Roots N\' Blues Venue Change Causes Congestion

Related Story

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department began restricting driving on streets surrounding the Roots N' Blues festival at 3:30 pm Friday.

Old Highway 63 is restricted between Broadway and Walnut St. Sgt. Curtis Perkins said the traffic restrictions are much more significant now that the festival has been relocated to Stevens Lake Park.

"It's definitely a different environment than it is downtown," Perkins said. "Downtown streets definitely don't have as much traffic. We're out here at Broadway and Walnut, so there is a lot more traffic than we've had in previous years."

Some residents on East Walnut St. are a little unhappy that their only way to get out of their houses is the one area police are restricting. Also, East Walnut residents had to apply for passes to put on their windshield to be able to park along their streets and driveways during the weekend. However, most did think it was worth the trade.

"It's a hassle, but I've got Roots N' Blues right across the street from me, so I can't be too upset," East Walnut resident Michael Rader said.

The streets will be restricted until the festival ends Sunday.