The Youth Fair: fun time, hellish traffic

Nerlyn Galan/Contributing Writer

 

The Youth Fair always brought me a little nostalgia with its games, carnival shows, concerts, elephant ears, candy apples, cotton candy and tons of rides including the iconic Ferris wheel.

 

Each year the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition comes to town settling in its usual spot next to FIU bringing with it the usual, slightly overpriced, family friendly entertainment and attractions.

 

This year the fair ran from March 14 to 31. This attraction, while it may bring joy to many people and the general public, gives plenty of headaches to university students.

 

As we all know, the majority our student body commutes, so traffic and parking in and around FIU are pretty rough on a normal schedule.

 

When the fair shows up, they’re impossible.

 

The amount of cars increases drastically, all of them trying to make it to the fair parking next to the stadium. So much so that extra police officers are called in to direct the flow of traffic to, from, and around the fair as well as the pedestrians that are crossing the streets and walkways.

 

Sure if you have classes in the morning you have no problem, but if you come to school or are leaving anytime after six expect to be at least 20 minutes late to wherever you’re going.

 

A student told me how it took her nearly an hour and a half to take the exit ramp off the turnpike into the school.

 

I was stuck for at least an hour just trying to get out of campus. It was ridiculous.

 

While the fairgrounds did have extensive parking in the open field, eventually that whole area became a sea of cars, which you could see perfectly from some of the taller attractions at the fair. When that happens, FIU allows the fairgoers to park on campus without any problems.

 

This causes even more traffic and congestion within our own school roadways.

 

Adding to the problem is the fact that when the fair arrives the University closes down the parking lot next to the music building making it even harder on the students to find a spot.

 

I find that to be just a little unfair. Especially when you take into account that our University doesn’t own or sponsor any part of the Youth Fair. The county and the mayor denied us ownership of the land, and yet here we are stuck this downpour of fair-goers.

 

Why should our students, faculty, staff and visitors suffer because Miami-Dade couldn’t find an area with more available parking?

 

So while the fair might be a good thing for the community and great thing for the

economy, it’s not such a fun thing being a student dealing with the increase of traffic and the parking issues it brings.

To be quite honest, I had plenty of fun when I went the other day but I’m glad it’s over so I can finally find some parking.