PGA Championship at Oak Hill faces traffic, cell service challenges

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. An event as big as the PGA certainly has its challenges.

We’ve seen an increase in traffic on the roads, and now we’re hearing about cell service issues.

“It could be a lot worse I think,” said Heather Heffernan, who has been doing business in the neighborhood since PGA started.

She’s been painting cabinets in a resident’s house nearby the course. Heffernan said traffic can be congested at times, especially in the morning, around 10 a.m.

“But it’s very well organized and I think there’s ways to get around it,” she said. “But I think it’s busiest on East Avenue.”

Mike Morse who lives off of Allen’s Creek Rd agrees.

“Just mainly the intersection at East Avenue and 441, which is Elmwood Avenue,” he said. “They’ve had to have some police officers to help out.”

Morse said some people pass through during rush hour.

“So I would remind everyone, whether it’s this neighborhood or any neighborhood, when you’re supposed to be 30 or 35, there are children and dogs and old people who live there,” he said. “Respect the speed limit and enjoy the show.”

With an event bringing nearly 40,000 people to Oak Hill each day, Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith is warning neighbors of cell service issues. He said some residents who live near the course were reporting problems.

Smith said in a Facebook post Thursday, he has been in contact with Verizon and the Monroe County Office of Emergency Management. The town also brought in a temporary cell tower. The Town of Pittsford said Verizon placed a second mobile cell tower in the area of the tournament, which was activated Friday morning. It is expected to improve the cellphone service in the area of the PGA Championship.

PGA Championship Director Bryan Karns said they’ve been working to add more mobile cellular sites to help with service.

“We have seen people struggle,” he said. “The most important thing is we don’t turn anyone away with tickets. if you have a ticket, and there’s been an issue, we’ve been able to resolve that.”

Any 911 calls will go through in an emergency if there’s a service overload.

“But yeah we’re continuing to collaborate just like we do with everything,” said Karns. “With any issues there’s ongoing discussion, we talk about it. We go into this week sort of anticipating the worst but hoping for the best.”

“We have not had any issue here,” said Anne and Doug Jeff. “I don’t know we haven’t been on the course yet.”

“I think everybody is doing a great job,” said Anne Jeff. “I think the police, the PGA, they’ve all done a good job. It’s a lot of people. They’ve done an excellent job navigating a big crowd of people in a small town.”