Residents concerned about Balloon Festival location

Grants Pass, Ore., — “We’re out of luck. That’s exactly right.”

Dan Wilkinson has lived on Upper River Road for the last 40 years.

He says hundreds of cars speed past his house every day.

The City of Grants Pass predicts the Balloon Festival in June will add at least 2000 more cars to that.

“If people start parking we’re gonna be blocked in. We just don’t feel that there’s been any due diligence on the city’s part, in citing this festival out here.”

Right now the lay out for the festival has cars parking on a piece of city owned land, and going in and out the same exit.

“The parking is gonna be adequate, it’s how if people come out here and they have a single entrance and single exit to get in and out of here, they’re gonna back up.”

In an email sent to Wilkinson from Sheriff Dave Daniel – he says quote “I believe the parking and traffic issues have been addressed.”

But Wilkinson doesn’t buy it.

“They say they’re gonna have a concierge service to come out and do parking and stuff like that, but that’s on site, there’s nothing off site, which is where we are -that’s gonna be covered by any police.”

The land itself is outside of city jurisdiction, and without a fully funded sheriff’s office, Wilkinson is simply concerned for his and his neighbors safety.

I did speak with Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic and The Balloon Festival organizer – Caleb Laplante – both say all concerns have been addressed.

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