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BART, Oakland prepare for Warriors victory parade

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Vendor Greg Richards came from Illinois to Oakland to greet fans and sell them Golden State Warriors merchandise. (Ian Williams/Special to The Examiner)

BART Transportation Supervisor Kenny Johnson holds a sign like those that will provide guidance on Tuesday to those traveling to the Golden State Warriors parade in Oakland. (Ian Williams/Special to the S.F. Examiner)

Downtown Oakland is expected to see nearly a million people flood its streets for the Warriors’ victory parade Tuesday, and many of them will be taking BART to get there.

Last year’s parade saw BART trains make 518,743 trips, down from 548,076 for the 2015 parade, according to BART records. BART officials are anticipating similar ridership Tuesday.

“[The Warriors] took care of business and now it”s our turn,” said BART Communications Officer Chris Filippi during a press conference Monday morning at Oakland’s 19th Street station. “At BART this is really a team moment for us. It’s something that we welcome.”

The parade will begin at Broadway and 11th Street at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, continue on 20th Street, turn right on Harrison Street, left onto 19th Street and right onto Lakeside Drive to finish at Oak and 13th streets.

Filippi recommended BART riders come prepared and avoid buying tickets Tuesday morning, instead purchasing Clipper Cards and BART tickets in advance. Tables selling prepaid Clipper Cards will be set up Tuesday morning at some of BART’s busiest stations, including Pittsburg/Baypoint, Dublin and Fremont stations.

Parking at BART stations is expected to fill quickly. Officials recommend taking the bus, riding a bike or carpooling to the nearest station to avoid congestion.

“Flexibility” is the operative word for Filippi, who said that although there will be scheduled trains in the morning, they will change to accommodate the needs of crowded BART stations as they become apparent.

The busiest times will be 9 a.m to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m, according to officials. Oakland’s 12th Street and 19th Street stations are expected to see the majority of traffic, with 12th Street station seeing the most at last year’s parade with 37,689 entries, according to a 2017 BART report.

BART officials will bring out more employees and signs to direct BART riders.

“We’re trying to give more visual cues in case people can’t hear the announcements,” said Assistant Chief Transportation Officer Fred Edwards. “We’re being very aggressive with our signage.”

This signage includes green paper signs that will be used to direct passengers to specific destinations.

BART will also station employees in teams of three at entrances and exits to field questions and direct passengers to the correct trains. Extra, longer trains will be in use and will be running to specific destinations on “short-line turnbacks,” instead of their traditional schedules, officials said.

The streets of Oakland, too, were being prepared Monday for Tuesday’s parade. Steel barricades sat in stacks along Broadway and on adjacent streets, while city workers trimmed hedges and fixed overhead lights.

Professional vendor Greg Richards came from Illinois four days ago to greet fans and sell them official Warriors merchandise. “Business is good when they’re winning,” he said.

Richards expects to make about a quarter of his annual income during Tuesday’s parade.

But not everyone is so welcoming.

One man, who refused to give his name, stood atop the escalator at the 19th Street BART station in Oakland trying to place a bet with anyone who looked his way.

“I bet anybody here $2 they can’t name the starting five of the ‘76 Warriors,” he said. “Where are the Warriors’ real fans?”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE WARRIORS 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP PARADE GO TO NBA.COM.

Barriers are lined up along the route in preparation for the Golden State Warriors parade in Oakland on Tuesday. (Ian Williams/S.F. Examiner)

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