Music Festivals

Coachella Festival goers leaving backs up traffic

COCAHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - Weekend one of Coachella is now over and tens of thousands of concert goers are headed home. But, with only one freeway to get everyone on their way out of the Valley, there was a major traffic back up Monday.

While people expect traffic,  festival goers and locals alike say the mass exodus was much worse than in years past.

"That is one thing that we are not used to having to deal with in the Coachella Valley so if you could stay an extra day or stay off the roadways if you can," CHP spokesperson Mike Radford.

Sigalert's normally describe traffic in LA, but that is exactly what happened here in the Valley.  It was bumper-to-bumper traffic all along the 10 freeway for much of the day.

"We had about a 100,000 people into town, it's just been a long day of heavy traffic on I-10," said Radford.

One festival goer told us they left La Quinta at 11, and two hours later, they were just passing Cabazon, a drive that should take about 30 minutes.

"We had multiple accidents that have multiple vehicles and anytime that we have any lane closures it makes the traffic that much worse.  We are working as hard as we can to get those traffic hazards and traffic hazards taken care of as quickly as possible so we can expedite the flow," said Radford.

One accident at 8:00 in the morning closed three lanes for several hours west of Washington Street.  Four vehicles, including an RV were involved.

"To have an accident on the 10 hurt us, all roads going northbound to the ten were blocked for a long time and frustrations were high," said Indio Community Services manager Jim Curtis.

With this many people on the road, one accident can quickly turn into several.

"A lot of times when there is a collision in the back up , sometimes it causes more collisions and it's we can only do as much as we can, but we are definitely out there getting it done as quick as we can so we can get the people out of here," said Radford.

"It's a trickle affect, even with me, I had to get pay checks for my Indio Golf Course and I couldn't get up there to get the time sheet so my employees could get paid," said Curtis.

Now there are 2 more weekends of music festivals, and this problem could happen again for the next 2 Mondays.  That is why CHP is asking people who can, to avoid the freeway and areas around the polo grounds.


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