SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The always-popular December Nights returns to Balboa Park Friday and Saturday. The annual holiday celebration is a huge draw, which also brings plenty of traffic to the area. It could be even worse this year, thanks to a major construction project.
While December Nights is one of the most popular and highly anticipated events in Balboa Park all year long, the traffic situation getting there this year could qualify as a December nightmare.
That's because an ongoing construction project means that Park Boulevard heading south into Balboa Park promises to back up, with one lane in each direction closed.
"We really want people to avoid Park Boulevard this year," city spokesman Bill Harris said.
Harris encourages the more than 350,000 revelers expected to attend December Nights to take advantage of off-site parking and special shuttle services both at City College and at Petco Park.
"There's ways to avoid the traffic. Get to a shuttle, get into the park and have a great time and get back to your car without much hassle at all," Harris said.
Harris also cautions folks to avoid SR-163, which will also see significant bottlenecks, and opt instead for I-5 south, using the Imperial Avenue exit.
"The shuttles are going to be leaving at Petco Park. There is free parking at City College, and that is in walking distance," Harris said.
For those determined to arrive early and actually park in the park, spaces are at a premium. While there is limited free parking at the zoo, paid parking elsewhere in the park goes for $20.
Some of the footage used in this video report was shot using a GoPro camera.