If you go: Details on the visit of the president
All those planning to attend President Barack Obama’s campaign rally at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on Thursday, Oct. 4 should keep in mind a number of important logistical details.
Please note, all details may be subject to change ahead of the event.
Entry: The event will be held on Bascom Hill on campus, and entry to the hill will begin at noon. The event is free and open to the public, though registration will be required. Go here to register. Note: Registration does not guarantee entrance to the event.
The line to enter the event will form on the sidewalk on Observatory Drive to the west of Bascom Hall, no earlier than 7 a.m. Thursday. All who enter the event must show their registration on their mobile phone or a printout and undergo screening by metal detector.
Carry-in policy: All attendees should expect to pass through airport like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. Small cameras will be permitted inside.
For safety and security reasons, certain items are prohibited, including laptop computers, umbrellas, sharp objects, metal or plastic drink bottles (water will be provided inside the secure area), backpacks and bags or purses larger than a standard sheet of paper. No food will be allowed in or sold inside the event area. Event attendees are asked to prepare accordingly. No signs will be allowed. iPads and tablets will be allowed, but need to be turned on for security.
Bottled breast milk and formula will be allowed, with an infant. However, the event is not designed for small children and no strollers or other food will be permitted. No vending is permitted in line.
Cell phone coverage: Due to heavy anticipated use in the event area, cell phone coverage is expected to be spotty. In an emergency, in addition to calling 911, be sure to directly contact on-site safety personnel. View DoIT tips to improve your battery life.
Water: Water will be provided for free inside the event area.
Accessibility: Individuals with a disability needing accessible seating or assistance gaining access to Bascom Hill should use the designated ADA drop-off point located at the intersection of Observatory Drive and North Charter Street. One guest may accompany those with disabilities. The drop-off area can be accessed via Charter Street. ADA parking is available in Grainger Hall, the Fluno Center, Lot 36, 46, the Union South ramp, Engineering Drive ramp and Madison’s Lake Street ramp.
Golf carts will be available to assist with transportation to the reserved space near the stage adjacent to the School of Education. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing should also enter here in order to be seated in proximity to the sign language interpreter.
The visit of a president is a rare event, and carries with it a focus on safety and security. However, to the extent possible, the university is attempting to minimize disruption of a normal school and workday for students, faculty and staff.
Please note, all details listed below may be subject to change ahead of Thursday’s event.
Academic and administrative buildings: Between the hours of 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. the following buildings will be closed to classes, employees and all other activities: Science Hall, Education, North Hall, South Hall, Law School and Music Hall. Students should await details from their instructors on alternative arrangements. Employees will receive additional information from supervisors about work arrangements.
The site: Staging has begun and may cause some movement restrictions. The hill will be closed to foot traffic all day on Thursday, but will be reopened after the event on Thursday.
Overflow: Accommodations for individuals who arrive after the event has reached its capacity will be on the hill north of Observatory Drive, west of Liz Waters. There will be audio. Memorial Union and Union South will also air the event live in the Rat and Sett and on the Terrace. Memorial and Steenbock Libraries will also be airing the event live.
Roof access: Roof access to all buildings in and around the event area is completely restricted.
Blinds and windows: Blinds in campus buildings facing the event area need to be closed by the end of business Wednesday. Anyone standing in a window facing the event area Thursday can expect to be contacted by police personnel.
Parking: Daytime parking is extremely limited around Bascom Hill, and attendees from the campus and Madison community are encouraged to walk or use public transportation. A limited number of spaces are available in the city’s State Street Campus Parking Ramp, 430 N. Frances St. and 415 N. Lake St. UW parking lots 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 26 and 105 will be closed. All vehicles must be removed from these lots by 6:45 a.m. Thursday. UW Transportation Services has emailed permit holders with details and alternatives for campus parking.
Bicycle parking: No bicycle parking will be allowed in the Bascom Hill area. All bike racks around Bascom Hall will be removed by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Any bikes left parked at racks around the Law Building, Music Hall, Science Hall, South Hall and to the east of Birge Hall will be removed at 7 a.m. Thursday.
Moped parking: Lots 612 (Mosse Humanities Building), 613 (Helen C. White Hall), 614 (Chadbourne Hall), 620 (Law Building), 632 (Ingraham Hall) will be closed. Alternatives include lots 601, 602, 607, 611, 633, 641, 642, 643 and the all-access lot at the SERF.
Madison Metro buses: Eastbound Route 80 will detour Thursday, turning west onto University Avenue from North Lake Street, continuing on University to North Charter Street, turning north on Charter and west on Linden Drive. No other routes will be affected.
Intercity buses: Buses that typically park on Langdon street cannot pick up or drop off passengers at that site on Thursday, and many bus lines have shifted schedules and locations as a result. Contact those lines for more detailed information.
Traffic: Downtown traffic will be affected by street closings throughout the day. On and around campus, 7 a.m. closures include: Langdon Street between North Lake Street and North Park Street, North Park Street north of University Avenue, North Charter Street from Linden Drive to Observatory Drive, Observatory Drive from North Park Street to Babcock Drive. All those travelling in the campus area should be prepared for delays.
Pedestrians and bicyclists: Most campus sidewalks and paths will be open as usual to pedestrians and bicyclists on Thursday. However, the Bascom Hill area will be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists after 7 a.m. Thursday. Observatory Drive will be very congested between Bascom Hill west down to Babcock Drive. Streets closed to automobiles will also be closed to bicyclists. Pedestrians and bicyclists should think ahead about their routes through the campus to avoid closed and congested routes. In many cases, Linden Drive and University Avenue will prove the best alternatives to Observatory Drive and Bascom Hill on Thursday.
Lakeshore Path: Open to pedestrian traffic only from Porter Boathouse to Helen C. White Hall (no bicycles allowed).