City releases road closure info for Bengals home games

CINCINNATI -- The screams and yells from Bengals fans will begin long before Saturday night's preseason home opener against the New York Jets. Actually, they'll probably start while fans are still in their vehicles headed down to Paul Brown Stadium.

As another exciting football season begins, the city is taking extra efforts to cut down on the confusion and frustration of fans as they head to and leave the field in downtown Cincinnati.

In order to do that, they're changing the traffic pattern for some roadways around the stadium for as much as four hours before and after each of the Bengals' 10 games this year (two preseason, eight regular season) . The same restrictions would be in place for a home playoff game.

It's something they've done in the past, but the city wants to make sure people know what to expect and why they're doing it.

"The idea is try to make traffic flow – to get people in and out – so their inconvenience is little as possible," said Scott Krauser, a Cincinnati police officer with special event planning unit.

Krauser said Bengals games are different than Reds game and other major events in the area because of when they take place and the concentration of people they bring into the area at one time.

"We certainly have to deal with traffic issues when it comes to baseball games, concerts and things like that, but Paul Brown Stadium brings in more than 70,000 people who tend to come in all together. It's a totally different beast."

While the road blocks may be annoying, Krauser said the city needs them in order to make sure they city "keeps moving" on game day.

"The idea is to keep the city going and the traffic moving along with it,” he said. "We like to think somebody moving in traffic is better than somebody sitting in traffic."

The list of the traffic restrictions police will set up around stadium during game days is listed below

Pregame - These roads will close three to four hours before all home games in order to handle pedestrian crowds and, unless listed on the postgame list, will be reopened when the game begins:

  • Elm Street: Closed between Second Street and Mehring Way
  • Freedom Way: Closed between Elm and Race streets
  • Race Street: Closed between Second Street and Freedom Way (access maintained to Central Riverfront Garage)

Postgame - Roads are closed after the game to accommodate traffic leaving the parking lots. These roads will close around the third quarter and remain closed until traffic has cleared the area:

  • Central Avenue: Closed between W. Pete Rose and Mehring ways
  • Central Avenue: Southbound only closed between Seventh and Fourth streets
  • Elm Street: Closed between Second Street and Mehring Way
  • Race Street: Southbound closed between Second Street and Freedom Way
  • Freedom Way: Closed between Rosa Parks Street and Elm Street
  • Joe Nuxhall Way: Southbound closed between Second Street and Mehring Way
  • Mehring Way: Closed to westbound through traffic at Joe Nuxhall Way
  • Gest Street: Closed between Third Street and Mehring Way
  • Third Street: Eastbound closed between Clay Wade Bailey Bridge and Central Avenue
  • Fourth Street: Closed between Elm and Plum streets
  • W. Pete Rose Way: Eastbound closed between Gest Street and Central Avenue
  • No Left Turn from Third Street or Sixth Street to southbound Central Avenue

For more information about our department, please visit www.cincinnati-oh.gov/dote

For more information about the Bengals, please visit www.bengals.com

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