INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -

No matter which way you slice it, the traffic around the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is bound to take its toll on drivers.

"I was sitting in traffic wondering what action I was missing because I was so stupid that I forgot to avoid the cluster that I know is on Washington," said Marc Levine, who is visiting the tournament from out of town but is familiar with the traffic in the area during BNP Paribas.

Levine says it usually takes him six minutes to get to the tennis garden. Friday afternoon it took him a half hour.

"And it seems a lot longer because you're so anxious to get here, because it's a great event you don't want to miss a second of the action," he said.

"This year we expect more than 400,000 people so there's going to be traffic," said tournament director Steve Simon.

But managing the flow of thousands of cars around the stadium is a task the Riverside County Sheriff's Department says it's prepared for. Deputy Armando Munoz said officers will be present at busy intersections during prime traffic hours, while signs direct visitors to one of more than a dozen parking lots.
    
"We've created nine new entrances to get people off the street quicker, so we're hoping that it's actually smoother than it's been in the past," Simon said.

So how do you avoid sitting in stop-and-go traffic on the way to a match?  The best advice is to leave early.

"Leave yourself plenty of time, it's going to be a full house this weekend," Simon said.

Or consider other modes of transportation.

"We rode bicycles to avoid traffic and save money on parking," said Laurent Pucci, who lives nearby in Palm Desert.

"Carpool, take a taxi, walk, ride your bike, there's a lot of ways to get here of course," Simon said.