Parking headaches at this year's Tulsa State Fair

Tuesday, October 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Tulsa State Fair is in full swing. With thousands of people getting on the stick to check it out - the parking is packed. News on Six reporter Diane White has a closer look at the problem.

It’s tradition at the Tulsa state fair - parking problems. There are about 20,000 spots surrounding the fairgrounds, and trolleys take people to the entrance. There's even a little known lot behind the armory. But this year the crowds have been overwhelming. Fairgrounds parking officer, Sgt Ed Pierce, " With the good weather like this a lot of people last Saturday came and stayed - came early and stayed late and we didn't have a big turnover."

So many move to nearby streets. "It's one of the largest overflow crowds into the neighborhood I've seen in years and I've been out here about 20 some years." Jack Dyer knows. He's lived near the fairgrounds most of his life. "It always gets really hectic there's people up and down the streets and every where they can park. Even anywhere they can't - they park." Tulsa Police patrol the neighborhoods during the fair. Pierce, "Anybody's who parked illegally is subject to a ticket. If they're parked on a person's private property, that person has a right to tow them off at the vehicle owner's expense."

And parking isn't the only problem. Traffic can also be tricky along 21st street, causing some serious tie-ups that keep people from going in and out of this neighborhood. Dyer says "Rather than wait for the light to change they'll just block it off - block the intersections so you can't get through. I ended up having to go several miles out of the way just to come up and get home." But he's keeping his cool. "Nothing I can do about it - no point getting mad." Since the fair runs through this weekend, and like it or not - more people will be parking on his street.

If you don't want to park, you can take a bus. Tulsa Transit offers service to the fairgrounds, from three locations. The Education Service Center at 31st and New Haven, Hale High School on East 21st street, and the Broken Arrow School Administration Center at 6th and Main in Broken Arrow. The cost is $2, round trip.