Local Q&A Announcements

How many people are expected to come for the Total Solar Eclipse?

Southern Illinois estimates as a region we will encounter up to 100k people. The city of Carbondale expects up to 50k for just our area. Consequently, if the weather is not conducive for viewing, we will experience a significant decrease in the number of attendees.

Are there going to be glasses available for the public? Will they be free? For sale? Some of both?

Eclipse glasses are available at several businesses including Quatro’s Pizza, Fat Patties, Primo’s Pizza, Tres Hombres, Murdale True Value, First Mid-Illinois Bank, Vic Koenig, Chris Auffenberg, Dunkin Donuts, Banterra Bank-SOLD OUT, Carbondale Public Library, and at the Carbondale Tourism Visitor Center. Contact Carbondale Tourism at 618-529-4451 to find additional locations.

Are there plans for information stations downtown?

There will be information booths located at the Carbondale Tourism office at 126 S Illinois Ave, the Civic Center at 200 S Illinois Ave, the Carbondale Eclipse Marketplace at 509 S Illinois Ave, and the Family Fun Zone at the Town Square Pavilion. There will also be information booths located at each of the three off-site parking locations.

Why is Carbondale so important during this Eclipse? As the Eclipse will reach so many places, why is Carbondale such a hot spot?

The path of the total solar eclipse will stretch across the entire United States, reaching its point of greatest duration a few miles south of Carbondale. This will make the area a focal point for scientists and eclipse chasers from across the world. During “Totality”, the City of Carbondale will experience a total of 2 minutes and 38 seconds of total darkness. Carbondale is not only in the path of the 2017 eclipse, but also the 2024 eclipse, making it a unique location for being able to perform observations of both eclipses from the same location.

Who is represented on the Carbondale Eclipse Committee?

Cinnamon Smith – Executive Director of Carbondale Tourism

Sean Henry – Public Works Director of the City of Carbondale

Steven Mitchell –  Economic Development Director of the City of Carbondale

Alicia Jackson – Assistant to the City Manager of the City of Carbondale

Ted Lomax – Fire Chief of the City of Carbondale

Stan Reno – Deputy Chief of Police of the City of Carbondale

Terril Kaufman – Emergency Management of Carbondale Fire Department

Kathy Renfro – Executive Director of Carbondale Park District

Meghan Cole – Executive Director of Carbondale Main Street

Carolyn Deane – Family Fun Zone Coordinator

Diane Hood – Eclipse Volunteer Coordinator (Citizen of the Year)

Kathy Fralish – SIH Board Member

Don Castle – SIU Coordinator

Amy Fox – Public Relations Officer of the City of Carbondale

Jannika Lopez – Eclipse Administrative Assistant & Webmaster

Where is parking located, are there lots throughout the city?

Maps will be forthcoming with specific information, go to http://www.carbondaleeclipse.com/get-around/ for additional information.

City parking lots are first-come first served with a 2hr max limit.

Remote parking will be at CCHS, University Mall, and the west side parking area(s) will be accessed via Ready Mix Road (off North 51) and will be located near the intersection of Ready Mix Road and Oakland Avenue). The cost is $5 cash or $7 credit

City Hall lot is for handicap accessible parking only.

Parking lots will also be color coded to ensure you are riding the correct shuttle bus back to your car.

What are the parking areas & shuttle hours? Are there overnight options?

CCHS, University Mall & Oakland shuttles will operate on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-1 a.m. and from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday. There are no options for overnight parking. Parking tickets/towing will be enforced.

Are the parking spaces sold by the day first come, first serve? How much do they cost? When will people be charged (in advance/upon arrival)?

For daily offsite parking (see above), the City is charging $7.00 (credit card) or $5.00 (cash) for all day parking and shuttle rides between the offsite parking areas and the Civic Center. There will be no advance purchases of parking passes for these lots. In the downtown area, parking in the other City-owned parking lots will be two-hour maximum, except for the lots located at the intersections of Mill and Washington and Lincoln and Illinois, which will be $20 for all day.

Accessible parking will be free at the City Hall/Civic Center.

Where are pick up sites for shuttle transportation?

Pickup sites will be located near the 3 remote parking areas and at City Hall. Shuttles will run between the various parking sites and City Hall; no other stops are planned. There will also be a shuttle service available to transport people from City Hall to the SIU campus.

There are no shuttles provided by the City from SIA airport, hotels, or Murdale Shopping Center.

How are the City and SIU working together to ensure that both transportation and also events and activities in general go smoothly? How much are you coordinating?

Representatives from the City, SIU, Carbondale Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce, Carbondale Main Street, and the general community meet regularly, so information is being readily shared. SIU will have shuttles from their parking areas to the events on campus and the Saluki Express will run its regular schedule.

If we have 50,000 people come into town, can our infrastructure, roads, and planning allow for parking for all of those people?

The City’s infrastructure should be adequate for whatever number of visitors we receive, though roadways can only handle so much traffic at one time. It’s possible that we may experience some traffic issues with 50,000 additional people in town. This is the primary reason that remote parking areas with shuttle busses are being created.

If my business would like to help with transportation, can I contract with the City to provide this service for a fee?

The only shuttle routes supported by the City will be for the routes serving offsite parking areas and the Civic Center and a route between the Civic Center and SIU campus.

Will Saluki Express be operating as usual with normal Fall semester routes?

It is the City’s understanding that the Saluki Express will be running their regular schedule.

Has anyone been communicating with Amtrak? Are they planning on accommodating more passengers for Eclipse weekend?

Amtrak has already launched a 30% discount for tickets to Carbondale for the Eclipse. As of June, there are no plans for any additional cars or trains.

Click here for this special rate.

What will be the best way to get around town during Eclipse weekend?

For out of town visitors, the best way is to park at one of the offsite lots and ride a shuttle to downtown. If the City gets the number of visitors that have been projected, it may be best for our local residents to avoid driving through the downtown area.

Are there going to be places for the tour buses to park? (large groups and buses, entertainment, etc., at various locations, not just Eclipse parking locations…)

Tour buses will be allowed to park at the Super Block parking area.

Is there a backup plan if traffic gets too hectic downtown and towards City Hall?

Should traffic become hectic, City staff are developing plans to adjust traffic patterns to avoid congested areas as needed, and staff will be deployed to manually direct traffic and to maintain the best possible flow of traffic.

In bussing, is there a plan to use University Mall for parking?

Yes, portions of the University Mall parking lots will be used for a remote parking area. There will be a fee for these areas and shuttles will run between the parking areas and City Hall.

Our sidewalks seem narrow already, and with so many more people, is there a plan for how people can get around on sidewalks/is there an alternative?

On-street parking may be closed, if necessary, for pedestrian use.

Will there be a lot of foot traffic from SIU to City Hall? Is there a plan to make Mill Street intersection easier to navigate? Will there be wayfinding signage?

Construction of the multi-use path connecting downtown and campus will be completed by eclipse weekend, easing concerns of foot traffic. Wayfinding signage is planned to be installed downtown.

Will there be bus transportation throughout town?

Yes, the Saluki Express will be running on their regular schedule. In addition, there will be shuttle busses that run from the remote parking areas to the Civic Center, as well as between SIU and the Civic Center.

If my church wants to charge for parking in our parking lot, can we? Can we be added to the map?

Churches and businesses are free to charge for parking on their own properties, however because of the limited area that can be displayed on the interactive map, we will not be able to include those areas.

Are there plans for information stations downtown?

Yes, at City Hall, Carbondale Tourism, and at the Marketplace on South Illinois Avenue.

For the phase 1 of the power line relocation/streetscape project: Is there a timeline on that? How big is it? Who should we talk to about that?

The downtown Streetscape project is scheduled to be substantially complete by August 10, 2017. Questions can be directed to the City’s Engineering Division at (618) 457-3270

Is the City going to close down certain streets/ the Strip? If so, how will this impact my regular business (if located on those streets)?

The “Strip” (S. Illinois Ave.) will not be closed, however, South Washington Ave will be closed between the intersections of Walnut and Elm St. The second closure is expected to be West Hospital Dr. between S. Illinois and S. University Ave. The closures will provide the additional space needed for entertainment.

What citywide events will be going on? Days/Times?

Carbondale Eclipse Marketplace, Shadowfest, the Family Fun Zone in Town Square, and the Varsity Events.

If you are a business that is hosting an event we would love to advertise your event to the public by adding it to our calendar. Si