Ahead of Saturday’s rally by an Indiana-based Ku Klux Klan group, Dayton officials are urging downtown residents, business owners and transit riders to prepare for disruptions.
Beginning Thursday, a number of streets near Courthouse Square will close to traffic, including Ludlow between Second and Fourth Streets. The intersection of Main and Third will also shut down.
Streets along Courthouse Square will be blocked beginning Friday evening, when Wright Stop Plaza will also close.
Find a map of downtown Dayton street closures here.
Instead, Greater Dayton RTA spokesperson Jessica Olson says riders can board buses at Dayton Metro Library on Third Street, which will be closed Saturday, until Wright Stop Plaza reopens Sunday afternoon.
“Basically, if the roads are closed downtown and they can't get their car through then our buses cannot get through either. So, preparing ahead of time, knowing that our buses are going to be detoured and heading a little bit outside of their normal routing is good to know,” she says.
Monument Avenue near RiverScape MetroPark will close Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m.
"Customers can still expect to get to where they're going and get there in a timely manner. It just may take a few extra minutes and their stop may be impacted. So if your stop is downtown you should plan on going to a nearby stop outside of downtown outside those street closures," she says.
Counterprotests organized by the Better Dayton Coalition are expected during the so-called Honorable Sacred Knights KKK rally.
But city officials are asking people to avoid downtown during the event for their own safety.
The city has launched a website containing more information about traffic detours and street closures.
"Personal preparedness will be important to your safety. Many people in our community will feel a strong need to be present downtown to exercise their right to express themselves. We are going to do everything we can to protect people who live and work downtown and choose to come to the rally. If you don’t have to be downtown, the area should be avoided. There are no guarantees for personal safety in a civil unrest environment," a statement on the website reads.
A number of Dayton groups are organizing alternative events outside of downtown on May 25. A list of events is available here.
Dayton officials launched the website as part of a new campaign the city is calling United Against Hate Month, May 13 to June 13, 2019, which the city says is intended to, "to help connect people who want to peacefully respond to the hate group."
Residents are encouraged to upload their own events to the site's calendar.
More information about bus route changes from the RTA can be found here.
Some downtown businesses are expected to be closed on May 25. See the list here.