Seminar May Cause Parking Woes Downtown
By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An event at the Cox Convention Center has raised concerns over parking in the downtown area.
An estimated 17,000 people are expected to attend the "Get Motivated" seminar Tuesday. Attendees will be arriving right in the middle of the morning commute, which is raising concerns among business owners around the Cox Convention Center, Ford Center and Bricktown.
"When we have events, it's a problem for people who already work here, so I can't imagine being a visitor and trying to find parking," said Karen Biddick, who works downtown.
Police will have an extra 30 officers on hand to help with traffic.
"We've looked at those intersections or those locations where we can try to flow traffic, keep signal lights on a green signal longer than they would normally do if they were cycling on their own," said Oklahoma City Police Capt. Patrick Stewart.
There will be additional parking at the Bricktown Ballpark and the State Fairgrounds will offer free shuttle services to the event.
Advanced Academics, an online middle and high school based in Bricktown, is letting nearly all of its workers attend the seminar.
"We just feel like it's a great opportunity to get out and see some people that typically aren't around the Oklahoma area," said Chance Jewell, who works in Bricktown.
These workers have guaranteed parking spaces, but they're not taking any chances.
"We've been informed to get here a little bit early. Typically we get here around 8 a.m. We're trying to get down here around 7 a.m. tomorrow," Jewell said.
In 2006, 30,000 people showed up for a similar event, which was held at both the Cox Convention Center and Ford Center. Police said they are ready for the crowd of 17,000.
High profile names are slated to speak at the seminar including Colin Powell, Zig Ziglar and Bob Stoops.
A separate seminar is planned at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.