There's always something going on in the Oklahoma City area and motorists express their displeasure, frustration — and a few other emotions — when they have trouble getting from point A to point B during big events.
Such is the case in this note from a reader:
I was wondering why when they have an event on the Oklahoma River they feel the need to close the Lincoln Boulevard/Central Avenue bridge. On weekends it is not a big deal but with limited access to downtown from the south (Shields closed) it makes the morning and evening commutes take twice as long because you can't escape Bricktown.
Good question, Allen. Here's the official word from the city.
Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock, public information and marketing manager for the Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation Department, says portions of the Central Avenue (Lincoln) Bridge are closed during certain events along the Oklahoma River for these reasons:
“This is done from time to time for those events that are larger in scope and require event setup along the bridge,” she says. “In the case of the Regatta Fest, one side of the bridge is used for parking, as well as an outlook for race officials, photographers and other spectators.
The bridge is partially closed for events about four or five times per year total, and in each instance, the permitee is required to place temporary electronic traffic boards along Lincoln Boulevard near the bridge to notify people of the upcoming closure.
“Other events where this is done include the Head of the Regatta, the Riverboat Parade and the Drag Boat races.
“We recognize that it can cause some traffic issues (there was also a concert at the Chesapeake Center on Friday night, creating additional traffic issues in Bricktown), but do work with event organizers to mitigate traffic problems as best as possible.
“As I had to go down to the Boathouse area personally on Friday afternoon,” she said, “I know that a lot of the traffic also came from the individual teams and groups that happened to be arriving at that time to get situated in their own parking/boat setup areas.”
By the way ...
For those of you who live in or frequently travel through northwest Oklahoma County, here's a meeting about NW 178 you might want to make.
This route frequently draws commentary from readers and callers.
The public is invited to a community meeting to discuss the proposed reconstruction and widening of NW 178 from May to Pennsylvania. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at West Field Elementary School, 17601 N Pennsylvania Ave.
Attendees can discuss project details with the contractor and learn about the impact it could have on surrounding neighborhoods.
Mark your calendar.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.