WKU anticipates parking pains during Monday’s eclipse events

solar eclipse graphic

Rebekah Alvey

As Monday’s total solar eclipse approaches, WKU Parking and Transportation has been preparing for large crowds and parking difficulties.

Parking and Transportation has been working with county services to ensure people on and off of campus can stay safe and arrive at their destination on time. According to a news release from Kentucky Emergency Management, 10 counties in the western part of Kentucky should anticipate anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 visitors up to three days before the eclipse, including Warren County.

Jennifer Tougas, director of parking and transportation services, said she has been working with the local district transportation cabinet which will be in full operation during the days leading up to the eclipse to handle any traffic issues.

There will be events and celebrations both on and off campus that also make transportation difficult.

WKU is inviting elementary, middle and high school students to watch the eclipse on campus and learn more about it. The program is set to last from 10:00 a.m to 1:30 p.m and Gordon Emslie, former provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and current professor of physics and astronomy, said he anticipated several thousand students attending. Theo Wellington, eclipse planning coordinator at Hardin Planetarium, estimated there would be 1500 students in the football stadium on Monday.

In an email, Wellington said they were hoping to host more, but “schools are concerned about traffic and getting back home.”

Tougas said the increase in people on campus creates logistical challenges. She said she anticipates about 100 school buses bringing kids to campus which could create traffic and parking issues.

In preparation, Tougas said student normally parking in Creason, South Lawn and Avenue of Champions lots will be displaced. Students parked in Creason lot will be moved to the University Boulevard lot and Avenue of Champions will be completely closed Monday.

“It’s going to be hard for people to get around Bowling Green,” Tougas said.

For students living off-campus, Tougas advised to not come to campus unless they have a 4:00 p.m. class. If they do wish to come to campus, there will be a bus running every half-hour from South Campus.

Tougas also said students should pick-up books and attend to any matters they would normally do on the first day of school far in advance. She also recommended moving in the Saturday before classes start, or earlier, because of closed roads in preparation for the eclipse.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].