City looks to improve event safety

Published 8:25 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The City of Bainbridge is working to make its downtown events safer and let the public know more in advance of the street closures that go along with them after issues arose Friday night at the Living History Tour.
“We’ve made a couple of errors with the last couple of street closures in blocking off some businesses,” said City Manager Chris Hobby at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, “so we’re going to try to make a little more thoughtful process with this so we’re not blocking of businesses and to make sure that we do have key intersections not only blocked, but have somebody there that can give information.”
Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer said that there were issues at last Friday’s downtown event when several vehicles went around the roadblocks in the downtown area.
“Friday night they went through the barricades, around the barricades,” Palmer said. “It was not a healthy situation.”
The city staff will utilize Code Red to get the word out about the upcoming street closures for the Yuletide Jubilee, which was approved Tuesday evening. The streets around Willis Square will be closed for the Thursday, Dec. 4 event, and Bainbridge Public Safety officers may be asked to help direct traffic and enforce the barricades, Hobby said.
Palmer also requested downtown merchants and restaurants be notified more in advance because of recent confusion.
“I had complaints at one I ate at that night,” Palmer said, “and they had had complaints from people who didn’t know where to go.”
Downtown Development Authority executive director Amanda Glover said that she is working to raise awareness among the downtown businesses.

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