The third year of Exodus— coordinating thousands of cars leaving Burning Man— was a success! Thanks to well-laid plans, the hard work of the Exodus crew, and cooperation from the citizens of Black Rock, the delay leaving the city decreased again this year. There was a short to zero wait time on Sunday and most of Monday, and the longest wait on Monday afternoon, the peak period, was under two hours. In fact, exiting the city went so smoothly on the playa that it created backups in the town of Gerlach. We’ll work on that next year.
Exodus mounts two major operations: directing traffic out of the city, and flagging cars through intersections once on the pavement. Exodus flaggers got official training, and are now certified by the Nevada Department of Transport. They all worked long, hard hours in the hot sun to give the citizens of Black Rock City a quick and safe departure from our fair city. Thin staffing at times brought out the heroic in flaggers, with some working multiple shifts day-long in the merciless sun.
Improvements this year included a wide-vehicle exit lane and a well-functioning entrance lane. A new exit road design eased merging and reduced the temptation to cut in line. DPW did a great job working with us to receive food donations at the roadside. Hard-working cleanup volunteers ate and drank well in the month after the burn, thanks to your many generous food contributions.
Exodus coordinated with BMIR, Burning Man Information Radio, to provide timely reports of traffic flows and advice on whether to leave or wait a while. Radio reporting will be even better next year, so plan on tuning in!
This year we created a website to help in our efforts. This valuable tool will continue to grow in function and use in the coming year. We also took advantage of the Burning Man discussion and announce lists, to foster a more engaged and informed Exodus crew. Now we’re planning for a successful 2003 Exodus, and vigorously recruiting a larger crew. If your Burning Man experience feels unfinished come Monday, September 1st, 2003, come on out to the road and volunteer. We will put you to work!
Odwally, Exodus Manager