DGS, Capitol Police to close portion of Bank Street to create pedestrian plaza for staff, visitors
The General Assembly's temporary move to the Pocahontas Building is expected to create a substantial amount of pedestrian traffic between that building and the Capitol Extension entrance on Bank Street. Realizing this, the General Assembly gave control of the street to the Department of General Services (DGS) and the Division of Capitol Police (DCP) from December 1 until the end of the legislative session each year until while the General Assembly occupies the Pocahontas Building.
Beginning December 2, 2017, the following changes to Bank Street traffic include:
- DGS and DCP will create a pedestrian plaza from The Commonwealth (formerly Commonwealth Park Suites Hotel) to North 10th Street on Bank Street between the Pocahontas Building and the public Capitol Extension entrance. The plaza will serve as a safe space for members of the public, administration, legislators, state employees, teen pages and the media to move between the two buildings and for school groups and other tours to load and unload.
- Bank Street traffic will become one-way, from west to east, between 10th and 12th streets.
- Two-way traffic along Bank Street will resume east of 12th Street.
- Traffic calming measures will be placed on the north and south sides of Bank Street.
- There will be no access to Bank Street from Franklin Street.
- Right turns from 9th Street to Bank Street will be prohibited for all but hotel traffic, buses for Capitol Tours, and deliveries to Pocahontas Building.
- Capitol Police will control access to the pedestrian plaza through automatic gates.
- These measures will remain in place until sometime after the legislative session as determined by DGS and DCP and will be put in place in the same configuration and with the same restrictions each year while the General Assembly occupies the Pocahontas Building.
- Buses that drop off school and other groups at the Capitol Extension on Bank Street to visit the Capitol can load and unload inside the pedestrian plaza, then park at the DGS Office of Fleet Management Services at 2400 W. Leigh Street.
Additionally, bike fencing will be placed along Main Street from 9th to 10th streets to protect pedestrians at the public entrance to the Pocahontas Building.