Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

First RNC traffic challenges expected Tuesday

TAMPA — Drivers got a taste of the next few days as protesters briefly closed E Kennedy Boulevard on Monday and other routes were cleared to make room for marchers.

Most of the day, including morning and afternoon rush hours, was trouble-free, despite lashing rain from Tropical Storm Isaac, officials said.

"Traffic this morning was fine. No snarls to speak of. I think people were paying attention to what we said over the past month," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said during a morning briefing.

Still, a few hiccups occurred.

Westbound traffic on E Kennedy Boulevard was halted at Tampa Street for 15 minutes Monday afternoon as police tried to disperse a group of protesters who sat down in the middle of the street. The group returned to the sidewalk after a crowd-control officer explained they might delay ambulances heading to Tampa General Hospital and afternoon commuters.

Also, police closed several downtown streets — Orange Avenue; E Kennedy Boulevard; and Pierce, Polk, Morgan, Tyler, Cass, Zack, Twiggs, Madison and Jackson streets — to let a coalition of protesters march from Perry Harvey Park.

With Tropical Storm Isaac moving away from Tampa Bay and delegates set to return to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, today could offer motorists their first real test of downtown driving conditions.

Officials have asked drivers to allow extra time, arrive early, and leave early to avoid the afternoon rush. Mornings are expected to be less stressful because most RNC events are scheduled for afternoons and evenings. The RNC has leased 400 buses to move delegates from hotels into the event zone south of Jackson Street. Generally, streets south of Jackson are closed to the public.

Police are monitoring several potential trouble spots and asking drivers to remain patient. Among them are Tampa and Whiting streets. The streets are designated as dropoff spots for delegates and convention visitors, but they also serve as commuter routes to the Fort Brooke and Whiting Street garages. Because the garages lie within the event zone, vehicles entering will be subject to searches, which could trigger delays.

"I would imagine downtown will have a very different dynamic as people try to figure out what to do and where to go," Buckhorn said.

Rich Shopes can be reached at or (813) 661-2454.

First RNC traffic challenges expected Tuesday 08/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, August 27, 2012 10:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign


    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home


    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence


    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”