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Chico State Graduation to Impact Downtown Traffic

With 2,100 students moving out of the dorms and 4,000 others inviting family and friends to watch their graduation ceremonies, expect some major delays this weekend if you head downtown.

Posted: May 17, 2018 3:51 AM
Updated: May 17, 2018 7:52 AM

Chico, Calif.-- As the college school year comes to a close this week, thousands of Chico State students are packing up and heading home.

Students living on campus have 48 hours to pack up and go, so if you take Warner Street to work or to drop off your kids to school, you may want to tray a different route both Thursday and Friday.

University Police will have Legion Avenue here blocked off to move-out pick-up only and that means traffic control along Warner Street.

"There will be a huge influx of people in the street and the big exodus happens. It can be tricky and it's kind of a dance - we've been doing it for about 30 years and there's not perfect system but we try our best," said Sean Murphy, Media Coordinator for the university.

There's one exception - graduating students are allowed to stay through Sunday.

The move-out is just the beginning of a huge swell of congestion in store for the rest of the week, beginning Thursday evening as Broadway Street shuts down for the Thursday Night Market, and the first of the graduations also begins at 4:30 pm. at Laxson Auditorium which is right in the downtown area.

If you're heading to the farmer's market either Thursday or Saturday, you may consider taking you bike, the bus, or at least carpooling because each student is allowed 7 guests, and the university has no plan for additional parking.

The lots right around the stadium and student health center will be open for handicapped parking only.

"People can expect 30 minutes of wait time to get in and out ... the city of Chico has a parking structure, people can park in the Chico State parking lots and we won't be ticketing them and you don't need any special pass, those are open," said Murphy.

On Friday, you'll see traffic ramp up for an afternoon and evening ceremony over by Nettleton Stadium.

Graduations will continue on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., and again Sunday morning.

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