Forget about tip-toeing into new territory.
Ohio Bike Week’s making major strides in expanding its footprint all across downtown Sandusky.
City commissioners recently voiced no objections to plans calling for bike week-sponsored events overtaking more space in downtown Sandusky, specifically along the waterfront.
Rather than taking up more north and south space — many activities already occur on Columbus Avenue and Jackson Street — planners want to expand the festival in eastern and western directions.
“This is a reaction to all the businesses in Sandusky” Ohio Bike Week’s primary organizer Steve Ernst said. “When we first started in 2004, we could literally rent the 100 and 200 blocks of Columbus Avenue, but now the businesses are filling up. Downtown is changing, and we want to change with it” One such instance of change scheduled for this year involves the Jackson Street Pier on Shoreline Drive.
During the event’s second half, when a majority of activities emanate from downtown Sandusky during a “block party,” planners have scheduled several events at the pier.
To accommodate the Goodtime, Jet Express, Pelee Islander and other boat traffic, planners have arranged for a vehicle to shuttle passengers at no cost to and from the Paper District Marina, a primary off-site free parking area.
Spreading the event out actually offers a benefit to public safety, Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said.
“I think that the pier is going to alleviate a lot of congestion for us and for the people,” Orzech said.
Expanding the event also allows for some positive traffic changes.
Among them: opening up Washington Street in downtown Sandusky on Thursday and Friday during the block party. In past years, the street shut down on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the block party.
“That’s going to be a huge advantage for us,” said Orzech alluding to a main route remaining open in case of emergencies.Street closures in downtown Sandusky for Ohio Bike Week
Street closures in downtown Sandusky for Ohio Bike Week
Note: All closures subject to change
Thursday, June 5, and Friday, June 6
•Jackson, Washington and Wayne streets to remain open Thursday and Friday but closed on Saturday, June 7.
Thursday, June 5, until noon Sunday June 8
•Motorcycle-only traffic and parking on Columbus Avenue, between 300 block by courthouse to Schade-Mylander Plaza, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 a.m at the start of each day.
Wednesday, June 4, until noon Sunday, June 8
•Shoreline Drive from Jackson to Wayne streets closed to all non-motorcycle traffic.
•Cars may enter the 100 and 200 blocks of Columbus Ave. from 2:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. each day. Vehicles may be issued a pass directing them to vacate this area by 1 p.m. each day of the event or be towed at owner’s expense.
2 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, until noon Sunday, June 8:
•No parking or traffic on Water Street between Jackson Street and the east entrance to the city parking lot behind Daly’s Pub.
5 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, until noon Sunday, June 8
•No parking or traffic on Market Street between Jackson and Wayne streets. A fire lane will be maintained beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
•No traffic or parking from the driveway of the First Federal Savings of Lorain to the driveway of Key Bank building on Washington Row. Traffic to these businesses may be rerouted from Jackson and Wayne streets with exiting traffic flow on Washington Row
8 a.m. Saturday, June 7, until noon Sunday, June 8
•Washington Street from Jackson to Wayne streets closed.
•Motorcycle-only reserved parking on Washington Street between Jackson and Wayne streets.
•Motorcycle-only reserved parking on Columbus Avenue north of Washington Row to Schade-Mylander Plaza.
1 p.m. Saturday, June 7, until noon Sunday, June 8
•No traffic on Washington Row from Jackson to Wayne streets. n Motorcycle-only reserved parking on Columbus Avenue between Adams Street and property line of Erie County and Sandusky properties in the 300 block of Columbus Ave.
Proposed parking lot closures made available to Ohio Bike Week attendees
Beginning at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, through noon Sunday, June 8:
•Portion of Jackson Street Pier.
Beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 4:
•Entire Jackson Street Pier.
Beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, to noon Sunday, June 8
•Rear of Sandusky State Theatre parking lot on Jackson Street.
•Rear of Daly’s Pub parking lot on East Water Street.
Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, June 6, to noon Sunday, June 8
•Erie County parking garage on Columbus Avenue.
During event’s duration
•Along Shoreline Drive: In the east 100 block and the west 100 and 200 blocks; Gravel lot on Shoreline Drive just east of Chesapeake Lofts; Paper District Marina.