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Kentucky State Fair to Have a Free Parking Lot on Weekends (if You're Willing to Ride a Shuttle)

In recent years, the Kentucky State Fair officials have witnessed issues with traffic congestion around the gates into the fairgrounds on the weekends.They have a plan to address it during next month's fair—by spreading out the parking options.This year, the Kentucky State Fair will have two new cheaper parking lots open on weekends in a bid to reduce traffic congestion around the fairgrounds.
Fair-goers will be able to park for free on weekends in the green lot at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, where a shuttle will be provided to bring them to Kentucky Exposition Center.Also, people can park for five dollar at lot on the site of the former Executive Inn Hotel off Phillips Lane and take a shuttle into the fairgrounds.Each lot adds about 3,000 spaces and will be open only on weekends.The fairgrounds has about 19,000 parking spots, but State Fair Board President Rip Rippetoe says the new lots are meant to spread out traffic because of past issues with traffic jams.“These improvements reflect an approach to make the parking at the fair a more positive experience. It gives us multiple convenient lower-cost options," Rippetoe tells WFPL. "It’s a response to the comments and to the reactions we’ve had congestion in and around Phillips Lane and on the highways and freeways nearby.”Not interested in shuttling into the fairgrounds?  Then you'll pay $8 to park on site.For you, parking attendants will operate wireless pay stations at busier gates to help move lines faster.And a tip: Rippetoe says Gate 2 off Crittenden Drive and Gate 6 off of Preston Highway tend to have the least amount of traffic.The fairgrounds has gotten a sponsorship from Miller Transportation and the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau for the new parking plan. The changes will cost the fair board about $5,000, Rippetoe says.The fair board is stressing that the free Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Lot and the $5 Executive Inn Hotel lot will only operate from Friday through Sunday.The Kentucky State Fair runs from Aug. 15-25. Kentucky State Fair attendance was just under 600,000 in 2012.The fair board adds in a news release:

In addition to vehicle parking, bicycle riders will also be better accommodated every day of the Fair. All 

gates will provide bike racks inside each gate to riders, including a bike corral located at Gate 4 in Lot H, 

directly across from the shuttle stop. Bicycle racks will also be available at the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium Green Lot.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.