Parking designated for Saturday's service

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December 28, 2006

AUGUSTA, Ga.---As city leaders organize funeral planning efforts inside the James Brown Arena, efforts continue on the outside of it as well. Come Saturday, drivers will have to fight for a parking spot.

News 12 is on your side with a look at your options.

Enjoy the chaos-free intersections now, while you can.

"There will be some back ups. Expect some traffic...but the goal is to get it to clear out eventually," Assistant Director of Traffic and Engineering Steve Cassell said of downtown Augusta two days from now.

The mayor's office has already designated parking for Saturday's service, and the sheriff's office will enforce their picks.

"We're going to be ready," Cassell said. "It's going to be a massive undertaking, but we feel very confident everything will be in place."

Deputies will stand at 7th and Telfair, directing drivers into the arena's main parking lot. When that s filled up, 7th Street will shut down. After that, it's first come first serve at Richmond County's Board of Education, the city's Municipal Building, 5th and Greene, or on side streets.

Take your pick, but don't take too long.

"We re going to encourage people to come in early and not wait till the last minute to come and get seats," Cassell said. "The most important thing is everybody plan their route effectively and give themselves plenty of time to find parking so they can get there in time."

Cassell says new signs that say "James Brown Arena" will be hung first thing Friday. There's even been talk of tweaking the train schedules.

Those are just a few of the changes to accommodate a crowd whose size no one can predict.

If you are planning to go downtown for the service and you're not sure exactly where to go, you can download a parking map on Augusta's website, And remember, you can avoid the roads all together by walking.