Fairgoers maneuver weekend traffic - KMSP-TV

Weekend traffic doesn't discourage State Fair crowds

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

State Fair organizers say they haven't seen a drop in attendance because of the construction this weekend, but fairgoers are still finding clever ways to avoid traffic near the Fairgrounds.

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials say they haven't seen a spike in construction complaints, but anyone who has experienced traffic along Snelling Avenue during the Minnesota State Fair knows it can be a mess, construction or no construction.

Apparently, people know how to get around it, that is, until you hit Snelling right in front of the Fairgrounds. There's no construction in the area, but Wisconsinite Kristin Hauser is simply trying to get through the doors.

"A lot of traffic, nobody knows what's going on," Hauser said – but she made a wise decision to be a passenger instead of a driver for easy access.

Parking, another potential nightmare, is a free-for-all. Good luck finding a decent spot after 10 a.m.

"I can almost guarantee you a parking spot from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., anything beyond that, good luck," one traffic official said.

If you thought you bypassed all the road closures and detours across the state on your way to St. Paul, you'll definitely find more frustration when you finally arrive – but that's the price you pay during the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

The good news: There are some options like free buses that take you from the parking lots to the front entrance of the Fair. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes, officials say, and you can avoid all the traffic on Snelling Avenue and the back roads.

One fairgoer took Fairview to Energy Park Drive, and as a result, you only have to be on Snelling for a short while.

Homeowners are offering parking spots right across the street from the Fairgrounds at a reasonable price.

Once inside, it's food, fun, and games. Many people from all over are saying it's worth the wait.

"My in-laws came in from Guam and this is something they wanted to go to, and glad we're out in great weather," one fairgoer said.

State Fair organizers said next year there are plans to build a transit hub near the west side of the Grandstand that will allow buses to come off Como Avenue, freeing up traffic from Snelling and Lexington. Construction, however, will always be a Minnesota summer mainstay.


Click here for a list of hiccups you may encounter this weekend on your way to the Fair: http://bit.ly/14RndEB


See a slideshow of the first Fair photos of 2013: http://bit.ly/14mCcK0

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