To prepare for the multiple Halloween weekend festivities in Madison, the Madison Police Department and Traffic Engineering plan to implement traffic restrictions throughout the city.
Not only will Madison residents and visitors gather Saturday for the 11th annual Freakfest concert, but also a home Wisconsin football game against Nebraska.
MPD officer Carl Gloede said the football game attracts more than 150,000 people in the stadium and surrounding areas, and Freakfest sees about 40,000 to 50,000 attendees.
Gloede said Freakfest is usually complicated to manage, but this year with the football game there are added challenges.
“As you may expect with these two concurrent, significant events happening, there’s a significant amount of city staff, resources on the streets Friday night through the end of Sunday morning,” Gloede said.
He said there is an extensive travel plan in place to help regulate the amount of people.
Tom Mohr, a city traffic engineer, said streets crossing State Street will start to close around 5 p.m. Saturday. He said to help with football traffic, Gorham Street will stay open until 6 p.m., the game’s kick-off time.
He said by the start of the game, the traffic will usually fizzle out.
Mohr said when the game ends around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., a Johnson Street detour route will be implemented. Langdon Street will be open throughout Saturday night.
After Freakfest, he expects all streets to open back up again around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m.
Gloede said the plan will not solve all of the traffic issues in the city, especially with these two heavily populated events.
“Some key components to this date [are] to plan ahead, arrive early, plan on being patient through traffic issues before, during and after,” Gloede said.
Since it is Halloween, Gloede said they encourage creative costumes, but he said no real weapons are allowed.
No alcohol will be permitted on State Street. Gloede said there will also be a glass ban that goes into effect at 9 p.m. through the end of every night on both Friday and Saturday.
Gloede said it is important for students to be responsible by remaining in control and monitoring consumption throughout the day. He said it is important to have a plan throughout the weekend during the large events.
“The tendency is to get too excited too early and lose control,” Gloede said. “[People should be] using the buddy system so that you get to where you are going safely and get home safely again.”