Postgame traffic flow changes, more parking coming to Tiger Stadium this fall

The word “contraflow” conjures up images of folks packing up and fleeing an approaching hurricane.

But when it comes to LSU football games, contraflow may be a beautiful word to the ears of fans who have spent hours stuck in traffic jams to and from Tiger Stadium.

LSU officials announced adjustments to postgame traffic flow Wednesday, a plan that will reintroduce contraflow southbound on Nicholson Drive (La. 30) after several years of the practice not being used.

The plan is part of LSU’s effort to enhance the gameday experience for fans as the school tries to fill a stadium that has been expanded by nearly 10,000 seats to 102,342 for its 90th season.

Other traffic and parking changes being instituted this season include:

Interactive updates: LSU said it will use social media, email and notifications on its sports website before games to inform fans of suggested routes to campus, current traffic conditions and any in-season changes to gameday traffic plans, which the school said should be anticipated. Traffic updates will be available at LSUsports.net/parking.

New parking lots: To accommodate the added vehicles transporting as many as 10,000 more fans to the game, LSU said it has added 2,300 new parking spaces on the south and west sides of campus.

The new parking lots include an 800-space reserved permit lot on the site of the recently demolished Nicholson Apartments (west side of Nicholson Drive across from Bernie Moore Track Stadium); an 800-space public lot on the LSU Golf Course driving range (entry is off Gourrier Avenue across from Alex Box Stadium) and a 700-space public lot addition to the Levee Lots at Gourrier and River Road.

Additionally, LSU will try to maximize existing lots with the painting of new parking spaces. The number and location of those spaces was not released.

Directional exits: Police and traffic officials will enforce directional exiting from parking lots. Generally, traffic will be directed north and south on Nicholson Drive; north and south on River Road; east on Gourrier Lane, Burbank Drive, Highland Road and South Stadium Drive; and north on Dalrymple Drive and Chimes Street.

Parking restrictions: Citing safety concerns, LSU said street parking will not be allowed along Nicholson Drive or on Burbank Drive near campus. Tailgating still will be allowed in grassy areas adjacent to Nicholson Drive, with fans tailgating there encouraged to use the free Old Front Nine parking lot at Nicholson and Burbank.

Pedestrian zone: LSU will create a postgame pedestrian buffer zone on Nicholson for fans exiting the stadium heading west. Traffic will be prohibited on Nicholson between North Stadium Drive (between Tiger Stadium and the Pete Maravich Assembly Center) and South Stadium Drive.

LSU officials enlisted the help of the SP Plus Gameday consultant group to craft a new gameday traffic plan. The firm was on campus during the 2013 season for the Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M games to evaluate pre- and postgame traffic and parking patterns and the performance of workers involved in both areas.

The Tigers will play seven home games this season, starting with their home opener Sept. 6 against Sam Houston State. LSU opens the season Aug. 30 against Wisconsin in Houston.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.