Fiddler's Green traffic system empties all parking lots, garages in 18 minutes

Greenwood Village police perfect traffic flow
Posted at 10:24 PM, Aug 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-21 14:28:15-04

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. -- We all know the headache of being stuck in traffic after a concert or sporting event.

Because of that, the Greenwood Village Police Department has nearly perfected what they call the ‘flush.’ The ‘flush’ is the process of moving everyone out after concerts at the iconic Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater.

GVPD officers say it can get everyone out of the surface lots and parking garages within one square mile of Fiddler’s in 18-25 minutes. The venue holds about 17,000 people.

“It sounds kind of funny, but it’s the flush cycle,” said Eric Schmitt, commander with the GVPD. “And it’s designed to flush traffic out from the venue.”

The system requires a simple flip of a switch in the main control box at Greenwood Plaza Boulevard and East Caley. The ‘flush’ switch triggers the light cycle at intersections within one square mile of the venue. Sounds basic, but perfecting ‘the flush’ takes weeks of research at the beginning of each concert season.

“Our traffic engineers actually come out for the first couple shows, and they’ll observe at night and they’ll work the lights,” said Schmitt.

Those engineers also take into account current construction, like a major project underway at Arapahoe and I-25.

“We realized that sending people south was going to be problematic,” said Schmitt. ”It was going to result in delays.”

So, this year they’re sending the majority of traffic north toward Orchard, rather than south toward Arapahoe, reinventing traffic flow year after year for the quickest way to get you home.

“The last thing we want is people that are packed into a parking garage, jawing at each other and getting into it where they can’t get out,” said Schmitt. “That’s when fights tend to break-out.”

The system frees up officers who can then direct their attention to matters inside the venue, like people smoking marijuana illegally in public.

There are more than 25 concerts planned at Fiddler’s this season.

“We have them every day of the week out here,” Schmitt said. “We just want to get everyone home safely."

There's also a texting service that alerts you to traffic issues around Fiddler's. It's called Nixle - a texting service - that gives you real time results. You can sign up by texting "FIDDLERS411" TO "888777."


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.