Don't be a luna(r)-tic: Arrive early, stay put and leave late
Oregon--and a lot of expected visitors from Washington State--will experience quite a show two months from today, when the moon's shadow from a solar eclipse begins its 2,500-mile-per-hour journey across the United States.
But if the predicted one million visitors in Oregon's path of totality for the Aug. 21 eclipse don't properly prepare or aren't paying attention, that show won't be the celestial dance they came for. It'll be a cosmic traffic jam on the roads below...something even Seattleites accustomed to heavy traffic won't like!
ODOT is expecting that many Oregon highways will be especially crowded in the days around the eclipse. We ask that, when you're traveling, you keep your hands on the wheel, your mind on the task, and your eyes on the road--not on the sky.
Statistics show that many crashes are the result of distracted driving and traveling too fast for conditions. So we're encouraging you to avoid unnecessary distractions during your travels--and especially when Oregon highways will be very crowded during the time of the eclipse. That means planning your travel well in advance; knowing where you're going; and for long trips, knowing where you're going to go when the need arises!
ODOT will have crews posted along critical travel routes to keep motorists mobile and safe, and will be providing travel updates via Tripcheck.com and 511 so you can be prepared with the most current travel information available. Properly supplied and informed, we all can avoid becoming "highway luna(r)-tics" during the eclipse.
Expect traffic changes. ODOT does not plan to close any state highways. But as traffic volumes increase, ODOT may restrict some left turns to and from highways in order to keep traffic moving. Cities and counties may choose to do the same thing on their streets and roads.
Help keep roads clear. Staying off the roads helps make sure emergency service vehicles can get through. Take care of errands well before Aug. 21. Limit your trips to help keep the roads clear. Ride your bicycle!
Travel with friends. Joining friends and family for the trip to totality will reduce the number of cars on the road. Find carpool information at www.drivelessconnect.com.
Caution friends, family and other visitors: Tell them to #DriveHealthy: Arrive early, stay put during the eclipse and leave late afterwards. If everyone jumps on the highways all at once right after the eclipse, no one will go very far very fast. Remember, all travelers have a shared responsibility to stay safe.
Be prepared. Plan ahead for your basic needs such as food, water, gas for the car and bathroom breaks in case you're stuck in traffic. Plan to get to where you need to be before you need to go!
We're all in this together. Be prepared. Help your neighbors and other travelers to be prepared. And please enjoy Oregon!
For updates, visit www.Tripcheck.com.
Attachment: Map of path of totality in Oregon (courtesy NASA)Attached Media Files: 2017-06/1200/105466/2017_eclipse_map_Oregon_NASA.jpg