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Government and Politics

Planning to make the 2016 GOP convention easier for Cleveland commuters
City officials say experience and new infrastructure will help Clevelanders navigate convention congestion

Kevin Niedermier
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In June or July of 2016, downtown Cleveland will be a tighter squeeze for the roughly 125,000 people who commute there for work. They’ll be contending with blocked off streets and an expected 50,000 visitors in town for the Republican National Convention.
As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, city officials are working on plans to make the daily commute as painless as possible during the week-long event.

LISTEN: Early planning for congestion

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While landing the GOP convention is an economic and image-building  coup for Cleveland, these events are notoriously difficult for many city residents going about their daily routines.

Joe Marinucci is a host committee member and head of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. He says Cleveland has experience moving big downtown crowds during Browns, Indians and Cavs games, and other events, and that will be part of the negotiations with the Republican National Committee.

“There’ll be another committee later on after the formal contract is put in place. It’s called the committee for arraignments. We’ll work proactively with them on behalf of the RNC to work through those issues. Ultimately, as the mayor noted, the Cleveland police will work with Homeland Security and the federal law enforcement agencies. But we’ll be able to anticipate where the security zones will be located, what the means of egress and ingress are for downtown.”  

Marinucci says local commuters will be encouraged to use public transportation. He adds that the Innerbelt Bridge will be completed in time for the convention, making it easier to get in and out of downtown. 

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