Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DU Oct. 3 Presidential DebateFest Plans Shape Up

If you lived in the DU neighborhood in 2008 you probably remember the excitement and chaos when then-candidate Barack Obama campaigned at  the University of Denver. Frenzied supporters of the candidate fought over parking spaces and some of those who scored parking did so by blocking driveways or other cars. Parking and driving in the neighborhood came to a standstill.  

On Oct. 3 President Obama returns to DU, this time with Republican hopeful Mitt Romney in tow, and you can't help but wonder how their presence will impact the community. 

One thing you can do is check out DU's Debate Community Impact page, which lists some things the neighborhood will face. For example, the site warns up that:

*From Sept. 21 to Oct. 3 one lane of Buchtel Avenue will be closed.

*Traffic will likely become "heavy and disruptive" around the neighborhood the week of Sept. 21. Expect parking and traffic disruptions and delays, road closures and limited access.

*Buchtel Boulevard and Asbury Avenue will be closed from University Boulevard to High Street, from Oct. 1 - 3.

*The RTD Light Rail system will be operating on Oct. 3, but the University Station will be closed.

*If you live in the Buchtel Plaza Apartments or University Park Towers, you won't be able to leave or enter your parking lot on these days (though you will have pedestrian access to your building). Instead, please park in the RTD parking garage at the University RTD light rail station off Buchtel Boulevard and High Street.

*If you are a DU Student, Staff or Alumni, you can attend DebateFest, a celebratory event with music, food, activities, and an outdoor debate watch party, from 3 - 9 p.m. on the University's Carnegie Green. To attend register here. 

If you live in the neighborhood  they'll consider letting you attend DebateFest but we are willing to bet that few neighborhood people will get the greenlight. DU is only allowing 5000 people to attend the festival, with  staff, students and alumni will get first dibs.

In short, neighborhood residents' part in the democratic process will invovle cleaning up the aftermath of DebateFest fun. Well, look on the bright side, it can't be much worse than cleaning up red cups and vomit from your property during DU's finals week.

At any rate, more optimistic neighborhood residents can apply to attend DebateFest after Sept. 15, on the website.

DU is also looking for volunteers to work, so if you are interested check out the DebateFest page. This will probably be your best bet to attend, if you are a mere member of the community.

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