- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - Sturgis city officials have begun discussing how to handle traffic during next year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and some residents have expressed concern about certain proposed changes.

The 75th anniversary of the annual late-summer rally that draws people from around the world to the Black Hills is expected to attract more than 1 million people.

The city is considering ways to reconfigure the downtown traffic pattern to ease congestion. Some business owners worry about potential customers being affected by changes, or about unfair competition, the Rapid City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1yY91If ).

One idea would allow vendors to set up shop in the center of side streets.

“I don’t know of another issue that causes so much hard feelings than having vendors in the public right of way,” said Bob Davis, who owns two downtown stores.

Another possibility being considered is closing Main Street before the official start of the rally. City Manager Daniel Ainslie said that might inconvenience residents and could be difficult to pull off without increasing the police presence. Police Chief Jim Bush said it is difficult to hire extra officers for the rally.

“I don’t know if we are going to be able to get the officers,” he said.

The City Council discussed ideas on Monday and plans to continue talks at upcoming meetings.

The 75th annual rally is next Aug. 3-9.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com


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