Vina Robles Amphitheatre fans will soon encounter fewer post-show traffic jams — the Paso Robles venue on Tuesday announced it’s opening a second exit to prevent backups.
Visitors to the 3,300-seat arena at the intersection of Mill Road and Highway 46 previously used a single access point on the highway to enter and exit the parking lot. After shows, thousands of fans frequently had to wait in long lines to get back to the road, a problem the Vina Robles team promised to resolve.
“If we got 100 complaints in the past, 97 were about how long it takes to leave,” said Paul Leatherman, the venue’s general manager.
The new exit on Mill Road will take visitors down a 2.3-mile private access road that connects to Union Road, which intersects with Highway 46. Leatherman said Vina Robles entered into an agreement with two nearby property owners to use the road, which crews improved with grading and a red clay treatment.
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The private road is 20 feet wide and lined with reflectors and signs, according to a Vina Robles news release. Staff will help guide cars to Union Road and control the speed of traffic, and crews will treat the road to prevent dust problems, Leatherman said.
“We’re trying to be as low-impact as possible,” he said.
The second exit will be used when a certain number of fans are expected, Leatherman said. Staff performed test runs when Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience played on May 19 and when rock singer Bryan Adams performed on May 21, he said.
The new exit should keep visitors’ departure times below 45 minutes, according to the release. About 1,100 vehicles were able to exit the parking lot in about 32 minutes after Adams’ show, Leatherman said.
“We are grateful for the support and insight from Cal Fire, the city of Paso Robles, the county of San Luis Obispo and especially our neighbors for helping us improve this beautiful facility,” he said in a statement.