Home Politics Petition to shut down roads for Fest Season continues despite criticism

Petition to shut down roads for Fest Season continues despite criticism

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Ohio University students have organized a petition to close South High Street and Palmer Street that has reached over 1,400 signatures.

The hope is that closing the streets will benefit both civilians and partygoers alike. They are hoping to prevent past traffic issues such as the girl who jumped into a car at Palmer Fest in 2012.

In addition to closing off the streets, petitioners want to have EMS access.

“In the unfortunate event that emergency services are needed, a closed road will allow easier access for emergency vehicles as pedestrians shall vacate the road, without the worry of traffic,” the petition reads.

The petition is also hoping to limit overcrowding in an effort to keep small spaces like porches and balconies safe as private residences are often crowded so partygoers can drink in a private area.

While petitioners are hoping to party in peace, they are also hoping to facilitate relationships between the partygoers and police to reduce what the petition describes as an “us versus them” feeling.

However, Mayor Steve Patterson said he is not willing to close the streets to those looking for a party.

“We are not in favor of surrendering our streets for a party,” Patterson said during a city council meeting. Patterson did say that Halloween is a “different beast” in regards to closing Court Street during that event.

While most of city council opposes the idea, Councilman Pat McGee is in favor of closing the streets, saying that “we can’t pretend that this isn’t a safety issue.”

McGee and students alike are supporting the idea.

Ali Ruscitto, a freshman studying communications, finds the idea enticing.

“I just support it because I’m not driving,” Ruscitto said, “It would also leave the streets open for people to stand around and have fun like Halloween.”

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