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city bloomington

Where to park in Bloomington during the total eclipse

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Bloomington is forecasting 200,000-300,000 visitors to arrive with plans to view the total solar eclipse April 8. With these numbers expected to approach or break previous city attendance records, parking spaces will be scarce. This is your guide to navigating parking during the eclipse. 

Switchyard Park 

For those planning to experience the eclipse from Switchyard Park at 1601 S Rogers St, parking will open at 5 a.m. and extend to 11 p.m. There will be over 400 parking spaces available at the park, according to the city’s eclipse page.  

Switchyard offers free parking during regular hours of operation, but overnight parking will not be available.  

Downtown Parking 

The four downtown parking garages will be open 24 hours on the day of the eclipse. The garage locations are listed below: 

Walnut Street Garage: 300 N Morton St, with approximately 265 parking spaces available. 

Morton Street Garage: 220 N Morton St, with approximately 245 parking spaces available. 

4th Street Garage: 105 W 4th St, with approximately 400 parking spaces available. 

Trades District Garage: 489 W 10th St, with approximately 260 parking spaces available. 

The city will charge a $10 special event fee upfront in place of the standard garage hourly rate. Both cash and card will be accepted.  

Monthly passholders will not be charged provided they show their pass at the gate. Those interested in purchasing a monthly pass can access instructions through the city’s garage parking page. 

There will be no public parking or pedestrian access to any garage roof areas on the day of the eclipse to preserve structural integrity, according to Bloomington Parking Services Director Michelle Wahl.  

Street and surface lot parking will be charged at the standard rate of $1 per hour. The surface lots are located below:  

Lot 1 - Dunn Street and E. 4th Street. 

Lot 3 - E. 4th Street and Washington Street. 

Lot 5 - E. 6th Street and Lincoln Street. 

Lot 6 - E. 3rd Street and Washington Street.  

There is some free 24/7 street parking in residential areas just outside of downtown, but they will likely be filled quickly, Wahl said.  

This information is all available on the city’s downtown parking website. 

Additional Information 

Bloomington Transit will suspend operations between 1:10 and 5:10 p.m. on the day of the eclipse, but the bus schedules will otherwise be operating as posted. The city encourages visitors and residents alike to walk, bike, or use public transportation whenever possible, according to the eclipse page. 

According to Wahl, standstill traffic is very likely due to the sheer number of visitors. There will be no street closures to promote the flow of traffic as much as possible.  

Only essential City of Bloomington personnel will be required to come in to work on the day of the eclipse to mitigate congestion, Wahl said.  

Total eclipses happen about once every 18 months, but they only pass over any given place once every 360 years on average according to NASA. The total eclipse will be visible in Bloomington at approximately 3:04 p.m. 

As rare an event as the eclipse is, it’s also important visitors and residents prioritize safety for themselves and others. Drive safely, park legally and do what you can to make the eclipse accessible for everyone coming to Bloomington. 

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