Grand Rapids prepares parking plan for next week’s events, Garth Brooks concerts

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WASHINGTON - JANUARY 18: Musician Garth Brooks performs at "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial" January 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. The event includes a diverse array of talent featuring both musical performances and historical readings and an appearance by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The weekend of May 12 – 16 is going to be a busy one in downtown Grand Rapids.

Six sell-out concerts of country star Garth Brooks at the Van Andel Arena and tens of thousands of runners for the Fifth Third River Bank Run will presenting a myriad of parking and traffic issues downtown.

Garth Brooks is performing Thursday night, twice on Friday night, twice on Saturday night and once on Sunday.  The Fifth Third River Bank Run is Saturday morning and closes several downtown streets for 25k, 10k and 5k races.

The City of Grand Rapids released a plan Friday highlighting free visitor parking at DASH West Lots (Area 7-9) and at Grand Valley State’s parking lots on Fulton and Winter.  There will be continuous DASH shuttle bus service Friday and Saturday from 6:00pm until 3:00am. More buses will be added if necessary.

More Grand Rapids Police will be on hand directing traffic at key intersections.  Streets will probably close periodically for pedestrians to get across major roads.  More Grand Rapids parking services and GR Mobile staff will also be on hand and city-owned parking lots will have extended hours of operation.

The city recommends that visitors plan ahead and leave early for the concert and the race.  Also consider parking in the first available spot, even though you aren’t close to your destination and plan to walk or take a DASH shuttle.

For a complete detailed map of downtown, click here.

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