Update: Journal-World reporter Eric Weslander has learned more about the reasons behind the traffic delay.
Gary Thomas, head of security for the festival, said the traffic is slower on the way in this year because of more stringent vehicle checks at the gate.
"We're popping a lot more trunks and checking for glass, fireworks and narcotics, people with counterfeit wristbands," he said. "We did a lot of those things last year but this year we're just stepping it up. "It's a slow go but it's steady and it's organized."
Thomas said many people were coming up to the gate unprepared, without their tickets in hand.
"Apparently a lot of people aren't reading the huge sign that says 'Approaching vehicle checkpoints, please have tickets ready,'" he said. "They're digging in their bags. It just causes major congestion and traffic."
Wakarusa Traffic Snarl
Journal-World reporter Sarah Benson is at the scene of the traffic jam at the intersection of Wakarusa and Clinton Parkway. The traffic jam was caused by breakdowns among the hundreds of motoring music lovers headed to the Wakarusa Festival at Clinton Lake. Some cars had mechanical problems. Others simply ran out of gas. Here is Benson's eyewitness report.
"The cars are backed up as far as the horizon in the direction of the lake and only now has traffic begun to move at a crawl.
"A tow truck from University Towing is removing disabled cars from the front of the stalled line and taking them away. Some people were dancing between the stalled cars.
"Others took advantage of the traffic jam by runnning across the street to a liquor store, coming back with cases of beer.
"A single policeman was directing traffic at the intersection. But there was little he could do to help. He had been there two hours.
"One older woman in a Lincoln Continental did as several others did and at the suggestion of the policeman jumped her car over the median. It took her two tries.
"I talked to a man on a scooter who had been helping out by running back and forth ferrying gasoline to those who had run out of gas."
Marshall Rake, who works promotions for lawrence.com, said the traffic jam was still going on about 11:20 a.m. today. Rake said some people are making the best of it, having jam sessions or walking car-to-car to sell their vendor wares.
Stay tuned for later updates.
Wakarusa Festival 2006
More about the Wakarusa Festival
- 6News video: Clean-up crews picking up after weekend festival (06-12-06)
- 6News video: Wakarusa Festival arrests scheduled to appear Friday (06-12-06)
- 6News video: Wakarusa festival winds down (06-11-06)
- 6News video: Heat beats down on Wakarusa (06-09-06)
- 6News video: Businesses benefiting from festival (06-09-06)
- 6News video: Law enforcement keeping eye on illegal substances (06-09-06)
- 6News video: Wakarusa swings into gear (06-08-06)
- 6News video: Traffic snarls grip festival (06-08-06)
- 6News video: Sweep yields drug arrests (06-08-06)
- 6News video: Apartment complex blocked by traffic (06-08-06)
- 6News video: Checklanes check out festival-goers (06-07-06)
- 6News video: Staff, volunteers, vendors prepare for flood of visitors (06-07-06)
- Wakarusa inspections infuriate the ACLU (06-13-06)
- Police activity, arrests increase at Wakarusa (06-13-06)
- Police presence dampened fest, campers say (06-12-06)
- Wakarusa hits high note (06-11-06)
- Norway's Hurra Torpedo plays everything but the kitchen sink (06-11-06)
- Concert creates good vibes for area businesses (06-10-06)
- Logistical problems strike sour note for some (06-10-06)
- Medical personnel see variety of ailments (06-10-06)
- More than Lip service (06-10-06)
- Lawrence drummer adjusts to gig with the Lips (06-10-06)
- Sitar player carves out own La La land in music industry (06-10-06)
- Festival in full gear (06-09-06)
- Delay doesn't dampen spirits (06-09-06)
- Medical tent may curb trips to LMH (06-09-06)
- Youngsters walk through traffic to tae kwon do (06-09-06)
- Women of Wakarusa (06-09-06)
- The Mutaytor brings circus atmosphere to outdoor fest (06-09-06)
- Traffic problems arise at Wakarusa fest (06-08-06)
- Highway patrol drug check greets fans on way to fest (06-08-06)
- State rains on Wakarusa parade (06-08-06)
- Scattered by Hurricane Katrina, band remains intact (06-08-06)
- Walkin' Wakarusa (06-08-06)
- Police checkpoint near Wakarusa causing a stir (06-07-06)
- Partiers take note: Police presence at Wakarusa Fest to double this year (05-04-06)
- Wakarusa Festival 2006 - Day 4
- Wakarusa Festival 2006 - Day 3
- Wakarusa Festival 2006 - Day 2
- Wakarusa Festival 2006 - Day 1
- Wakarausa Festival 2006 - Pre-Fest