Car Show Stops Downtown Traffic

Monday, July 9th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

A jam-packed week of events in downtown Tulsa has some worried about major traffic congestion. On Monday, roads were closed between 2nd and 4th Streets for two big shows, the Pontiac Oakland Convention and “Spamalot.” About 8,000 people are expected to attend the Pontiac Oakland Convention, and at least twice that many people are expected for all eight nights combined of “Spamalot.” The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports event planners are thrilled to bring in the crowds, but some wonder, where is everyone going to go?

"About four years ago the Pontiac Convention was trying to decide where to go with their convention, they chose Tulsa with the understanding that they would have that PAC lot and the PAC wouldn't have any big conventions," said Tulsa Police Sergeant Skipper Bain.

The event, featuring a car show and drag racing, was planned for downtown so both visitors and workers at lunchtime can walk right outside and be in the middle of it all. The problem is in the four years since it was set up the PAC had some staff changes, so “Spamalot” was scheduled at the same time.

"Then the other complication of course is all the construction for the new convention center," Bain said.

Altogether making quite a mess of downtown traffic. Even on that, another layer of frustration for planners, news of Oklahoma flooding led to some misunderstandings for out-of-town visitors.

"They heard that the water was contaminated and they weren't going to come to Tulsa," said Sergeant Bain.

With that smoothed over organizers and police are giving the week of events the green light, with a few detour signs along the way.

"Who would've thought, the road closures for the convention, a flood, and this last minute event at the PAC, “Spamalot” would've been at the same time as the Pontiac Convention," Bain said.

Sergeant Bain says everyone involved has been meeting for months to figure out a parking plan. They've put together a map to help you find a spot, to see it, click here.

Watch the video: Downtown Events Overlap Creating Traffic Problems