Community

Getting to Churchill Downs for the Oaks or the Kentucky Derby can be difficult, to say the least.

Tens of thousands of people will flock to the track this weekend. Many of them drive, and the streets that aren’t closed can be clogged with drivers jockeying for parking spots and better access.

But there are other options.

Three bus routes will take riders within blocks of the track. TARC’s number 4, 6 and 23 lines serve areas from Shively to St. Matthews and downtown.

The routes will be operating on normal schedules, though you should expect delays, said Russell Goodwin, spokesman for TARC.

At 4:30 p.m. on Oaks and Derby days, the routes will be subject to detours, Goodwin said. That means pick-up stops post-race will be different than drop-off spots, he said.

Goodwin encouraged anyone taking TARC to the track to check routes online and plan their trip before heading out to the races. You can do that here.

And TARC will provide free bus rides across the city on Oaks Day beginning at 6 p.m., Goodwin said.

Race fans can also bike to the track.

The city’s parks department is teaming up with Bicycling For Louisville this year to provide free bike parking for up to 300 bikes at Wayside Park. The park is adjacent to the track, between Oakdale Avenue and Third Street.

The temporary bicycle racks have been successful at events throughout the city in the past, and this is the first time officials are bringing them to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby.

Chris Glasser is a spokesman for Bicycling for Louisville. He said biking to the track is the cheapest, fastest way to go.

“I think it’s a bit of a misconception about biking, that it has to be a strenuous, sweaty activity,” he said. “People can bike in dresses, they can bike in suits as well.”

No motorcycles will be allowed in the parking area, and cyclists who leave their bikes at Wayside Park do so at their own risk, as the park will not be monitored during those three days, according to a release.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.