With multiplied thousands of people driving around our area this week and this weekend for the various events of The Greenbrier Classic, it’s an appropriate time to make an important observation about a subject that’s near and dear to all our hearts.
Simply put, this observation has to do with the dispelling of public fears. When an event as enormous as a PGA golf tour at The Greenbrier, coupled with concerts that each bring in up to an estimated 60,000 to the massive state fairgrounds amphitheater in Fairlea—you easily have up to a quarter million people, possibly even more, invading our area.
Yes, our valley, with mostly two-lane, winding roads, some of which are often inadequate to handle traffic loads on even routine days—we’re hosting all of this.
It’s only natural that when this tournament announced its debut in 2010, the public was very concerned, understandably so, about the possibility of traffic heavier than anything this region has ever experienced, even more than that of our state fair.
Although a few glitches appeared along the way, as when traffic was tied up for hours before one of the concerts a couple of years ago, the highway division, the state police, The Greenbrier, and local law enforcement groups have the majority of it figured out now.
With ample signage directing the traffic flow out of the heaviest areas, redirection of traffic, temporary added restrictions, and, of course, the use of what seems to be an endless fleet of large buses to transport people back and forth between the fairgrounds parking lots and The Greenbrier—local people can easily go about their daily business with little or no delay.
Indeed, if you didn’t know the tournament was going on, you may not even catch on if not for the proliferation of buses and special signage around the area.
Traffic has moved smoothly and efficiently this week—and it’s primarily because of the careful, deliberate, decisive planning on the part of our highway division, law enforcement, The Greenbrier, and others.
It used to amaze me that an area as rural and relatively small as ours can host something this big, which brings in crowds that are almost ten times the very population of our county.
On the contrary, it’s become quite routine for us. Let’s keep up the good work, Greenbrier Valley. This is our time to shine.