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City releases eclipse visitor estimates for seven Bloomington parks



Bloomington, Indiana – The number of people that visited certain Bloomington parks during the total eclipse was approximated by a new count provided on Monday by the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation department.

A Bloomington Parks and Recreation report on April 11 stated that 8,000 people were expected to visit Switchyard Park on the eclipse day. On Monday, the city expanded the list of parks by seven.

Rose Hill Cemetery – 200 visitors
Ferguson Dog Park – 100 visitors
Lower Cascades Park – 700 visitors
RCA Community Park – 250 visitors
Olcott Park/Rogers Family Park – 423 visitors
Griffy Lake Nature Preserve – 1,700 visitors
Bryan Park – 1,800 visitors

Parks and Recreation board spokesman Julie Ramey said that the city estimates 13,173 total visitors and community members viewed the eclipse from parks that have been recorded thus far.

Although the precise number of visitors to Bloomington is still unknown, low park attendance and traffic indicate fewer people overall than the city’s pre-eclipse expectations of over 200,000.

Officials from the BPD and Bloomington Public Safety cautioned the city’s citizens to brace for major traffic delays and perhaps gridlock, but they saw a lot less traffic than they anticipated. On the day of the eclipse, BPD responded to fewer traffic crashes than they would have on a typical workday, but they did not report any bottleneck.

In an email, Visit Bloomington Executive Director Mike McAfee stated that the early estimates were partially derived from the number of college towns in the path of totality that had visitors during the 2017 total eclipse. According to McAfee, Bloomington officials were instructed to get ready for a threefold increase in the city’s population.

However, McAfee considers the eclipse events to be a success overall, even though the numbers may have been overestimated.

“We may not have seen those numbers, but we also didn’t have any safety issues or other problems,” he said in the email. “I would much rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.”


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