HOUSTON – Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate is expected to cause traffic delays and impact businesses due to road closures.
The Houston Police Department is alerting drivers to avoid the campus of Texas Southern University on Thursday or expect traffic delays. Several streets around the perimeter of TSU will be blocked off to traffic due to the Democratic Presidential Debate, which is taking place at HP&E Arena on the school’s campus.
Chief Art Acevedo, HPD
“Avoid the area if at all possible,” said Chief Art Acevedo. “We’ve got a very robust plan put together with our friends at TSU. There’s gonna be a lot of people. We’re gonna have a heavy presence in the area.”
The following streets will be closed starting 1:30 p.m. Thursday through 3 a.m. Friday:
- Ennis (Alabama to Blodgett)
- Blodgett W/B (Tierwester to Ennis)
- Blodgett ALL (Delano to Ennis)
- Cleburne (Delano to Tierwester)
- Tierwester (Rosewood to Blodgett)
- Rosewood (Canfield to Tierwester)
- Eagle (Delano to Ennis)
- Barbee (Delano to Ennis)
- Wheeler (Delano to Ennis)
- Rosewood (Delano to Ennis)
- Ruth (Delano to Ennis)
- Cleburn from Scott to Tierwester, will remain open. However, if traffic gets too congested, it could be closed.
The HPD is partnering with TSU and several other agencies to provide security for the event. The top 10 democratic presidential candidates and thousands of visitors will fill HP&E Arena for Thursday’s event.
The city of Houston said in a statement to KPRC 2, “We are treating this like any high profile event in the city of Houston. We want people to have a positive experience and feel safe. The city is supplementing the Texas Southern University Police Force.”
The city did not have any information Wednesday pertaining to potential reimbursement from the DNC.
What are businesses are saying
Katie Richman owns Complete Beauty Bar on Cleburne and Ennis streets. Her salon will be one of the businesses blocked off to customers on Thursday due to street closures.
“We’ll be OK for one day,” she said. “So if anything we’ll get out there and let people know that we’re here so they can come back Friday.”
Traffic will still be able to get to “This Is It” Soul Food Restaurant on Blodgett Street. Owner Craig Joseph said he is banking on it.
“I think it would actually do very great because of the attention we’re getting here in the 3rd Ward and TSU as well. It should bring a nice crowd of people through,” Joseph said.
Joseph said his restaurant is prepared and has enough food to feed an extended crowd Thursday.