Debate to force major road closures, long traffic delays - East Valley Tribune: Tempe

Debate to force major road closures, long traffic delays

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Posted: Monday, October 11, 2004 10:50 am | Updated: 5:52 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

October 11, 2004

Police are warning residents in downtown Tempe neighborhoods to prepare for major traffic delays this week as law enforcement officials prepare for Wednesday night’s presidential debate at Arizona State University.

In a flier distributed throughout neighborhoods surrounding the university, residents are being advised to expect heaviertraffic than usual in their area and on Rural Road between University Drive and Broadway Road.

Security officials are planning several road closures around the university, beginning Tuesday, that will divert traffic into local neighborhoods, according to police officials.

Police will shut down Mill Avenue between 13th and 10th streets and Apache Boulevard between College and Mill avenues.

Security plans also call for Gammage Parkway and Forest Avenue to be closed Tuesday through Thursday.

There are no planned street closures for the downtown area between University Drive and Rio Salado Parkway and between College and Farmer avenues. But police say slowmoving motorcades used to transport the candidates will force unexpected delays.

The U.S. Secret Service has the authority to close down any street with little or no warning.

The campaign for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry will hold a predebate rally, featuring alternative rock band Foo Fighters, starting at 3:30 p.m. at Tempe Beach Park.

Kerry will come to the Tempe park after the debate to address supporters.

President Bush’s campaign will hold its own political rally starting at 3 p.m. at Bank One Ballpark in downtown Phoenix. Bush is expected to travel directly to the ballpark after the debate, but the route his motorcade will use from ASU hasn’t been released.

Police say anytime the candidates are moving, drivers should expect a long wait.

More than 500 security officials — including the entire Tempe Police Department — will patrol the city Wednesday.

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