Monday, December 17, 2007

Mile Radius Lockdown Nightmare

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Like Matt, I was amazed at the proposed mile radius security zone mentioned in this weekend's Rocky Mountain News article about starting Denver Public School's late next year.

Here is an approximate view of what a mile radius looks like around the Pepsi Center.

Even if you've never been to Denver it's obvious what a nightmare a mile radius lockdown would be. Maybe the Denver Police Department isn't big on geometry and meant a mile diameter lockdown? While a 1/2-mile radius would still cause havoc it would be far better than a 2-mile wide loop covering a large majority of downtown Denver.

I'll just mention a few things within a mile radius that will be in lockdown:
- All downtown Denver light rail lines both inbound and outbound.
- The Auraria Campus which is adjacent to the Pepsi Center has already announced that classes will be cancelled during the convention.
- Elitch Gardens amusement park which is also adjacent to the Pepsi Center
- Coors Field
- 16th Street Mall
- All of Denver's largest office buildings including MCI, Qwest, Republic Plaza
- Union Station
- Denver Children's Museum and Denver Aquarium

Boston, while not calling for such a sweeping lockdown, also had major issues during the 2004 Democratic National Convention

The measures include closure of some 40 miles of roads, a vehicle-free zone around the FleetCenter, extensive parking bans, the shutdown of the train service running beneath the FleetCenter, and closure of tunnels to and from Logan International Airport. Acknowledging that all of central Boston would be affected, city officials were urging business owners to give workers flex-time, telecommuting, and vacation options during the convention.

That same day, Burns' office launched a public awareness campaign — “Let's Work Around It” — to help people figure out travel options during the convention. Updated information on transit and road conditions would be available on Boston 2004's Web site ( Even as Burns and city and state officials worked to assuage concerns about the unprecedented travel restrictions, it did not help that two days later New York City, which won the bid to host the Republican National Convention in late August, announced that there would be no major transportation closures in the city.

In St Paul, home of the 2008 Republican National Convention, no announcement has been made as to the extent of the security but officials have stated that protesters will have close access to the convention.
A top St. Paul police official is promising that demonstrators will be able to exercise their free-speech rights close to next year's Republican National Convention. But police have not designated any protest locations, and city officials have yet to issue permits to demonstrators. A watchdog group is threatening legal action if an agreement isn't reached soon. - MPR
We will definitely be following this story closely and will hopefully have a clearer picture of what the lockdown will entail.


Anonymous said...

Guys - I think you're reading way too far into a throw away line in a story about DPS. Just look at that map, they're not going to extend the perimeter across the Platte river. They're not going to shut down I-25. And they're not going to shut down half of LoDo - it's just not logistically possible.

If a mile-wide radius had been officially proposed, you'd see a LOT more complaining from protest groups.

Oreo said...

I'll see if I can find out any more about the lockdown. I agree it would be impossible for a complete lockdown in an area that size.

Matt said...

I'm not sure I believe it either, but a major newspaper reported it, and as a throw-away line, i.e., an already accepted fact, and no one from the DNCC has yet said the RMN or we have wrong information.

Mister Mxyzptlk said...

I think we need to learn what they really mean by "lockdown."

And by the way, nice reporting on the Rocky's part for referring to it without explanation, sidebar, etc.