Homecoming parade: Parking, traffic can be a challenge

parade_mapEveryone loves CSU’s Homecoming and Family Weekend parade, but it does come with some parking and traffic challenges.

Several Fort Collins and campus streets will be impacted Friday prior to and during the annual community celebration.

The 90-minute parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Howes and Oak streets in downtown Fort Collins. The parade will travel south on Howes, around the CSU Oval, across Lory Student Center plaza and conclude on campus at Meridian and University avenues, near the West Lawn of the Lory Student Center.

Alternative modes of transportation, such as riding the Transfort or MAX bus systems and bicycling, are recommended throughout the day.

Streets impacted, towing begins early

Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday streets in the staging area will be closed. The parade route and southbound Mason Street will close in waves by 3:30 p.m. Cars parked in the staging area will be towed beginning at 7 a.m. Individuals are asked to observe “No Parking after 7 a.m.” signs posted in the area.

Streets impacted by the parade staging area, starting at 10 a.m., include:

Howes Street – Mountain Avenue to Oak Street

Oak Street – between Howes and Sherwood streets

Sherwood Street from Mountain Avenue to Oak Street, including the Oak Street intersection

The intersections of Oak and Meldrum streets, Oak and Howes streets, and Oak and Sherwood streets

Southbound Mason Street between Mountain and Mulberry

parade_camOn campus, west-bound Old Main Drive from Rembrandt to the Oval also will be closed.

To avoid the staging area, drivers are encouraged to use Mountain or Laporte avenues for east-west routes and College Avenue or Loomis Street for north-south routes. Oak Street will remain open east of Howes Street for Larimer County Courthouse traffic. Mason Street southbound will also be closed. Streets in the staging area will open as the area clears, starting at 5:30 p.m. However, no access to Howes south of Mountain Avenue will be allowed until the parade ends.

Streets close early

Beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, streets along and intersecting with the parade route will be closed. Parking along the parade route is prohibited all day, and towing will begin at 7 a.m. Friday. “No Parking” signs will be posted Wednesday along the route.

The parade route includes:

Howes Street, south of Oak Street through Laurel Street, to the CSU Oval

Oval Drive

Amy Van Dyken Way

University Avenue, west of, and including, Amy Van Dyken Way to Meridian

East-west streets along the parade route also will close starting at 1 p.m. on parade day. Traffic will be diverted from access to and across Howes. These streets include:

Olive Street

Magnolia Street

Mulberry Street

Myrtle Street

Laurel Street

parade_ruckusMeridian Avenue will be closed south of Plum Street and north of Lake Street for the duration of the parade, and only emergency access to Meridian Avenue from South Drive and Pitkin Street will be granted. Meridian will be closed north of University to allow floats to exit the parade route.

Routes around the parade

To avoid the parade route, east-west traffic is encouraged to use Prospect Road or Mountain Avenue. North-south traffic may use College Avenue or Shields Street. The parade starting location allows for three additional east-west traffic corridors – Maple Street, Laporte Avenue and Mountain Avenue – to ease traffic congestion during the parade.

For more details about the parade route and closures, visit homecoming.colostate.edu/maps/

All streets will open once the parade ends at 6 p.m. Friday.

Anyone whose vehicle is towed from the parade route or staging area should contact Fort Collins Police Services at (970) 221-6540 to reclaim their vehicle. Vehicles will be towed to a lot on the northeast corner of Mason and Cherry streets beginning at 7 a.m.

The city of Fort Collins bus services, Transfort and MAX, also will detour from several standard stops during the parade and parade staging. Detours will begin when barricades go up around 1 p.m.; regular routes will resume as soon as barricades are cleared at around 6 p.m. Campus bus service via Around the Horn will detour all day.

Routes impacted by the parade:

Route 2

Route 3

Route 7

Route 13

Maps and additional details about routes impacted by the parade are available at fcgov.com/transfort.

Campus events, closures

The following parking closures also will go into effect on the CSU campus the morning of Friday, Oct. 7:

West side of the Oval Drive

Amy Van Dyken Way

parade_400Finally, the intersection of East Drive and Pitkin Street will be closed Friday and Saturday.

Parts of the Oval lawn will be closed to pedestrian and bicycle traffic throughout the day.

Homecoming parade co-marshals are alumnae Blanche Hughes and Polly Baca. Hughes is CSU’s vice president for student affairs, while Baca has spent the past 50-plus years in politics, serving 12 years in the Colorado legislature and as the first Latina co-chair of the Democratic National Convention.

The end of the parade also serves as the beginning of the communitywide celebration, Friday Night Lights, starting at about 6 p.m. on the west side of the Lory Student Center.

In addition to the parade, Homecoming and Family Weekend highlights include the Homecoming 5K Race beginning on the Oval at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and the Homecoming football game vs. Utah State at Hughes Stadium at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8.

Visit homecoming.colostate.edu for a complete list of events.