An estimated 15,000 Hawkeye fans will line the streets of Downtown Iowa City on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 for the annual University of Iowa Homecoming Parade. The parade begins at 5:45 p.m., but street closures, parking bans, traffic delays, and changes to the City’s transit routes will get underway earlier in the day. Traffic in the Downtown area will be heavy beginning around 3 p.m. as parade entries and attendees start to arrive.
New parade route
The parade will take a slightly different route this year due to road construction, so attendees should review the parade map to ensure they’re setting up along this year’s new route.
The parade will begin at the intersection of Gilbert Street and Iowa Avenue, heading west on Iowa Avenue. At Dubuque Street, it will turn south, then at Washington Street, turn west. At Clinton Street the parade will head north, then turn east on Jefferson Street. It will end at the intersection of Jefferson and Gilbert Streets.
No parking areas / towing
“No parking” areas will be established on streets along the parade route. Some will be set up as early as noon. Others will be implemented at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Vehicles parked in no parking areas will be towed.
Signs will be placed along the parade route, including staging areas, to indicate no-parking areas and street closures. People are urged to watch closely for these signs to avoid being ticketed and towed. Towing will begin as early as 12:30 p.m. Owners whose cars have been towed will have to obtain a vehicle release from the Iowa City Police Department at City Hall, 410 E. Washington Street.
Commuters and other drivers who do not plan to attend the parade are advised to plan ahead and find alternate routes out of the Downtown area to avoid delays. Some parking ramps will also be impacted. More information appears below.
At 4 p.m. on Friday, the following streets will be closed:
• Van Buren Street, between Market and College
• Johnson Street, between Market and Burlington
• College Street, between Van Buren and Dodge
• Washington Street, between Gilbert and Dodge
• Iowa Avenue, between Gilbert and Dodge
• Jefferson Street, between Gilbert and Dodge
At 4:30 p.m., these streets will be closed:
• Clinton Street, between Market and College
• Dubuque Street, between Jefferson and Washington
• Washington Street, between Dubuque and Gilbert (however, the section of Linn Street between College and Washington will remain open to northbound traffic)
• Iowa Avenue, between Clinton and Gilbert
At 5:30 p.m., the final street closures will occur:
• Gilbert Street, between Market and College
• Jefferson Street, between Madison and Gilbert
Street closures are expected to remain in place until 9 p.m. to remove barricades and to accommodate other Homecoming events, including the coronation of Homecoming royalty and a concert on the Pentacrest. A few arterial streets, including Gilbert and Jefferson, will be exceptions to the schedule, as they will reopen immediately after the parade has concluded.
Parking ramps and accessing Downtown
Police officers will try to assist motorists who wish to leave the Downtown area prior to the start of the parade. However, once it gets underway, vehicles will not be allowed onto the parade route until the parade has passed.
Tower Place Ramp: Parking customers who need to leave Tower Place Ramp on Iowa Avenue on Friday afternoon should be out by 5 p.m. or risk staying until the parade is over. The ramp will close at 5 p.m. and will remain closed until the parade is over and Iowa Avenue has been reopened to regular traffic. Vehicles will not be able to enter or exit during the parade.
Other ramps: The Capitol Street, Dubuque Street, Chauncey Swan, and Court Street ramps will be open and will operate normally during the parade. Customers who need an alternative parking option to Tower Place ramp during the parade should utilize one of these facilities. Customers parked on the lower level of Chauncey Swan Ramp between Washington and College Streets will be blocked from the north exit during the parade, but will be able to leave via the south side, through the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center parking lot.
Dubuque Street construction: Drivers should be aware of continued construction on Dubuque Street and should consider taking an alternate route before and after the parade. Delays during heavy traffic can vary from 15-to-30 minutes.
Iowa City Transit will make the following operational changes to accommodate the parade:
Starting at 6 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, the bus interchange will move from the intersection of Washington and Clinton Streets to a temporary location on Court Street, adjacent to the Court Street Transportation Center between Clinton and Dubuque Streets. This change will be in place for the duration of the service day. Normal bus service utilizing the main transit interchange will resume on Saturday, Oct. 1.
The last Northside shuttle of the day will depart the alternate interchange on Court Street at 2:45 p.m. and will follow its normal route.
The last Southside shuttle will depart the alternate interchange on Court Street at 3:30 p.m.
The outbound bus stops located at Clinton and Jefferson Streets (stop 7400), and Jefferson and Linn Streets (stop 7401) will be closed to bus service all day on Friday. The inbound bus stops located at Mercy Hospital (stop 7443), Market and Linn Streets (stop 7206), and Clinton and Jefferson Streets (stop 7207) will also be closed. Customers who use these stops should catch their buses at the alternate interchange on Court Street. These stops will reopen on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Iowa City Police urge parents or guardians of young children to keep a close eye on them throughout the parade, and keep them within an arm's length. Children have a natural curiosity and desire to approach mascot or cartoon characters, which can create a dangerous situation around vehicles that are pulling floats.
For more information
For additional details about Transit changes and parking, call 319-356-5151. For other City-related matters that will be impacted by the Homecoming parade, contact Shannon McMahon, Communications Coordinator, at 319-356-5058 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional info about Homecoming festivities is available at https://homecoming.uiowa.edu/schedule/