July 1, 2013

A special traffic plan will again be put into effect to handle traffic exiting the Warner Park area after the Rhythm and Booms fireworks display on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. The event sponsors anticipate this year's display to attract more than 100,000 spectators. Following are elements of the plan to safely guide pedestrians and motorists away from the park area after the event:

• Crossing of and left turns onto Northport Drive will be permitted from northbound School Road. This will serve drivers who have parked west of Warner Park, and south of Northport, and reduce traffic loading on Westport Drive.

• At the Highway 113 (Northport Drive)/Highway M intersection, travelers to Waunakee should use the right lane and travelers to Middleton should use the left lane of Northport Drive as they approach this intersection. CTH M has historically been the roadway that is last to clear after the event.

• ALL westbound Johnson Street/southbound Packers Avenue traffic will allowed to proceed westbound to Gorham St, but are encouraged to turn left onto First St and use E Washington Ave to Blair St to John Nolen Drive.

• Southbound Packers Avenue traffic is encouraged to turn left onto International Lane, right on Anderson, and right onto Fair Oaks, for a less congested route to E. Washington Avenue

• CTH CV between Wheeler Road and US Highway 51 will be open only for ONE-WAY traffic, toward Highway 51, after the show. Parking on the shoulders of Highways CV and 51, and Hanson Road, as well as airport lands will be prohibited all day Wednesday. The County Sheriff's Department deputies will patrol these areas.

• More than 200 police officers from the City of Madison Police Department, Dane County Sheriff's Department, the State Patrol and surrounding communities and several Madison traffic engineers will monitor the park as well as direct traffic at numerous intersections within several miles of Warner Park after the event.

• City Traffic Engineering Division crews will place special signs and barricades at key intersections to guide motorists and facilitate traffic flow away from Warner Park. Traffic signals in the Isthmus will also be modified to favor westbound traffic, away from the park.

• Kobussen Buses Ltd will operate shuttle buses between Warner Park and the economy lot at Dane County Regional Airport. Bus service will begin at 5:30 pm on Wednesday. After the event, bus service will be continuous for about 60 minutes after the fireworks. The round-trip fare will be $2.00 (children age four and under will ride free). Parking at the economy lot will be $6.00 and must be paid in cash only on entry. Police will give priority to buses along the route.

• Parking: Four parking enforcement officers will be working in the area. Proper parking is an essential component of the safe and orderly movement of traffic. Please look for signage that may restrict parking on streets. Do not block crosswalks, sidewalks, driveways or fire hydrants. It could cost up to $100 if your vehicle is towed. Parking on private property without the owner's permission could cost $30.

• Parking is also available at the airport economy lot, for $6.00 per vehicle, but will be payable in cash only upon entry.

• Motorists parked in the Warner Park parking lot during the fireworks will not be permitted to exit the lot for at least one hour after the fireworks (approximately 11:30 p.m.). Vehicles parked in handicap stalls will be given priority in leaving the park. Vehicles over 8,000 lbs. including trucks, buses, motor-homes and campers will NOT be permitted in this lot. Paid parking will be available for large vehicles in the Sherman Plaza Shopping Center lot.

• Madison Metro weekday routes 21 & 22, which serve the Warner Park area will end at approximately 7 p.m. Contact Madison Metro for specific details.

A goal of this exit traffic plan is to allow for safe travel home by minimizing traffic conflicts and delay for pedestrians, drivers and riders attempting to leave the Warner Park area. We've been successful in past years and anticipate that this year will also be successful. Spectators may help minimize congestion in the following ways:

(1) Bikers will find bike racks at several locations within the park.
(2) Take advantage of the shuttle bus. Arrive early and park at the airport economy lot to ride the shuttle bus to and from Warner Park.
(3) Ride Madison Metro. Metro will have extra buses at the North Transfer Station, on Huxley at Aberg. Call 266-4466 for schedule and route information. Last bus leaves at 11:30 p.m.
(4) Have patience. Traffic delays can be expected, but traffic delays will end earlier when drivers avoid collisions that temporarily close traffic lanes.
(5) Park According to Exit Direction. Motorists who park in the surrounding neighborhoods should park close to the desired exit direction. For example, those wishing to travel to the northwest should park northwest of Warner Park. The attached map illustrates the desired exit traffic flow pattern. Drivers should review this map and choose a parking area that will minimize travel distance and left turns onto main streets after the event. Travel on Northport Dr in the vicinity of the park is especially congested after the event because of the thousands of pedestrians leaving the park after the show.

Suggested Routes from Warner Park:
• To Middleton - use E Washington Ave, Northport Drive or Westport Road
• To Waunakee - use Northport Drive or Westport Road
• To west side Madison - use East Washington Avenue to Blair St to John Nolen
• To south side Madison - use East Washington Avenue to Blair St to John Nolen
• To east side Madison - use Packers Avenue, Aberg Ave, and Highway 30 (Commercial Avenue)
• To I-90/94 - use Packers Avenue to CTH CV, Anderson Street, or Highway 30


David C. Dryer, P.E.
City Traffic Engineer and Parking Manager

  • Capt. Cameron McLay, Madison Police Dept. - North, 245-3652
  • Dan Dettmann/Tom Mohr, City Traffic Engineering, 266-4761