Jun 14, 2012
From staff reports
Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis recently approved a new homecoming parade route recommended by a committee of University and Athens officials.
The new route, effective with the Oct. 13, 2012, homecoming parade, lines parade participants up at Factory Street. The parade then pulls right onto Union Street, right onto Court Street, left onto Park Place, right onto University Terrace, and ends at the Ping Center parking lot for dismantling.
Discussion of a new route began after Athens City Council and others expressed concern about the safety of the current route, which lined up on the near east side and wound through narrow streets and areas heavily populated by bars. An ad-hoc committee of Athens officials and University representatives reviewed five alternative routes before recommending the approved route.
“Homecoming is a special community event and I am very pleased a solution was found that will help ensure safety for parade participants and parade-goers. The committee members are to be commended for their great work. They invested a great deal of time and thoughtful consideration to identify a resolution to promote safety, community, and culture during the annual homecoming parade,” said McDavis. “I also want to thank Mayor Wiehl and his staff, Athens City Council and the Athens Police Department for their support and partnership in promoting a safe and fun homecoming day.”
Athens city officials say the new route will help them better control the crowds because streets on the new route are wider and there will be more room for temporary fencing near major intersections. The new route will also remove much of the east-side traffic congestion and the cut-off to major roads that occurred with the old route. Officials also believe that the amount of trash left behind will be less because there will be fewer large crowds congregating in small areas.
“We believe the new route will be just as lively and fun as the old route for spectators, but safer,” said Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl. “We thank the representatives from the city and the University for their diligence in finding an appropriate route to continue this wonderful University tradition in a safe and civil manner."
The new route map can be found here (PDF).