Caltrans Warns Inland Empire: Prepare For Coachella Traffic

Apr 9, 2019

This photo was taken in 2017, on the Monday after the 3-day Coachella Fest, where Highway 111 from Palm Springs merges onto the westbound Interstate 10 near Whitewater. It took some Coachella-weary commuters a couple of hours of brake-tapping to make their way through the jammed freeway traffic between the Coachella Valley and the Inland Empire. Pre-and-post-Coachella traffic this year is expected to be at least as bad as two years ago.
Credit Ken Vincent for KVCR

UPDATED SATURDAY AM, 4/13/19

INDIO (CNS) - Thousands of fans began flocking to Indio Friday to create a
city within a city for the start of the Coachella Valley Music & Art Festival.
  Mostly sunny conditions will prevail through the weekend. Highs will be in the mid-
80s today, the high 80s Saturday and the low 90s Sunday.
   Childish Gambino, Janelle Monae and The 1975 were the headliners who
kicked off the much anticipated festival, with Tame Impala, Kid Cudi and
Billie Eilish serenading festivalgoers on Saturday. Sunday will be capped off
with performances from Ariana Granda and H.E.R.
   Festivalgoers, each paying anywhere from $400 to $900 apiece, are
expected to flood the city to catch all of these acts, and despite the
availability of the Any Line Shuttle that can carry visitors between the
festival grounds and area hotels, major congestion is expected on multiple
routes. The festival will offer around 160 acts this weekend and next weekend
at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, where capacity crowds of 125,000-a-day are
expected.
   The first edition of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival began
Oct. 9, 1999.
   Indio city officials said motorists should expect traffic delays
starting today and continuing through Sunday on the following stretches:
   -- southbound Jefferson, Washington and Monroe streets from the 10
Freeway to Avenue 52;
   -- Avenue 48 between Jefferson and Jackson streets;
   -- Highway 111 at Jefferson and Monroe streets; and
   -- eastbound 10 Freeway exits at Jefferson, Monroe and Washington streets.
   Several significant road closures are also planned Friday through Monday:
   -- Avenue 49 between Hjorth and Monroe streets;
   -- Avenue 50 between Madison and Jackson streets;
   -- Hjorth Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 50; and
   -- Madison Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52
   City officials recommend that north- and south-bound motorists use
Washington, Jackson and Calhoun streets as well as Golf Center Parkway; while
east-west travelers were advised to use Highway 111, Fred Waring Drive, Miles
Avenue, Dr. Carreon Boulevard and Avenue 54.
   Once the festival ends this weekend and next, nearly 40,000 campers
are expected to be leaving the festival site, causing significant traffic on
the 10 Freeway, authorities warned.
   Caltrans officials said the 10 and 60 freeways are both expected to be
extra congested through the festival's run.
   ``Motorists who plan to use Interstate 10 between Beaumont and Indio
or State Route 60 from Moreno Valley to Beaumont during these events will
experience traffic delays during peak travel times,'' Caltrans spokeswoman
Terri Kasinga said.
   Traffic is expected to be heaviest today for eastbound traffic, while
Sunday will be the most congested for those heading west.
   ``Avoid delays by leaving early mornings on those peak travel days or
wait to travel the day after the peak travel day,'' Kasinga said.
   A special traffic warning was also issued for those coming from
Temecula using the 15 Freeway since state Routes 74 and 243 are closed for
repairs, Kasinga said. Instead, she said motorists should exit the 15 Freeway
at Interstate 215 northbound and then travel east on either the 10 or 60
freeways.
   Indio officials strongly encouraged festival-goers to take advantage
of the Any Line Shuttle, which costs $80 for the entire weekend and services
hotels in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and other local resorts.
   Information on the Any Line Shuttle is available at
www.valleymusictravel.com/events/coachella-weekend-one/shuttle-
passes/?utm_source=partner_referral&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=coachella_2