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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

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Contact(s):Bryan Day
501-371-4510

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, March 2, 2006

EXPECTED INCREASE IN PEDESTRIANS PROMPTS RETURN OF CLOSURE OF CLINTON AVENUE ON WEEKENDS

Little Rock, AR (2 March 2006). As recent media reports have noted, this weekend’s SEC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament marks the unofficial beginning of the Spring/Summer convention season for Little Rock’s hospitality industry. The anticipated influx of visitors to downtown coupled with the return of seasonably warmer weather has prompted City officials to return Clinton Avenue to pedestrian-only status on weekend evenings.

According to Assistant City Manager Bryan Day, “We know that the River Market is a popular place for Little Rock visitors and residents alike. Little Rock’s hospitality industry continues to set records in occupancy of hotel rooms and continues to bring in new and larger conventions and conferences.”

Day continued, “City staff has visited with the Little Rock Police Department and with River Market merchants and business owners. The consensus of those discussions has been two-fold. The first is that the safety of Little Rock citizens and visitors is the top priority. The second is that, with the large numbers of people in the River Market area on weekends, and with the layout of the area, it is prudent for President Clinton Avenue to be closed to vehicular traffic.”

There had been some discussion in the past about having the street closed on certain weekends and reopened on other times. “Not having a consistent closing schedule will prove confusing to visitors and residents,” stated Day. “It makes things simpler for the owners, regular patrons, visitors, hospitality industry, and public safety concerns for the street closure to be every weekend.”

President Clinton Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic on Friday and Saturday from 9:00 pm until 4:00 am. At 9:00 pm, barricades will be erected at the western terminus of President Clinton Avenue (at LaHarpe/Cumberland). Barricades will also be located at Rock & Clinton and Clinton just west of Commerce, as well as at the northern boundaries of St. Vincent Plaza and Ottenheimer Plaza within Riverfront Park. Any cars within the closed-off area will be allowed to exit, but no new cars will be allowed in.

People driving to the River Market are encouraged to park in the Statehouse Parking Deck at 201 Main Street, the River Market Parking Deck at 500 East 2nd Street, or in the nearby area surface lots or street-side parking. Starting this weekend, there will be $3.00 special parking for River Market patrons Friday and Saturday night in the River Market Parking Deck at 2nd & Commerce Streets.

The River Rail trolley will continue to run its regular schedule. It will be allowed access through the barricades.


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