Corridor/Local News Feed

City announces street closures and Transit changes for upcoming Jazz Festival

The Iowa City Jazz Festival, a three-day weekend of live jazz that's part of Iowa City's Summer of the Arts series of festivals, brings the spark back to Downtown Iowa City on July 1-3, 2016. Music by national and international jazz artists and up-and-coming performers will be played on four stages throughout the event. Additional festival fun includes Culinary Row, Artist Row, Beverage Garden, Fun Zone, and the City's fireworks display over the Pentacrest, which wraps up the three-day event on Sunday night.

The Jazz Festival will call for some street closures, parking changes, and alterations to bus routes, as follows:

Street closures

  • On Thursday, June 30, beginning at 2 p.m., Clinton Street (between Washington and Jefferson Streets) and Iowa Avenue (between Dubuque and Clinton Streets) will close.
  • During the festival, the left turn from Clinton Street (northbound) to Washington Street (westbound) will be permitted for all traffic. This portion of Washington Street is typically reserved for buses only.
  • On Friday, July 1, beginning at 7 a.m., Dubuque Street (between Jefferson Street and Iowa Avenue) will be closed.
  • On Sunday, other streets in the area of the Iowa Memorial Union and Hubbard Park will be closed to accommodate the fireworks display.

 The street reopening schedule for Downtown is as follows:

  • On Sunday, July 3 at midnight, both Iowa Avenue and Dubuque Street will reopen.
  • At noon on Monday, July 4, Clinton Street will be reopened from Washington Street to Iowa Avenue, followed by the block between Iowa Avenue and Jefferson Street.

 Downtown parking

  • On-street parking will be extremely limited over the weekend, due to festival-related street closures -- and some of the available on-street parking spaces will be reserved for festival staff and vendors. To avoid being towed, watch for posted signs indicating restricted parking.
  • All five City parking ramps located near the Jazz Festival activities -- Tower Place, Chauncey Swan, Dubuque Street, Court Street Transportation Center, and Old Capitol Town Center -- will be open throughout the festival.
  • On Sunday, the Old Capitol and Dubuque Street ramps will be staffed and parking fees will apply. Chauncey Swan, Court Street and Tower Place ramps do not charge on Sundays.
  • An area for bike parking will be available on Dubuque Street, near the intersection with Iowa Avenue.

Transit

  • Free transit service will be available on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2. The Saturday schedule will operate with festival-related and existing transit detours in effect.
  • There will be no bus service on Sunday, July 3 or on Monday, July 4, due to the holiday.
  • Due to Downtown construction, the bus interchange on Clinton Street has been temporarily relocated to the Court Street Transportation Center at 380 S. Dubuque Street.

 The following bus stops will be closed and not serviced during the Iowa City Jazz Festival:

Outbound bus closures:

  • Stop 7200: Washington Street and Linn Street
  • Stop 7201: Washington Street and Gilbert Street
  • Stop 7400: Clinton Street and Jefferson Street
  • Stop 7401: Jefferson Street and Linn Street  

Inbound bus closures:

  • Stop 7079: UI Lindquist Center
  • Stop 7206: Market Street and Linn Street
  • Stop 7207: Clinton Street and Jefferson Street
  • Stop 7244: Burlington Street and Dubuque Street  

Normal schedules will resume on Tuesday, July 5.

Fireworks

The City’s fireworks display will wrap up the Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 3, following the end of the final jazz performance.

Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and take in the fireworks  from the University of Iowa Pentacrest lawn. The west lawn provides the best view, although the display will also be visible from the east side of the Old Capitol building and Downtown.

Fireworks will be launched from Hubbard Park, at the intersection of Madison Street and Iowa Avenue, and will get underway sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. Inclement weather may call for flexibility in the start time. Rain date for fireworks is Monday, July 4, same time, same place.

To accommodate the fireworks set-up and show, streets and other areas within range of the fireworks area will be closed to the public. The Iowa City Fire Department urges drivers and pedestrians to adhere to barricades, caution tape and other street closure/no parking signs, as these are put in place to protect people’s lives and safety. Vehicles parked in the fireworks launch area after 8 a.m. on Sunday may be towed.

Pets

Pets who accompany their owners to the festival must be on a leash and under the control of an adult at all times, and must be up-to-date on rabies vaccines. Pets will not be allowed in Culinary Row, the Beverage Garden, or in the playground area on the Ped Mall outside the Library.

A pet hydration station will be set up at the Jazz Festival at the corner of Dubuque Street and Iowa Avenue, where animals can cool off and get a drink.

Before bringing your pet to the festival, please consider the following information from Iowa City Animal Services and Adoption Center:

  • If your pet is not completely comfortable around all sorts of strangers, including children, it would be best for them to stay at home. Watch for signs of stress: fear, excessive panting or vocalization, or exhaustion. If any of these occur, remove your pet from the situation.
  • Keep pets hydrated and make sure to keep the pads of their feet cool, too, by walking them on the grass instead of hot concrete or asphalt streets.
  • A dog’s ears are much more sensitive than a human’s. Do not take your dog close to the festival stage or speakers when music is being played. Dogs should never go to fireworks shows, according to the Animal Center.

Information and assistance

  • For information and assistance, attendees may stop by one of the festival information booths at the east end of Iowa Avenue or the south end of Clinton Street. Festival-goers can also look for City of Iowa City staff wearing "Ambassador" shirts, as well as police officers, for assistance.
  • An accessibility shuttle golf cart will be available to people with mobility issues who need help getting back and forth from the parking ramps to the main festival area. Call 401-584-2787 during festival hours to request a pick-up.

To view the full schedule for the Iowa City Jazz Festival and other Summer of the Arts activities, visit www.summerofthearts.org.

For more information, contact Shannon McMahon, City of Iowa City Communications Coordinator, at 319-356-5058 or shannon-mcmahon@iowa-city.org.


City Council Listening Post Reminder

IOWA CITY, IA. -- City Council reminds the community of a City Council  Listening Post from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at Forest View Trailer Park located on Laura Drive north of Foster Road. 

Two council members attend each Listening Post and report back to the full Council. Members of the community are encouraged to stop by and meet council members and to discuss community topics and concerns. No formal agenda or presentation is planned.  

For additional information, questions, or suggestions on future locations for listening posts, contact City Clerk Marian Karr by e-mail at Marian-Karr@iowa-city.org or call 319-356-5041 or contact Equity Director Stefanie Bowers by e-mail at Stefanie-Bowers@iowa-city.org or call 319-356-5022.

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Public invited to discuss proposed safety improvements to First Avenue

People are invited to attend a public information meeting about a proposed safety improvement to First Avenue from Highway 6 to Mall Drive.

The City is looking to reconfigure traffic lanes from four lanes (two lanes in each direction) to three lanes (one lane in each direction and a center two-way, left turn lane). The lane changes will also allow for new traffic signals and additional paving for bike lanes. 

The meeting will happen Thursday, June 30 at the Mercer Park Aquatic Center and Scanlon Gym, located at 2701 Bradford Drive. The meeting will go from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. inside the Proctor & Gamble Room and will be open house style. A brief presentation is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Iowa Department of Transportation will help with the development of this project through Traffic Safety Improvement Project Funding.

A similar proposal is being considered for Mormon Trek Boulevard as well. To learn more about the project and the safety of three-way roads visit icgov.org/laneconversions.

Questions and feedback can be directed to Project Engineer Brenna Fall of Snyder & Associates, Inc., at 319-362-9394 or email bfall@snyder-associates.com. The City of Iowa City contact for this project is Senior Civil Engineer Scott Sovers, 319-356-5142 or email scott-sovers@iowa-city.org

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Iowa City considers safety improvements to Mormon Trek

People are invited to attend a public information meeting about proposed safety improvements to Mormon Trek Boulevard.

The project will focus specifically on improving safety from Highway 1 to Melrose Ave. along Mormon Trek Blvd. That includes reconfiguring traffic lanes from four lanes (two lanes in each direction) to three lanes (one lane in each direction and a center two-way, left turn lane). The lane reconfiguration will allow for improvements like replacing traffic signals, reconstructing sidewalk ramps, adding a northbound to eastbound right turn lane at the Benton Street intersection and additional paving for bike lanes.  

Research suggests significant safety benefits can be achieved through four-lane to three-lane conversion projects, including reduced crashes. The City selected Mormon Trek Blvd for conversion as the volume of traffic does not necessitate the current number of lanes. The road also has many driveways and side street intersections, making it a good candidate for conversion. 

The Iowa Department of Transportation will help with the development of this project through Traffic Safety Improvement Project funding.

The public information meeting will happen Tuesday, June 28, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Varsity Room at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum, located at 2425 Prairie Meadow Drive. The meeting will be open house style, but will include a brief presentation at 6 p.m.

To learn more about the project, and view a brief video that shows a three lane traffic configuration be sure to visit icgov.org/mormontrekconversion.

Project questions and feedback can be directed to Project Engineer Brenna Fall of Snyder & Associates, Inc., at 319-362-9394 or email bfall@snyder-associates.com. The City of Iowa City contact for this project is Senior Civil Engineer Scott Sovers, 319-356-5142 or email Scott-Sovers@iowa-city.org


Iowa City names Police Captain Troy Kelsay to serve as Interim Chief

On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, Interim City Manager Geoff Fruin appointed Captain Troy Kelsay to serve as Interim Police Chief, effective July 1. The appointment will follow the departure of current Police Chief Sam Hargadine, who previously announced his retirement from the Iowa City Police Department to accept the Executive Director role for the Iowa Police Chief’s Association. 

Captain Kelsay was promoted to his current position on June 1, 2015. Captain Kelsay was hired as a police officer in July of 1991 and promoted to Sergeant in October of 2001, then Lieutenant in April of 2014. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa and is a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy. Captain Kelsay has held a variety of assignments in the department covering patrol, public information and training and accreditation among others.

“I have the upmost confidence in Captain Kelsay's abilities to lead the Iowa City Police Department during this transitionary period,” Interim City Manager Fruin said. “While temporarily shorthanded, the Police Department will continue to rise to the challenge and protect and serve Iowa City with a great deal of passion for their work, and respect and compassion for the community and our residents.” 

Per State of Iowa Code, the position of Interim Police Chief can be held by any one individual for a maximum period of ninety days. If a permanent Police Chief is not named within the ninety day period, a second appointment to the Interim Police Chief role will be made by the City Manager.

The City of Iowa City is preparing to launch a public search to permanently fill the role of Police Chief. Details on the search process will be released at a later date. 


Pavement failure causes lane reductions on Mormon Trek

IOWA CITY, IA. -- A weekend pavement failure on Mormon Trek Boulevard is forcing southbound traffic to reduce to one lane.

Repair work should begin Wednesday, June 22, 2016 on Mormon Trek, north of Hawkeye Park Road. Both southbound lanes will need pavement repairs, however one lane of southbound traffic will remain open at all times. Work should be finished by the end of the day Friday, July 1. 

Drivers should take a different route during construction and, as always, use caution when traveling through all work areas. 

For updated road construction information visit  http://www.iowa-city.org/works/roadconstruction.

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Police asking for help in vandalism investigation

Iowa City Police took three juveniles into custody for allegedly committing vandalism across the community. Police say there could be more incidents and are asking people to report it if they come across it. 

On June 15, 2016 at around 9:33 p.m. police responded to the Four Oaks Juvenile Shelter for a report of a 14-year-old male, 13-year-old female and 12-year-old male who had run away. 

Around 1:34 a.m., police received a call from the Iowa Interstate Railroad, 800 Webster St., for a burglary report. Officer discovered forced entry and property damage, while also determining that an undisclosed amount of property and/or cash was stolen. 

About an hour later, officers responded to the area of the Carousel 2 Car dealership, 265 Stevens Dr., for a report of juveniles breaking items. There, officers took the three missing juveniles into custody. 

Further investigation also showed the three juveniles climbed fences to access the Durham School Services lot, 2185 S. Gilbert St., and allegedly damaged several school buses by smashing windows, deploying fire extinguishers and breaking items. The damage is estimated in excess of $1,000 but less than $10,000. 

Police believe there could be additional vandalism cases and are encouraging the public to contact Officer Robert Rooff at 319-356-5275 or email robert-rooff@iowa-city.org with any additional information. 

This incident remains under investigation by the Iowa City Police Department. 


Juveniles Commit Various Property Crimes in Iowa City

On June 15, 2016 at approximately 9:33 p.m., the Iowa City Police Department responded to the Four Oaks Juvenile Shelter for a report of three juvenile residents who had run away.  These three juveniles, a 13 year old female, a 12 year old male, and a 14 year old male, had run off on foot in an unknown direction and officers were unable to locate them at that time. 

At approximately 1:34 a.m., Officers were dispatched to the Iowa Interstate Railroad located at 800 Webster St. for a report of a burglary to their business.  Officers located forced entry, property damage, and determined an undisclosed amount of property and/or cash was stolen.

At approximately 2:29 a.m., Officers responded to the area around Carousel 2 Car Dealership located at 265 Stevens Dr. for a report of the same juveniles breaking items.  Officers were able to locate the three juveniles and take them into custody.

Further investigation revealed these three juveniles had climbed fences and entered the Durham School Services lot at 2185 S Gilbert St. where they damaged several school buses by smashing windows, deploying the bus’ fire extinguishers, and breaking items on the buses causing damage well in excess of $1000.00, but believed at this point to be less than $10,000.00. 

The involved juveniles have been taken into custody, however it is anticipated that the three children did additional crimes of vandalism and/or burglary and the Iowa City Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in reporting similar incidents if discovered.

This incident remains under investigation by the Iowa City Police Department.  Anyone with information is requested to contact Officer Robert Rooff at either the number listed at the top or at Robert-rooff@iowa-city.org