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Street Closures for Double Decker Arts Festival: Tricky but Necessary

Don't let this happen to you. Remove your vehicle from the Square tonight for the launch of the 2016 Double Decker Arts Festival presented by Caterpillar. The festival begins tomorrow on the Oxford Square at 6 p.m.
Don’t let this happen to you. Remove your vehicle from the Square tonight for the launch of the 2016 Double Decker Arts Festival presented by Caterpillar. The festival begins tomorrow on the Oxford Square at 6 p.m.

Yep… every year at this time it’s tricky trying to figure out the parking situation for Oxford’s favorite annual festival – Double Decker Arts Festival presented by Caterpillar – but the closures assure the successful setup, production and closure of an event this massive.

And, according to Major Jeff McCutchen of the Oxford Police Department (OPD) the closures are not only necessary, but fair.

OPD's Major Jeff McCutchen Photo courtesy of OPD
OPD’s Major Jeff McCutchen
Photo courtesy of OPD
“Double Decker does a phenomenal job (with parking) – they really have this thing down to an art and have it figured out,” McCutchen said. “We (OPD) tweak it every year but it’s normally small stuff because they are so far ahead of the game. The big deal is just trying to remind people that certain locations are going to close and we’re going to try our best to get ahold of you to get it moved, but at some point we’re in a crunch and have got to get those cars moved off the Square.”

The bottom-line; on Friday (April 22) cars need to be off the Square. And, to be on the safe side, all adjacent public (city) lots should be cleared as well.

Officially, the notice says that on Friday (April 22), North Lamar and Monroe Avenue will close at 4 a.m. and any cars in those areas will be towed. And then, on Saturday, ALL streets surrounding the Square will close to traffic beginning at 4 a.m. and any remaining cars in the area will have to be removed.

CLOSURES-2

There are “BLUE” and “RED” areas that will be cleared at different times… but why take the chance? Simply evacuate all vehicles in the areas surrounding the Square on Friday and everything will be fine (see area map below).

CLOSURES

“If you look at what Double Decker has posted (about the parking situation) it says that all cars on North Lamar and Monroe are going to be towed after Friday, April 22 at 4 a.m., but what we try to do is get ahead of that,” McCutchen said. “We’re going to go out when our night shift comes in at 5:45 p.m. after most of the businesses close; then we’re going to work on North Lamar and also on Monroe and try to keep as many cars out of that area as we can just to try to keep from having to tow them.”

“We’ll wait until the bars close and that crowd leaves but we’ll try our best to call folks if we have a number or a way to contact them. But, after midnight we really have to start getting those cars out of there so we can close North Lamar and they can start getting the stage built.”

“Thursday night going into Friday morning typically isn’t too bad because most people get off of the Square, but it’s that Friday night leading into Saturday morning when they leave their cars in these city lots that we have to clear. We simply have to get those cars out of there because some of the Double Decker setup takes place in those areas,” McCutchen said.

As for parking, the most practical solution for Saturday: SHUTTLES. Taking a chapter from what Ole Miss Athletics has learned on football gamedays, Double Decker has arranged for shuttle service from Oxford High School at a reasonable cost of $5 for a round trip ticket and kids under 12 ride free. Better than a tow charge by far.

“The Double Decker staff is good about placing pamphlets on the cars on the Square to remind folks, but there are always some (cars) that are left. We would love to go through the whole weekend and not have any (tows) but it never happens,” McCutchen concluded.

Here’s hoping the we collectively (as a community) break the record for zero tows throughout the busy weekend ahead.

HOTTY TODDY and HAPPY DOUBLE DECKING!

For more information about the 2016 Double Decker Arts Festival presented by Caterpillar, visit DoubleDeckerFestival.com


Jeff McVay is a staff writer and graphic designer for Hottytoddy.com. He can be reached at jeff.mcvay@hottytoddy.com

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