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Friday, March 30, 2012

Third level of Lawrence’s parking garage will be closed Saturday night for Final Four downtown security

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In your strategic planning for a parking space downtown in the event of a major celebration after Kansas University’s Final Four game Saturday, you can eliminate the top level of the New Hampshire Street parking garage.

The city has posted signs saying toady that level — which is the 24-hour free-parking section of the garage — will be closed so city vehicles can be parked there in case they will be needed if thousands of people flood downtown.

“It has been posted in advance to let people know about the plan and to make alternate arrangements,” said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman.

KU’s game in New Orleans against Ohio State is scheduled to tip off at 7:49 p.m. after the Kentucky-Louisville game.

McKinley said the other levels of the New Hampshire Street garage and the Riverfront Garage north of Seventh and Rhode Island streets likely would be best bets for parking before the game — or at least for anyone lucky enough to get a spot there. Otherwise, he advised against parking in core areas along or close to Massachusetts Street.

City officials are preparing in case of a major celebration and urging people to be safe. An estimated 40,000 people celebrated downtown in 2008 after KU defeated Memphis in the national championship game.

If KU defeats Ohio State today, the city plans to close Massachusetts Street from Sixth Street south to 13th Street, and police said this likely means anyone who parks on Massachusetts Street won’t be able to get out until the streets clear hours later.

Several hundred officers from Lawrence and area departments will be deployed downtown.

McKinley said that if KU loses, the streets likely won’t close because many people probably would head home, but officers would still be deployed to maintain peace.

“We’re down there to make sure that everybody stays safe. Most of the decisions we’ve made have surrounded the safety aspects of things,” McKinley said. “We want people to come down and have fun, but any kind of violence is going to be addressed, and any kind of property damage is going to be addressed.”

The city and police department has also offered these safety tips in case of a major celebration:

• Stay in groups and notify family members of your plans.

• Do not get into vehicles with individuals you do not know.

• Cans and bottles will not be allowed downtown.

• Stay off rooftops.

• Do not bring dogs downtown into crowds because it could pose a safety risk and use caution if you have small children with you.

• Celebrate responsibly and be aware of your surroundings.

Comments

kusportsdotcom 7 years, 7 months ago

Please, God, please let 40,000 people flood the streets this weekend and Monday night.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 7 months ago

What a bunch of wimps these days at KU..when I was a Jayhawk in 1970, they had to call out the Kansas National Guard and declare Marshall Law with a curfew to keep us under control!!! :) LOL!!

sigephandy 7 years, 7 months ago

Did you stop being a Jayhawk after 1970?

Catlover777 7 years, 7 months ago

Didn't get a lot out of your college education if you didn't learn how to spell "martial" law.

WilburNether 7 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately, there are very stupid people out there who will use the success or failure of an athletic team as an excuse for bad behavior.

FoCoCoHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

In 1988, it never even occurred to me to go downtown. I lived at 14th and Tennessee and after the game we just went outside to scream and I got up in the torrent of people going up the Hill. Rampant revelry ensued. I was definitely not practicing safe high-fiveing that night. Everyone was your best friend. Wouldn't trade that night for anything. Probably a good idea to steer people downtown and away from Wescoe Beach. (Come to think of it I might have even chest-bumped The Tan Man.)

packywacky88 7 years, 7 months ago

I was on campus in 1988 and somehow got access to the balcony of Hoch Auditorium for a ring side seat.

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 7 months ago

" • Do not get into vehicles with individuals you do not know"

How are these kids going to make new friends if they follow this kind of advice?

Steve Brown 7 years, 7 months ago

But the old bald man in a paisley vanagon and Mr. Green Jeans riding shotgun playing crystal blue persuasion from the boom box is just fine. Who recalls green pepper pizza and Joe's donuts?

Celebrating Obama selected Mizzwho this year.

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 7 months ago

I bet you couldn't/can't see in your Vanagon windows for all of the "smoke". Green pepper pizza and donuts? Munchie-time!

jayhawker_97 7 years, 7 months ago

i don't buy into this prep-up thingy. remember, we are the underdogs. i like our team to surprise & shock-awe the whole nation - that's why this time i didn't pick KU all the way. i like it this way!!

Rolland Remmert 7 years, 7 months ago

A news note that won't make it to the LWJ.

On the other hand, according to the Columbia paper, Downtown Columbia is preparing for their entrance to the SEC by adding two (2) new public toilets, which of course will be stocked with the toilet paper donated by NOW in protest of Rushs' nomination to the MO. Hall of Fame"

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