Are you ready for some football? Then get ready for some traffic headaches as well.
Buffalo Bills football begins today (Yay!). The team takes on the Carolina Panthers at home in their first pre-season game of 2018-19 season. Game time starts at 7 p.m.
At the same time, the Erie County Fair and major construction projects already underway. That means very heavy traffic is expected in the Orchard Park area (Boo!) - especially during the afternoon rush hour.
To help drivers prepare - and cope -the Erie County Sheriff's Office said game-day stadium traffic patterns will be in effect. That anticipates closing a section of Abbott Road, between the entrance to Lot 4 (north end of the closure) and Lot 2 (south end of the closure), at 2 p.m. All through traffic will be diverted at that time.
New Era Field parking lots open at 3 p.m. The Sheriff said deputies will be focusing on eliminating glass bottles and excessive alcohol consumption. Also, fans and tailgaters are reminded that the Fan Code of Conduct, which promotes responsible tailgating, extends to the parking lots.
Following the game, Route 20A (Big Tree Road) will be closed to westbound traffic from Abbott Road to the Route 219 overpass. All vehicles leaving the stadium and private lots along Route 20A will have to travel east.
Another option to decrease traffic headaches is Ne Era Field's Uber Zone. Beginning with Thursday's preseason opener, the dedicated zone will now be located on the western end of the adjacent Erie Community College South Campus.
“Moving the Uber Zone farther to the west side of ECC will allow drivers more convenient access to the main roads, provide a safe pedestrian and driver route, and give our fans a quicker way to get home after enjoying the game,” said Andy Major, team vice president of operations and guest experience.