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U.S. Open: D.C. Congestion Meant Doubling Shuttle Buses

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Signs for private parking right outside the entrance to Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. (For the most part, the masses won't be parking here, but at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg.)
Matt Bush
Signs for private parking right outside the entrance to Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. (For the most part, the masses won't be parking here, but at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg.)

Since 1997, Montgomery County has seen significant growth and development, and with it, much heavier traffic congestion.

So U.S. Open organizers needed to find ways to get the expected 50,000 fans expected to attend the tournament on each of the four days through bigger and bigger gridlock.

The answer, says USGA president Jim Hyler, was more of everything -- starting with parking and shuttle buses.

"This year in fact we're using 475 buses. Last year at Pebble, we used 275," he says. "So we've almost doubled the number of buses we have in use."

Visitors can park at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, and the Crown Farm property in Gaithersburg as well.

But the growth in Montgomery County, and the D.C. region as a whole, isn't expected to slow any time soon. Hyler was asked if that might prevent the U.S. Open from returning.

"For the future...who knows about the future," he says. "All we're trying to do is have a successful U.S. Open for this week."

The locations for future U.S. Opens have been scheduled through 2019.

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