CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Mayor Frank G. Jackson and Secret Service officials laid out security and traffic restrictions Thursday for the Republican National Convention.
The Secret Service is the lead federal agency in developing security for the RNC.
"In conjunction with RNC, the Secret Service will be establishing zones around the Republican National Convention complex," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Ronald L. Rowe.
The RNC complex includes Quicken Loans Arena, the Gateway East Plaza, and Progressive Field.
As a result of the newly created complex, the Secret Service implemented restricted areas for vehicles and pedestrians.
"People who want to come downtown and go to a restaurant that's located on Huron or East 4th or anywhere along Prospect Avenue will be able to do so, they just will not be able to travel there by a car," Agent Rowe said. "We encourage people (coming downtown) to take public transportation."
The street closures and traffic restrictions demonstrate that officials primary objective is to make sure downtown Cleveland is safe and secure during the RNC.
"We wanted to make sure the city of Cleveland is ready to welcome the world and do so in a safe way," said Agent Rowe.
The Master Map for the RNC spans several blocks across downtown Cleveland. Security expert Tim Dimoff, with SACS Consulting & Investigative Services Inc., says the map's boundaries were put together carefully.
"If you notice the map, they're using natural barriers. You have I-90 and expressways to the east, partly south, you have a waterfront to the north and you have a river to the west. There's very little being used that's not natural barriers," Dimoff said.
Dimoff says that makes the security zone easier for law enforcement to contain controlling all traffic flow of people and cars. He says there's a reason the U.S. Secret Service released this map just 18 days before the RNC.
"The less time you give between the event and announcing security, that enhances your security," he said.
Residents living downtown at 668 Euclid Avenue and guests of Residence Inn will need to get screened if they're driving in and out of the secure zones. The security check will be on Prospect Ave west of East 9th Street.
The Secret Service says they'll do a two-minute "quick check" of all vehicles with a K-9, paying special attention to engines and trunks.
A remote delivery site will be set up on Prospect Ave and East 4th Street for downtown businesses receiving packages or shipments. It will be open from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m.
All cargo will be scanned and then escorted to businesses by law enforcement.
There will be some restrictions on I-90 for Class C trucks, which will be re-routed. Some ramps going into downtown off I-90 will be closed for all vehicles.
Cleveland Police bought 300 bicycles so they can get around the crowds expected downtown easier.
The welcome event will be Sunday, July 17, on the lakefront.
The following blue Postal Service collection boxes will be removed from service between July 11 and July 25:
1120 Chester Ave.
1465 Chester Ave.
1823 Columbus Rd.
1375 E. 13th St.
1802 E. 25th St.
1940 E. 6th St.
1801 E. 9th St.
2217 E. 9th St.
601 Erieside Ave.
925 Euclid Ave.
1701 Lakeside Ave. E
2811 Lorain Ave.
1231 Main Ave.
1501 N. Marginal Rd.
2999 Payne Ave.
2207 W. 11th St.
1866 W. 25th St.
1958 W. 25th St.
2012 W. 25th St.
1280 W. 3rd St.
1220 W. 6th St.
1406 W. 6th St.
1300 W. 9th St.
1468 W. 9th St.
323 W. Lakeside Ave.
700 W. Saint Clair Ave.
740 W. Superior Ave.
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