Archive for Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mass. Street to close on Saturday if KU wins

Traffic would also be barred on side streets

March 29, 2012


Park, party and be patient.

City officials are alerting fans who may come downtown to celebrate a Kansas University victory Saturday in the Final Four that downtown access will be different than it was following Sunday’s victory in the Elite Eight.

Police Chief Tarik Khatib said plans are for Massachusetts Street to be shut down to traffic from Sixth to 13th streets following a KU victory. Most side streets that cross Massachusetts Street also won’t be open to traffic. Last weekend, Massachusetts Street wasn’t shut down to traffic, although travel was extremely difficult because of the large crowds.

“Frankly, we just need the space the streets provide,” Khatib told city commissioners at a recent briefing. “There’s no way we can keep people on the sidewalks.

“But all of this does mean that if you park your car down there, you are probably staying down there for the duration. We won’t be escorting anybody out.”

The street closure plans for Saturday night also are scheduled to be in place on Monday, if KU wins the National Championship.

Khatib said Sunday’s crowds following the Elite Eight victory were a bit larger than police had expected, and they’re using the experience from 2008 to assume crowds could be huge. In 2008, fans filled downtown streets following both KU’s semifinal win in the Final Four and following the National Championship victory. The downtown crowd was estimated at 40,000 people following KU’s championship win against Memphis.

Khatib said his department will be ready for the masses.

Law enforcement officers from 10 other area agencies will be joining LPD staff downtown. Those helping out include: the KU police department, the KU Med Center police department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, the Ottawa Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, Overland Park Police Department, the Olathe Police Department, the Lenexa Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

In total, Khatib said “several hundred officers” will be available for downtown duty.

“We have gotten great support from the law enforcement community,” Khatib said. “They don’t charge us for this. They provide this service through a mutual aid type of arrangement. We provide them water and snacks, but they don’t charge us for their expenses.”

One other change that may be on tap for the weekend is that leaders of Downtown Lawrence Inc. are asking downtown building owners to do what they can to restrict access to Massachusetts Street rooftops.

A message from Downtown Lawrence Inc. said allowing fans on rooftops created concerns about people accidently coming into contact with utility lines, falls, or items being dropped on crowd members from above.


Jeremiah Jefferson 6 years, 1 month ago

Sure, why not. The way people are acting KU has already won. Can't wait till looking past the two games that are left to be played comes back to haunt KU. You will be able to hear a pin drop then.

somedude20 6 years, 1 month ago

oh have a heart. this is all part of jesus's grand plan. he must want ku to do well for a reason because they are and do not forget that the god made us all. he seems to be down with ku and if you aren't, then you are anti-god!

don't burn in hell for being a hater

Erin England 6 years, 1 month ago

Law enforcement is only taking precautions and being prepared IF ku wins. I'd rather hear the pin drop than someone get seriously injured.

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago

Pathetic MU Tiger fans are so bitter. Your tears taste delicious.

Jeremiah Jefferson 6 years, 1 month ago

Yeah that would be alright if I was an MU fan, but I am not. I'm just a guy sick of hearing about KU every 10 seconds. On that note, Go OHIO STATE, hope they win 100-23

Kyle Reed 6 years, 1 month ago

You're so sick of it that you clicked on an article related to KU basketball and took the time to post a comment not just once but a second time 5 hours later? Brilliant.

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago


"I'm just a guy that likes to whine"

Then don't click on any more stories with headlines that say:

"Mass. Street to close on Saturday if KU wins"

Gotalife 6 years, 1 month ago

Just a little jealous are we cth? LOL

1983Hawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey, genius: KU isn't looking past anyone. The police chief is doing his job and anticipating a potential problem under a certain scenario and informing his bosses at the city of his need to close downtown streets if that scenario develops. But continue to be a hater and fantasize about how this is somehow related to Bill Self and the Jayhawks preparations for the games in New Orleans. Too bad the misery tigers and ksuck wildcats are no longer playing and their programs are in total states of disarray. To which one of those little brother fanbases do you belong?

weberjeffrey 6 years, 1 month ago

So you would prefer that the city doesn't plan at all and then has mass confusion if KU does win the game. I don't know what will happen in the games on Saturday but it is the city's responsibility to be ready.

DRsmith 6 years, 1 month ago

I really don't think Lawrence will have to worry about any celebrating.

madcow 6 years, 1 month ago

Pretty sure there will be a large crowd downtown even if we lose.

junco_partner 6 years, 1 month ago

Does the City plan to provide porta potties? There were people using the streets and sidewalks as a toliet after the 2008 final 4 games. The late game times means that businesses will be closed and there is no place to use the restroom. There will probably be close to 20,000 people on Mass street if they win the championship. Thats a lot of human waste to be wading through.

Cai 6 years, 1 month ago

If there's close to 20,000 people, I'd consider it a small thing, comparatively.

sourpuss 6 years, 1 month ago

This reminds me of "Roy's Rules" back in the early 90s, attempting to avoid the sort of joyous pandemonium of the '88 win, you know, in case we won. Which we didn't. Ever. With Roy. I call JINX on this. Boo.

ksjayhawk74 6 years, 1 month ago

The problem I see is being able to close the street in time to keep the traffic out. There are going to be cars that were parked on Mass St. that people will be driving down the street.

The best thing to do would be to not allow parking on Mass St. after 6pm on Saturday. I would recommend that no one park on Mass St on Saturday anyway.

Jeteras 6 years, 1 month ago

10 agencies?? hahah makes me laugh. As New Orleans native and ex NOPD you guys need a lesson on crowd control. 10 New Orleans police officers could shut mass down and keep it under control lol,,, too funny

RLFields 6 years, 1 month ago

Funny, I was in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina and NO ONE could find 1 NOLA cop, let alone 10

gatekeeper 6 years, 1 month ago

Funny you say that. I was partying in the Quarter years ago, same weekend as the Tulane homecoming game. Crowd control? Witnessed none of that. Did witness fights, public urination, girls being grabbed and picked up and tossed around (against their will). The police had absolutely no control. All you could manage to do was get into a bar and find a safe corner to drink in and try to avoid the hell that broke lose on Bourbon St.

Matt Schwartz 6 years, 1 month ago

Get on your horses and run folks down. I've seen it happen plenty of times. lol.

schwa997 6 years, 1 month ago

I will most certainly be there with Seargents Sarna and Monroe to keep the peace. I am going with these guys because we most certainly will have the best seats at the bar and we can get free drinks.

kcowsert4 6 years, 1 month ago

I think that the police chief is planning very well for both of these days. If KU wins one or both of these games, there will be thousands of people in the downtown area and some police force will be necessary to provide safety measures and keep the peace, as much as possible. I myself plan on going downtown to see all the festivities and celebrate the victory so I hope everything turns out well.

l_eustacy 6 years, 1 month ago

Any volunteers for designated driver?

ilovelucy 6 years, 1 month ago

1983: talk about being a hater. I believe you are one. Jerk.

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