DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland and local businesses have been meticulously preparing for the first GOP presidential debate that will be taking place in downtown Cleveland at the "Q".
Preps for the Republican National Convention began on Monday, August 3rd and continue throughout the week with the culmination of Thursday night's debate. This event is part of the RNC's Summer Meetings, in preparation for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next year.
The debate is expected to draw scores of visitors from all over the country into our city to get a first look at potential Presidential nominees and experience all the great things our city has to offer.
In order to accomplish this task, The City of Cleveland Division of Police would like to announce the following traffic restrictions for Wednesday, August 5th and Thursday, August 6th.
Wednesday, August 5th at 9:00 am
Closure of two lanes, westbound on Huron Road from East 4th Street to East 7th Street. One westbound lane of travel will be permitted to travel past the enclosure.
Thursday, August 6th at 9:00 am
Complete closure of Huron Road from Ontario Street to East 7th Street. This road closure will be in effect for the duration of the event on Thursday.
The corner of Huron and Prospect will be closed for the duration of the event. Local access will be permitted to hotel and parking garage patrons.
Designated media satellite truck parking will be allotted in the following areas: corner of Huron Road and Ontario Street, select areas on Ontario Street, corner of Carnegie and Ontario by the I-90 freeway.
There will be limited access to Gateway parking garages on both dates. For your convenience, visit parking.downtowncleveland.com/ for parking alternatives on both dates.
In addition to the traffic restrictions, the City of Cleveland and Division of Police offer the following advice to avoid traffic congestion and enjoy the excitement in Downtown for the debate:
Arrive early. Plan your commute beforehand to effectively utilize your time. As the debate is a private event, entrance is only permitted to those who have tickets. Many venues around the Downtown area will be holding watch parties and are open to the public. Please be cognizant of increased traffic, security, and corresponding delays as you make plans for the evening.
Ride RTA. The RTA Rapid provides the best way to travel Downtown. Trains will be in service to provide a convenient way home from Tower City. Due to security at the Q, the Walkway between the Q and Tower City will be closed. Visitors are reminded that trolley service is "free with a smile." Please use trolleys to explore downtown. To learn more, go to www.rideRTA.com or call 216-621-9500.
Put Your Junk in Your Trunk! Valuable items should not be left in the interior of a vehicle where others can see them. Even better is to place these items in the trunk prior to arriving at your destination.
Be aware of increased pedestrian traffic in the downtown area.
If you see something suspicious, say something. Report any suspicious activity to safety officials.
Protest peacefully. The City of Cleveland recognizes that people have a right to protest peacefully. It is the city's expectation that all protests remain peaceful and do not undermine the progress our community has made in ensuring that all citizens receive the respect they expect and deserve. Actions that cross the line – by citizens or police officers – cannot and will not be tolerated.
The Bureau of Traffic will supplement their customary allotment of traffic enforcement officers with additional police officers and traffic controllers to facilitate traffic into and out of downtown and to assist with pedestrian traffic. Numerous officers will be detailed to the area during the event for added security and crowd control.
The Ohio Department of Transportation would like to remind motorists to be alert for detours and new traffic patterns as multiple road & bridge improvement projects are taking place around the City of Cleveland. Roadways including the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway, Interstate 90 "Innerbelt" and Prospect Avenue – adjacent to Quicken Loans Arena – are under construction and lanes are reduced.
Motorists are encouraged to follow all posted signage and allow for extra travel time to reach, and depart, Downtown venues. Be sure to "Know Before You Go" and visit www.ohgo.com for up-to-the-minute information, including LIVE traffic speeds and cameras approaching Downtown Cleveland.
Please be advised that RTA offers convenient rail service to Tower City for easy access to Downtown Cleveland destinations.
However, on Thursday, August 6, due to security at the Q during the GOP debate, the Walkway between the Q and Tower City will be closed all day and evening.
Visitors are reminded that trolley service is "free with a smile." Please use trolleys to explore downtown. To learn more, go to www.rideRTA.com or call 216-621-9500.