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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

city bloomington

City releases eclipse visitor estimates for seven Bloomington parks


A new count from the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation department released Monday estimated the number of visitors during the total eclipse for some Bloomington parks.  

Bloomington Parks and Recreation released an estimate April 11 of 8,000 visitors to Switchyard Park on the day of the eclipse. The city added seven new parks to the list Monday.  

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 

The city estimated 13,173 total visitors and community members watched the eclipse from parks that have been recorded so far, according to Parks and Recreation board spokesperson Julie Ramey.  

The actual number of visitors to Bloomington is still unknown, but low traffic and park attendance suggest lower total visitors than the city’s projections of more than 200,000 prior to the eclipse.  

BPD and Bloomington Public Safety officials, who warned Bloomington residents to prepare for substantial traffic delays and potential gridlock, noted significantly less traffic than they expected. However, BPD didn’t report any gridlock on the day of the eclipse and responded to fewer traffic crashes than they would expect on an average weekday.  

Mike McAfee, Executive Director of Visit Bloomington, said in an email that initial projections were based in part on recorded visitor numbers from college towns in the path of totality during the 2017 total eclipse. Bloomington officials were told to prepare for the city’s population to triple in size, McAfee said. 

But despite the possible overestimation of numbers, McAfee sees the eclipse events as an overall success.  

“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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