Saturday, September 02, 2000

Riverfest plea: Take the bus

Drivers can expect to jam; most roads close

By Earnest Winston and David Eck
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Nothing signals the end of a Cincinnati summer quite like Riverfest, formally known as the Third Federal Riverfest and Toyota WEBN Fireworks. But a 1:15 p.m. Reds game Sunday at Cinergy Field and construction along the riverfront have Cincinnati Police officials urging Riverfest visitors to use public transportation.

        “We're encouraging people to stay a little bit after (the fireworks) to avoid the mass exodus out of the park area,” said Cincinnati Police Capt. Vince Demasi, commander of Cincinnati Police District 1.

        “It's a real challenge this year because there's not enough infrastructure to support the traffic.”

        He also said that visitors to the 23rd annual Riverfest should leave any glass containers or liquids at home.

        As for security, Cincinnati Police will have at least 200 officers assigned to Riverfest, Capt. Demasi said.

        In Cincinnati, Metro will provide a Riverfest Express for $3 round-trip (exact change only) Sunday from several park-and-ride locations.

        In Northern Kentucky, TANK will run regular Sunday routes for 50 cents one way.

        Here's a roundup of what Riverfest visitors need to know before heading out:

        • Where: Along the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Newport and Covington.

        • When: Sunday, noon until conclusion of fireworks, which begin at 9:05 p.m.

        • Admission: Free.

        • Information: 621-9326, 749-3764,;

        • Bus service: In Cincinnati, Metro provides regular Sunday routes for 50 cents one way.

        Riverfest Express: $3 round trip; exact change only. Buses depart 2-6 p.m. from Park & Rides, with drop-off points downtown.

        • Anderson Township

        Park & Ride/Beechmont Mall, 7954 Beechmont Ave., drops off at bottom of Monastery Street near Sawyer Point.

        • Raymond Walters Technical College, 9555 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, drops off at Sentinel and old Sixth Street, off Broadway.

        • Western Hills Plaza, 6100 Glenway Ave., drops off at East Mehring Way and Central Avenue, west side of Paul Brown Stadium.

        • General Electric, Neumann Way, Evendale, drops off at East Mehring Way and Central Avenue, west side of Paul Brown Stadium.

        Note: No drop-off at Cinergy Field plaza. Return trips originate from drop-off point. Information: 621-4455.

        In Northern Kentucky, TANK will run regular Sunday routes for 50 cents one way. The Southbank Shuttle runs 10 a.m.-11 p.m. for 25 cents with an additional stop at Sawyer Point's Butler Street drop-off.

        TANK Riverfest shuttles: $3 one way; $1 for children (exact change only). Buses leave from Northern Kentucky University, Buttermilk Park & Ride, Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent Springs and Florence Bigg's.

        Note: No drop-off points in Cincinnati; riders must transfer to Southbank Shuttle.

        NKU bus drops off at Fifth and Central, Newport; Buttermilk Park & Ride and Florence Bigg's at Third and Court streets, Covington. Return originates from drop-off point. Information: (859) 578-6943.

        Return service: Begins immediately after fireworks.

        • Parking/viewing for disabled: Parking available in Cincinnati — 50 spaces at the East Garage next to One Lytle Place; 30 spaces at Sawyer Point. Special pass required, call 352-4569. Drivers responsible for parking fees; handicap placard must be displayed in lower left-hand corner of driver's side window.

        Viewing area: Public Landing Overlook, Broadway and Mehring Way.

        For information on viewing areas and parking in Kentucky, call 261-1233 or 292-2151.

        • Rules: No alcohol, umbrellas, liquid or frozen beverages, glass, metal or aluminum containers, pets, skateboards, mechanical or motorized vehicles and open-fire cooking devices. In addition, no coolers in Newport only. Soliciting is prohibited.

        • TV coverage: 8-10 p.m on WKRC-TV (Channel 12). Offered in HDTV.

        • Street closings

        8 a.m.-midnight: Riverboat Row, Second Street between Columbia and Monmouth in Newport.

        1:30 p.m.: Cincinnati streets south of Seventh Street between Central Avenue and Broadway. Inbound Columbia Parkway at Torrence.

        3 p.m.: Streets in Mount Adams.

        5 p.m.: Covington streets north of Fourth; cars parked in this area may not be moved until after the fireworks.

        7 p.m.: Columbia Parkway access from Fort Washington Way.

        7:30-10:30 p.m.: Cowens Drive from Washington to Riverboat Row, Interstate 471 Exit 5 (north- and southbound ramps), Park Avenue between Third and Cowens, and Monmouth between Third and 11th streets, all in Newport.

        8:30 p.m.: Fort Washington Way, I-71 southbound at Taft exit.

        • Bridge closings

        L&N: 9 a.m. vehicles, 3 p.m. pedestrians

        Taylor Southgate: Northbound lane and eastern walkway close to vehicles and pedestrians at noon; southbound lane closes at 5 p.m.

        Roebling Suspension: Northbound vehicles and pedestrians, 1:30 p.m.; southbound closes after the Reds game.

        Clay Wade Bailey: Southbound, 9-10:30 p.m.

        Daniel Carter Beard: (I-471) Southbound 8-11 p.m.

        Brent Spence: (I-75/71) Open.

        Bridges reopen about 11 p.m.

        • River restrictions

        Ohio River closed to boat traffic 7-10 p.m. between the I-471 bridge and the Suspension Bridge.

        New this year: Licking River from the mouth up to the 0.3 mile mark closed.

        Specific anchorage areas have been designated for boats. Look for the white buoys with orange stripes. No mooring or anchoring on the Ohio side between the Suspension Bridge and the Showboat Majestic.

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