Riverbend is over and I couldn't be happier. The downtown residents and the working population can take back the sidewalks and parking places from the hordes of teenagers and geriatrics.
I know this town bends over backwards for this thing and it supposedly brings in a ton of money, but something must be done about this traffic for next year. In years past, the masses were left to fend for themselves when leaving and surprisingly it flowed well out of town. Now because of heightened police presence due to our gang problem the traffic doesn't move - the last night being the worst. An hour and a half after the fireworks were done, it was still gridlocked. It took me 20 minutes to go from MLK to 7th Street. I gave up and parked. I then walked the remaining four blocks. That took another 20 minutes because the police weren't letting people cross the street.
At one point I was told to turn around. I told the cop I was going to Rhythm and Brews for a show. They didn't know such place existed and insisted I was lying. After some debate I was allowed to cross.
It wasn't until almost one o'clock that the gridlock ceased. The increased police presence made this a mess. They should've stood around and did nothing rather than try to help. They honestly looked disorganized and unprepared.
Note to Chattanooga police: consult a department that has crowd and traffic experience before attempting such a tall order. Or do nothing.
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I am glad I do not live downtown during Riverbend. Nor do I want to try to get around downtown during this time. Yet, I must say that all who live here know about Riverbend and I must say to complain about an event that has changed Chattanooga for the better is silly.
You do not like Riverbend, then take a trip for the week. This event keeps a lot of people working and putting money in their pockets. You may not need the money, but they do. You may not like the noise, but many do.
As long as they are lawful, you really should not waste your time complaining about something that is here to stay. I do not live where you do, but I am glad Riverbend is here and not somewhere else. If you do not like it, then you should find a way to get along with it.
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Drew, I agree with you. I am so glad I dont live downtown, just for the reason of Riverbend.
I used to go several years ago and really enjoyed it, but its gone downhill. It's more expensive, the acts are usually from the 70s or 80s...with one or two exceptions, and its mostly a herd of drunken rednecks. I wouldn't go to Riverbend if someone paid me to.
The one good thing about Riverbend is that is brings most people downtown, so other people can do things elsewhere in the city and not have to put up with so many people.
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Riverbend? Isn't that the get-together that a local "talk radio" personality always trashed until he was hired by them? Isn't that the thing where has-beens end up, if they live long enough?
Isn't this run by the same downtown organization that took a free Monday night celebration for those unable to buy an expensive pin and turned it into a $10 per person former shadow of itself, complete with double priced beer and no patrons? Wasn't it originally intended for the very folks that now can't afford it? Brilliant.
Isn't Riverbend where you can sweat like a pig, see cheesy acts (okay, except for Mingo Fishtrap, Gov't Mule and Trampled Underfoot) eat overpriced food and drink expensive beer?
Isn't Riverbend just like owning a boat? The happiest day is when it's gone.