UPDATE AS OF 4:15 PM
CITY STAFF, PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES COORDINATING WITH WOMEN’S MARCH ORGANIZERS TO ENSURE SAFE, ORDERLY EVENT
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Working closely with the organizers of Saturday’s Women’s March in downtown San Luis Obispo, city staff and local public safety agencies are taking several proactive steps to ensure that the event is safe and orderly for everyone involved, city officials announced today.
“The City is committed to ensuring that the Women’s March is safe, orderly and peaceful for all participants and those impacted. Since the organizers originally requested a permit for 300 marchers, interest and participation has grown exponentially and it appears that attendance could reach 5,000 or more,” said City Manager Katie Lichtig. “With such a large number of participants, and because the march route goes through residential and commercial areas, there will be an unavoidable impact on neighbors, businesses and anyone planning to visit our downtown on Saturday. We’re working hard to minimize inconveniences, but above all else, we want to ensure that everyone is respected and safe when we look back after the event.”
Among the city’s proactive steps are:
- Making sure that certain amenities are in place such as portable toilets, a lost-child station at the Senior Center, and medical support services such as EMT crews.
- Assigning additional police officers to patrol duty and arranging for stand-by help from other area public safety agencies.
- Closing streets and restricting parking along the march route and at the event space (Mitchell Park).
The following streets will be no parking, tow away zones starting at 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., or as soon as possible.
- Higuera from Santa Rosa to Broad
- Marsh from Broad to Santa Rosa
- Garden, Morro and Chorro between Higuera and Marsh
- Osos from Monterey to Buchon
- Pismo between Santa Rosa and Osos
- Buchon between Santa Rosa and Osos
Beginning at 9:00 a.m., street closures will be in effect. Street closures will remain in place until the march ends, with the exception of Osos, Pismo, and Buchon streets immediately surrounding Mitchell Park, which will stay closed until 3:00 p.m., or as soon as possible after the March ends.
Higuera, Marsh and Broad Street will remain open for vehicle and pedestrian traffic only, with no parking on the above identified locations, until the fifteen minutes before the march begins. The full march route closure is estimated to begin around 10:30 a.m. and last as late as 2:00 p.m. The City is committed to opening streets as soon as it is safe to do so.
The public should plan on using Nipomo, Palm and Santa Rosa as primary detours around the event.
Police Chief Deanna Cantrell said, “We have a lot of experience and training to assist to make this a safe and peaceful event, especially managing crowds of this size. What we know is that success is most assured when everyone involved – from marchers to neighbors to folks who are just watching – respect everyone’s rights and personally commit to making this a successful event.”
Details of the planned Women’s March San Luis Obispo:
When: Saturday Jan. 21, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
March Route: Rally begins at 10:00 a.m. at Mitchell Park, 1400 Osos Street, SLO
March begins at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Route is approximately 1 mile long and is expected to take 1+ hour
March concludes with speakers, entertainment, and food trucks at Mitchell Park until 2 p.m.
This Friday marks an American tradition as we formalize the incoming of the 45th President of the United States. Inauguration day will be tomorrow and events all around the country will recognize this tradition. On Saturday, January 21st however, there will be a different type of celebration across the country. The Women’s March movement will be marching in communities from all parts of the United States and there will be a march here in SLO as well. The movement is a celebration of basic human rights in our country and a show of solidarity for the protection of those rights.
The march will begin on Saturday morning at 10 AM from Mitchell Park and follow an assigned route that will bring marchers and supporters through Downtown SLO. As a Downtowner you may have a shop, employees, home or business that will be affected by this movement and it is my intention to provide you as much information around the event as possible. For exact details about the event itself please visit http://womensmarchslo.com/ and for information as it becomes available to me, please check our social media, website and email for updates. Due to the exponential growth of the event, logistics are evolving by the hour and road closures and other factors will be announced once they are finalized.
At this time it appears that Marsh and Higuera streets will be closed to traffic as soon as 9:30 AM and reopen in the afternoon. Those times are soft and may shift in the coming 48 hours. Again, as soon as I know differently I will update you all via our media outlets.
So what does this mean for your business?
• Parking will be a factor for your employees and staff. 6,000 people are anticipated to participate in the march and that will have a significant impact on parking supply. Stay tuned for updates on where parking will be available.
• Road Closures will also be a factor to get in and through Downtown. I anticipate a map to be available to you all this morning but at this time do not have one available to share.
• Police presence will be increased to ensure a safe event for participants, spectators and merchants. At this time there does not seem to be a threat of any sort to the safety of the event and law enforcement has been very proactive in mitigating any chance of activity in that vein.
• Sales for your business may be impacted due to diminished transportation for patrons. However, an anticipated 6,000 attendees will be coming through Downtown. Consider a promotion or special to attract those people to either come into your business then or to return upon completion of the march. The march will conclude at Mitchell Park with live music and food trucks but I expect that many people will find that since they are already parked Downtown, they will come back down and patronize the shops that have supported their cause.
As many of you know I am a supporter of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly as it is a privilege that we enjoy as Americans. While this event may be an inconvenience for you and your business, the message behind the movement is a very important issue for our country and especially for the individuals seeking protection of their rights. Please be respectful to our guests Downtown and encourage them to love our Downtown as much as we do. This should not be viewed as an inconvenience. Rather, this should be recognized as a foundation of what this country was built on, Freedom.
Downtown Association Executive Director
For information please view the following avenues for updates:
email from Downtown SLO or call us at (805) 541-0286