The USGA’s transportation plan for any U.S. Open event is extensive and meticulous.
On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council voted to allow Fort Steilacoom Park to play a small part in that plan when the 2015 U.S. Open comes to Chambers Bay Golf Course.
The Lakewood City Council voted to approve a $40,000 agreement that will allow the USGA to use a portion of Fort Steilacoom Park for off-site parking during the week of June 15-21, 2015.
Mary Dodsworth, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director for the City, said the USGA can now determine exactly how Fort Steilacoom Park – one of many regional parking sites during the tournament - will be used to shuttle people to the University Place course.
The USGA has been looking throughout the region for parking locations. Along with studying routes and methods of transportation (bus, boat, train and car) to get visitors to the event, it is studying how to distribute parking locations for the estimated 245,000 people who will attend (plus 4,500 volunteers and 2,000 media contacts).
The City met several times with members of the USGA logistics team to assess Fort Steilacoom Park, as well as to discuss ingress, egress, traffic patterns and other transportation and site impacts. The USGA is looking to park approximately 5,000 cars each day at this site. Large buses would take the event attendees from the park to the golf course.
Following Monday night’s vote, the USGA and the City will look at specific routes in and out of the park, citywide transportation impacts and how they can minimize the effect on regular park visitors and neighbors.
“This was just the first step,” Dodsworth said of the agreement. “The USGA has an excellent track record of planning for the U.S. Open, and we’ll do our best to reduce impacts to our park visitors.”