TOURNEY OFFICIALS GEAR UP TO HANDLE TRAFFIC
Thursday, February 6, 1986
Elaine A. Ellis
The tents are up, players have started to arrive for the qualifying rounds and the organizers of the Lipton International Players Championships at Boca West are preparing for an increase in traffic on Glades Road and other roads leading to the tournament.
A temporary traffic jam on Glades and Powerline roads on Wednesday, near the entrance to Boca West, illustrated the potential for traffic problems when the tournament begins. Qualifying rounds begin today with the tournament opening on Monday and continuing through Feb. 23.
An estimated 150,000 spectators are expected to attend the matches over the two weeks, said Rod Humphries, director of public relations for the tournament. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people are expected to attend the qualifying matches.
"We have given a great deal of thought" to traffic problems, said Frank Bussey, director of operations for the tournament. Palm Beach County Sheriff`s Office deputies, Bussey said, "tell us the lights are already at capacity. They can`t change them to move traffic along any faster."
Glades Road is the only east-west road in the south county area that runs uninterrupted to State Road 7.
Bussey said they do not expect traffic problems before the daytime matches, which begin at 10 a.m. Spectators who plan to go to the 7 p.m. matches, however, should start out two hours early to avoid rush-hour traffic on Glades Road, Bussey said.have reserved an additional 1,200 to 1,500 places in the parking lot at Town Center Mall on Glades Road for overflow from the main lot.
"We have masses of signs," Bussey said. "It`s like Burma Shave commercials."
Players and those holding tickets for box seats will park on the driving range where the golf clinics are offered.
"Traffic has always been a problem, but we`ve handled it well," said Bob Jones, assistant director of operations for the tournament. "Based on experience in other tournaments, we`ve tried to come up with something as smooth-running as possible."
"It could have been something as simple as a semi trying to get turned around," he said.
"We`ve had a few golf and tennis tournaments out there and we haven`t had any real traffic problems with them," Tremer said.