Downtown residents prep for RNC, closure of Huron, Prospect

Downtown residents prep for RNC, closure of Huron, Prospect
Cleveland is now ranked as one top cities to launch a business. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In 20 days, the Republican National Convention comes to Cleveland -- and downtown residents have a lot of questions about how it will affect their daily lives.

The Secret Service held a meeting for downtown residents Tuesday evening at the new Hilton Hotel on Lakeside Avenue.

The meeting was closed to the media because it was considered a subcommittee meeting of the Secret Service, but downtown residents tell Cleveland 19 News it answered some of their questions and concerns.

For Antoinette King, living downtown is convenient.

"I can walk to work, I don't even have to drive," she said.

But it may not be as convenient for residents during the RNC, when thousands of delegates and visitors will fill downtown Cleveland. Those who spoke with Cleveland 19 News said their biggest concerns are crowds and safety.

"They said there would be a major police presence so no craziness will happen," King said. "I was worried about that."

Residents learned the Secret Service will do quick sweeps of their cars coming in and out of parking garages for safety checks, but they probably won't have to show their IDs to get in.

Some roads, including Huron and Prospect, will be closed to cars.

Cleveland 19 News has been told Euclid will stay open.

"We talked about all the police and everything that's going to be here, how they are beefing up all the security -- I think it made everyone feel safer and more informed on what to expect down town over the next couple weeks," said Wade Foley, who lives downtown and attended the meeting.

King said the extra time to get around is worth the trouble, as long as everyone stays safe -- she knows Cleveland will be under a microscope.

"They're going to look at Cleveland and if anything goes wrong, we'll all be at fault. So I'm glad to have all of the safeguards in place," she said.

The Secret Service says uniformed police and undercover officers will be out during the RNC.

There will be a second meeting for downtown residents July 12 at 6 p.m. in the Cleveland Public Auditorium.

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