So you think you’ll be hoofing it at the World Equestrian Games? Think again? You’ll be bussing it. From here to there…and back again! All of Lexington has been gridded into courtesy bus zones ferrying people into central feeder lanes that will be served by shuttle buses between the Kentucky Horse Park, Coldstream Park (a huge parking lot halfway between downtown Lexington and the Horse Park), and a few key downtown locations. If it all works as planned, traffic disruptions should be limited to the zones along the major routes only, and the rest of Lexington should be able to plan around the buses. Life will go on in Lexington!
For WEG visitors, the key is in knowing whether you need to bring a car, or rent a car, at all, since that is a considerable expense in itself. Lexington is constructing hiking and biking paths for WEG as well, so parking at Coldstream and biking on a nice paved off-road bike path to the Horse Park or into Lexington may be an option.
Biking directly on Newtown Pike or Georgetown Road, on the other hand, would be a dangerous proposition, since Lexington does not seem to be a very bike friendly town. Maybe that will change!
For more of us, the buses make the most sense, particularly at night, when they will take us to and from hotels, the Horse Park and downtown restaurants and entertainment venues.
On May 21, the LexTran city bus service in Lexington announced that it had added a special hourly express bus service between downtown Lexington and the Horse Park during WEG. This might mean massive traffic jams to get to the bus loading area early in the morning, but it might also be very convenient. The bus will cost $10 for a round-trip ticket each day. If you are staying at a downtown hotel, this could be a great timesaver.
For the rest of us: start cycling around the neighborhood to get in shape, if you think you’ll bring your bike to Lexington. The Bluegrass is not flat!
UPDATE! In June, the Games organizers announced the acquisition of land adjacent to the Horse Park and the addition of some on-site parking. Shuttle buses from the official hotels, LexTran buses, and on-site parking are now three options…but I’m still thinking my bike looks like a good plan.
The price is about the same for parking vs. the shuttle bus; the LexTran bus is cheaper, but you will need to pay for downtown parking all day.
I’ll keep you up to date on these options, and be sure to check the World Equestrian Games web site, too!