Friday, May 05, 2000

Big events could crowd city streets

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire and the Tyler Davidson Fountain. No, it's not the beginning of a bad joke, but it could be the beginning of a very bad weekend for motorists.

        Those three will combine to draw tens of thousands to downtown Cincinnati over the next three days, starting at 7:05 tonight when Mr. McGwire and his division-leading St. Louis Cardinals come to Cinergy Field.

        “It's hard to say how many people could come downtown,” said City Traffic Engineer Steve Bailey. “But we are anticipating a lot.”

        At about the same time, street closures begin in preparation for the two-day Fountain Restoration Celebration. From 7 tonight until 5 a.m. Monday, Fifth Street will shut down between Vine and Sycamore streets; Walnut and Main streets will close between Fourth and Sixth streets.

        On Saturday, from 3 p.m. until midnight, Vine between Fourth and Sixth will close, as will Fifth between Race and Vine.

        Metro bus service will be rerouted and meter parking will be prohibited on these streets at those times, officials said, adding that parking garages on those streets will be accessible.

        Despite the expected kinetics of two of baseball's heaviest hitters, tickets for this weekend's series are still available, Reds officials said.

        Conservative estimates predict more than 50,000 people will flood downtown each day — well beyond that on Saturday.

        Ceremonies for Saturday's fountain dedication begin at 4 p.m. The unveiling is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

        Activities include fireworks, bands, dancers, face paintings and theatrical performances. The celebration will end 6 p.m. Sunday.

        Drivers will have to deal with the latest phase of the Fort Washington Way construction project, which centers on Third Street.

        ARTIMIS, the Greater Cincinnati's traffic monitoring agency; Metro and the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky are urging motorists to take public transportation downtown this weekend or either park in a garage and walk to the featured events.

        They advise motorists who must drive to follow these routes into downtown this weekend:

        • From Interstate 75 south, take the Seventh Street exit.

        • From Interstate 471 north, take the exit for Sixth Street.

        • From Columbia Parkway, exit at Sixth or Lytle and follow to Fourth.

        • From Interstate 71 south, exit at Gilbert Avenue and head to Eighth Street.

        • From I-75 north, take the new Fifth Street exit.

Tyler-Davidson Fountain dedication
What's happening this weekend
RADEL: Join party for city, landmark

- Big events could crowd city streets
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