Be careful, be patient when traveling around Carson today |

Be careful, be patient when traveling around Carson today

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The Carson City Sheriff’s Department is asking people to avoid parts of the city today because of the crush of humanity expected with the Democratic Presidential Forum.

The department is “fully staffed” and “ready for anything,” said Sheriff Kenny Furlong. Nonetheless, “people are just going to want to be there, even if they’re not able to be inside to watch.”

Areas expected to be busier than usual include Roop Street, Carson Street, Stewart Street and Highway 50, especially the sections approaching the Carson City Community Center, where the forum will take place, Furlong said.

These streets “are going to be packed,” he said. “Please drive carefully. If you don’t have to be in that area, don’t go. Traffic will be horrendous.”

There are alternative routes drivers could consider using today. Those going north and south could try Saliman Road or Curry Street. Those bound east and west could opt for Long Street, College Parkway or Fairview Drive, according to Andy Burnham, the city’s public works director.

Road work is occurring along some of these streets, however, which also may cause delays. Curry Street is closed between Clearview Drive and Koontz Lane, and portions of Fairview and Saliman are subject to natural-gas pipeline relocation work, Burnham said.

Fifth Street will be closed between Carson and Stewart streets from 4:45-6 p.m. as a security precaution as U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., addresses state legislators, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The forum itself doesn’t begin until noon, but protesters, demonstrators and others are expected to start arriving in the morning at the community center.

Among those with plans to be outside the center are College Republicans of Nevada, local talk radio station KKFT and Sam Dehne, an area government watcher, occasional candidate and musician.

“I should be the keynote speaker at the forum,” Dehne joked.

More people are also expected to be walking around town than usual, “especially near the community center,” Furlong said.

“Getting a glimpse of Hillary (Clinton) isn’t worth your airbags deploying,” he said.

Drivers, pedestrians and everyone else traveling around the city should “be aware of their surroundings,” he warned.

Though some candidates participating in the forum might be flying in to Carson City Airport, there were no requests for additional security precautions as of midday Tuesday, said Yvon Weaver, airport manager.

The Reno field office of the U.S. Secret Service was contacted two weeks ago to determine whether there were any related security needs, such as airspace control, but they didn’t know of any at that time, Weaver said.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.