Trying to get around downtown CLE during RNC

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jul 18, 2016

One of the major areas of concern with the RNC in downtown Cleveland is everyone trying to get around the road closures and barriers.  We found some people today trying to protect parking spots, getting people to their destinations and waiting for customers.

“The parking lot is private until 5:30,” said attendant Carlos P’lass to a man inquiring about parking.  He’s protecting spaces for workers in the 1200 block of Prospect. He’s having to turn back potential parkers. “Maybe USA (Parking) got something across the street that you can pay them,” P’lass told the man.

Right in front of P’lass’ lot, there are normally dozens of metered spots for cars to park, but with the RNC, all of those are not allowed to be used.  Some RNC participants are desperate. “Couple people stop by trying to park..they offer you money (saying) ’We’ll pay you more,’” laughed P’lass.

Parking is anywhere from $20 to $50 around the event. Busses are running a full schedule if you’re not interested in plopping down that kind of cash. We saw lots of empty seats with RTA’s busses hanging out at the mini-hub established at W.3rd through W.6th along St. Clair. Drivers are still hoping to get people around all of the blocked off streets and tricky traffic. “Right now it’s like a normal day, but there’ s a lot of people who’ve taken off to avoid downtown,” said RTA Driver Mark Zubek.  “So, it’s a little less but then you get the people from out of town that sort of making up for your normal crowd.”

If you’re looking for something more convenient, Uber drivers like Justin O’Ryan from Berea are down there and so are a bunch more. “I know that (Uber has) invited other people from surrounding states and cities to come and participate which is great for the customers because there’s never going to be a wait,” said O’Ryan.  “But with all the traffic patterns and everything it’s a little difficult to get around. But we’re all figuring it out.”

He also told us the late nights will probably be the busiest with bars now open until 4am. “Hopefully everyone keeps their cool,” said O’Ryan. “I’m sure it’s going to be a nice party atmosphere and we’re all going to have a good time.”

If you do drive yourself downtown and want the cheapest parking, be ready to walk quite a long way to get to the events.