corrected. An additional issue is, when civilization park adjacent and walk end to the amphitheater, they push the pedestrian crossing button, i beg your pardon throws turn off the lights.

“It’ll correct itself eventually,” said Scott Langer, southwest an ar traffic engineer through WSDOT, i m sorry operates the area through the offramp. “When you have that massive of traffic, even losing one cycle really effects things.”


At the Dixie Chicks and also Heart concerts last year, the two lights appropriate at the offramp to be switched to manual instead of signalized, however Langer said he prefers the lights to continue to be signalized. He claimed it’s around keeping the vehicles tightly spaced and also avoiding dead time.

“There’s a suggest where when you provide too much green time,” he said. “There’s a suggest where the cars gain so spaced the end that you’re actually shedding capacity.”

One problem neighbors have actually with the amphitheater is the earlier start times because that concerts. In the original agreement, weekday concert weren’t claimed to start until 8 p.m. To provide neighbors a opportunity to gain home indigenous work and avoid the concertgoers. However, because that concerts with reduced expected turnout, the amphitheater can obtain permission from the county and also department of transportation to begin earlier. This year, no one of the weekday concerts are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

Griswold claimed he request the amphitheater to do an updated traffic study for weekdays for this reason he deserve to see exactly how the previously start times affect traffic.

Instead that redoing the traffic management plan right now, McCall said, it could make more sense to make modifications to it together the facilities changes. There’s a pretty huge change coming the could affect amphitheater traffic: a new stretch the Northeast 10th Avenue and also a bridge over Whipple Creek as component of job-related to boost Northeast 10th Avenue from Northeast 154th Street north to Northeast 164th Street.


The task is supposed to be perfect in loss 2018.

The leg would allow drivers to go up Northeast 10th avenue behind the amphitheater.

“Right now, there’s one method in and one means out,” Schwarz said. “When they have actually traffic coming from 2 places, what space they going to do? how are they going to handle that?”

Griswold isn’t certain yet and said that as the task nears completion, the ar will have actually to number out a setup for that.

“It makes an ext sense to wait till the bridge is done to completely redo the plan, for this reason that might be included,” Griswold said. “We don’t desire to redo the plan and also have it the end of day in five years.”

Griswold and McCall both spoke around the prominence of flexibility in the plan, partially because of an altering infrastructure and also growing populations, but likewise because of enhanced knowledge about concert trends. McCall claimed they’re starting to look in ~ the genre of artist to try and guess how numerous vehicles will be in ~ the show and get a feeling for what type of web traffic to expect.

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The website traffic management plan has tiers for how plenty of traffic officers have to be out at the show relying on ticket sales, however Griswold claimed they now know that isn’t constantly the best indicator. Acts v younger audiences often tend to have actually fewer cars, whether due to much more carpooling or public transportation usage. Follow to critical year’s concert report, the fewest number of vehicles parked at display was 1,030 because that 5 seconds of Summer, one Australian absent band through a younger skewing audience. That present had an mean of 3.47 citizens per vehicle, the greatest of any kind of show critical year.

“We’ve acquired to be flexible,” Griswold said. “We’re learning around the various tendencies for different bands. We’re getting better prepared. It’s a learning experience because that everybody.”