Bright Nights neighbors get traffic pass (MassLive)
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SPRINGFIELD — Some residents are getting traffic passes so they can bypass cars queued up in their neighborhood to enter Bright Nights at Forest Park.
Volunteers will deliver the orange tags this weekend to about 400 residents in a subset of the Forest Park neighborhood called Cozy Corner, basically between the entrance to the actual Forest Park and the intersection of Longhill Street and Sumner Avenue, said at-large councilor Jesse Lederman.
Residents are told to put the tags on their dashboards and to enter the neighborhood at an intersection that has a police traffic detail working Bright Nights. Police working the detail know to look for the tag and to wave those drivers around traffic, and not to assume oncoming drivers are trying to get in line to see the holiday light display.
“That’s a process that used to require a lot of eye contact and hand gestures,” Lederman said.
Victor Davila, Ward 6 city councilor, said Spirit of Springfield, the organization behind Bright Nights, has provided the driving passes in past years. What’s new is having volunteers hand-deliver them — in a contactless way — to individual homes by dropping them by doors.
Spirit of Springfield expects Bright Nights to be busier this year, Davila said. At its busiest, 300 cars can move through the light display in an hour.
“People have been staying home,” he said. “There is demand for something to do.”
COVID-19 restrictions mean shorter hours at the light show this year, said Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt. The early closing time of 8:45 p.m. will cost the organization 36 hours of display time.
Bright Nights runs Nov. 25 to Jan. 3. Admission will be $23 per car on weeknights, weekdays and holidays. Discounted tickets will be available at participating Big Y World Class Markets for $16.50. Due to capacity limitations set by the state, admission has been reduced to $100 for buses with capacity of more than 30 people. Vehicles with seating for 17-30 people will be charged $50.