July 2023 Downtown Meet Up Minutes

July 18, 2023
Downtown Development Division
Telia Butler - 270-393-3617
Bowling Green, KY
July 2023 Downtown Meet Up Minutes

The May 2023 Downtown Meet Up was hosted at Ridley Roasthouse Coffee on Wednesday, July 12 at 3pm. Here are the Minutes from that discussion.

1. June 23 organic traffic survey – report created by Karen Foley & Telia Butler from Neighborhood & Community Services with recommendations from BG Public Works, BG Parks & Rec, and KYTC.


2. Community outreach efforts – opportunities to showcase to locals/residents

-June 21 FAM tour for the Mammoth Cave and I-65 Hart County visitor center staff (they see 4 million people per year, and 1.2 million of them go to a front desk and ask for travel recommendations)

-August 23 Welcome Back WKU

-Southern Ky Hospitality Assoc invitation to all to attend meetings – this month was a panel of city and county leadership sharing the future of the hospitality and tourism industry in BG/WC. Next month is a learning session on fentanyl from BGPD at the Holiday Inn on Tuesday, August 8 at 12pm.

-Flex Neighborhood grant awarded to George Washington Carver Center

-Fountain Row logo available for event graphics for placemaking/destination recognition use; examples are Food Truck Fridays at Tidballs from WNKY, Downtown Circulator free Trolley rides on select nights, Fountain Row participants using the logo on their own promotional materials


3. Visitor outreach efforts – all opportunities to offer specials/cocktails/discounts

-Ky Finance conference using Downtown eateries and Trolley the first week of November

-Ky Travel Industry Assoc conference second week of November

-Ky Recreation & Parks conference third week of November – Trolley, Ice Rink, Capitol in use

-hosted America250 community stakeholder convo with Ky Historical Society at RailPark with 20 reps


4. Major event dates to keep on your calendar and updates -

-Oct 14 - Downtown BGKY Harvest Festival; always the second Saturday of October

-Oct 28 – Scare on the Square; the Saturday before Halloween

-Nov 27 – December 3 - Light Up BGKY – new collaborative seasonal promotional effort with over half a dozen community partners – more to come

-Nov 30 – Light Up the Depot at the RailPark

-Dec 1 – Downtown BGKY Lights Up & Christmas on College Street at City Hall

-Dec 7 – Warren County Courthouse Christmas Open House (tentative)

-June 3-9, 2024 – Duncan Hines Days – third Thursday of the month, 9:30am, at NCS Community Room – anyone who wants to join the fun and collaborate or learn more can attend these monthly talks and serve on a committee – a Downtown merchants committee leader would be ideal


5. New Downtown businesses/updates:

-Pastiche Provisions has joined Fountain Row

-The 30Bird healthy eatery coming to Fountain Square soon (where Little Fox Bakery was)

-The Dusty Boot honkytonk bar & meeting space coming to Fountain Square (where Ramen Bar was)

-New holistic tea bar coming to former Rummage 300 location on College St.

-One Love hemp dispensary coming to 310 E Main next to G-Dogs


6. Downtown event calendar – please submit your events to our online calendar form here at bgkydowntown.org so they can be marketed to web visitors. The form takes less than 5 mins.


7. Downtown organic visitor marketing opportunities for partners to invest in – the chance to grab data on a regular basis that outlines where people are going downtown, when, where they’re from, and their regular patterns.


Downtown BGKY Traffic Pattern Survey for Friday, June 23, 2023


5:00        Doors open at the Capitol

5:35        Gates open at BG Ballpark

6:00        Food trucks begin serving at Circus Square Park for first Concert in the Park of the season

                “Raiders of the Lost Ark” show-time at the Capitol; Canned Film Festival event double feature

6:30       Doors open at SKYPAC for opening night of first Ramsey Theatre Company sold-out production of “Beauty and the Beast”

6:35        First pitch at BG Ballpark, Hot Rods vs. Greenville “Mini Night” and Fireworks Friday

7:00        Sidewinders at Concerts in the Park, first Concert in the Park of the 2023 season

7:30        Showtime; sold out “Beauty & The Beast” opening night of Ramsey Broadway Theatre at SKYPAC

8:00        End of estimated run time for first movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

8:15        Batman (Movie #2): (run time 2 hrs, 6 min)

9:00        Concerts in the Park end of show

9:00-9:20              Hot Rods Game Over (estimated)

9:20-9:35              Fireworks Begin (estimated)

10:15-10:30         Capitol Release

10:15-10:30         SKYPAC Release



  • Drop-off/unloading at SKYPAC front door (College St), between 6th and 7th:: COUNTS
  • 8th & Center: Drop-off/unloading at Ballpark COUNTS
  • Crowd at Circus Square Park (estimated peak)
  • Parking Garage: capacity (peak) (floors) – full just before 7:30pm, emptying again by 8:30pm
  • SOKY Pavilion/SKYPAC Back Lot (Elm Street): capacity (peak), COUNT #ADA placards (This lot is monitored by SKYPAC for entry only by Elm Street patrons) – 65 out of about 150 spaces were empty all night, 11 handicap placards counted here
  • Event attendance – estimated max of 8,000 people during peak time 7:30-8:30pm

-6pm, Capitol Canned Film Fest – 150 people

-6:30pm, Ballpark for BG Hot Rods game – 3,147 people

-7pm, Concerts in the Park – estimated 2,000-3,000 people

-7:30pm, SKyPAC sold out for Beauty and the Beast Ramsey Broadway Theatre show– 1,600 people



  • 8th & Center: observe turning movements out of garage and congestion factors on 8th beginning at end of ballgame/fireworks through after SKYPAC
  • 7th Avenue (near Stadium Park Plaza): observe Elm Street lot exit pattern (controlled flow? Does it turn back into the pedestrian/garage exit traffic?)
  • Parking Garage exit: observe from upper level floor and/or from College St between 7th and 8
  • People linger time in SKYPAC lobby post-show; secondary pickup traffic post-show outside SKYPAC

NOTE: Exit progress by time increments

Possible observation points:


4:45        All on street parking spaces around Circus Square, on College Street within view south of 6th are taken

                1st floor parking garage more than half available

5:00        Doors open at the Capitol

5:14        Woman with cane observed walking from rear/south side of SOKY Marketplace to front of SKYPAC

5:16        Double parking: drop off at Circus Square Park

5:21        Pedestrians approaching park from north of 6th and College

5:29        Cars confused in parking structure and needing direction

                Steady flow to second floor

                Large party drop off from WKU Shuttle to Garcia’s

5-5:30    5 total drop-offs at SKYPAC/Circus Square on College St.

5:35        Gates open at BG Ballpark

5:48        BG Trolley makes first pass on College St

5:50        Drop-off kids possibly going to ballpark or rear of SKYPAC

5:59        Drop-off kids at Circus Square Park in vendor parking lot

6:00        Food trucks begin serving at Circus Square Park for first Concert in the Park of the season

                “Raiders of the Lost Ark” show-time at the Capitol; Canned Film Festival event double feature

6:00        BG Trolley makes second pass on College St

6:03        2nd Floor full of parking structure

6:08        BG Trolley makes drop-off on College St at SKYPAC/Circus Square

6:10        Post office lot full, Boy Scout lot full

6:15        15 running total drop-offs at SKYPAC/Circus Square on College St.

                Structure slow loading on Floor 3 

6:25        Full BGFD response from HQ on 6th Ave

6:30       Doors open at SKYPAC for opening night of first Ramsey Theatre Company sold-out production of “Beauty and the Beast”

6:30        22 running total drop-offs at SKYPAC/Circus Square on College St.

6:33        3rd floor structure full

6:35        Pay lot on College St is full

6:35        First pitch at BG Ballpark, Hot Rods vs. Greenville “Mini Night” and Fireworks Friday

6:39        Rock n B Horse Carriage is giving carriage rides


6:45        32 running total drop-offs at SKYPAC-Circus Square on College St

6:46        BG Trolley makes 4th pass on College St

6:49        Drop-off Circus Square Park

6:50        2 WKU Shuttles unloading at SKYPAC

7:00        48 running total drop-offs at SKYPAC/Circus Square on College St

7:00        8th Ave Parking Structure elevator/staircase: more people started head towards SKYPAC/CSP

7:00        Sidewinders at Concerts in the Park, first Concert in the Park of the 2023 season


7:04        Loading 5th floor of parking garage

7:07        Top floor 1/3 full of garage

7:09        3 Drop-offs at Circus Square Park: mobility

7:15        63 running total drop-offs at SKYPAC/Circus Square on College St

                90% of 8th Ave Parking Structure elevator/staircase pedestrians heading to SKYPAC/CSP

7:21        10 spots in structure


7:23        Parking structure full

7:30        69 running total drop-offs at SKYPAC/Circus Square on College St

7:30        Show-time for “Beauty & The Beast” at SKYPAC

7:32        BGMU lot full

                BGMU grass lot: about 45 cars/4 rows

7:38        Paxton lot and Justice Center lot nearly empty

7:41        65 empty spaces behind SKYPAC/SOKY Marketplace in gated lot

                11 handicapped placards/plates in gated lot

                Center Street on street parking full; no one on grass next to Dollar General

7:56        1 handicapped parking space available on 1st floor parking garage

8:00        End of estimated run time for first movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

8:15        Batman (Movie #2): (run time 2 hrs, 6 min)

8:54        Top of the 8th inning

8:58       SKYPAC intermission

9:00        Concerts in the Park end of show

9:04-9:15 Exiting 7th avenue from parking structure: 7 running total exits on 7th

9:16        Elevator line at 8th Avenue is out the door

9:20-9:25              Hot Rods Game Over (estimated)

9:23        Elevator line is gone at 8th Avenue

                Woman w/one leg, on crutches observed entering first floor garage, 8th Ave entrance

9:26        Circus Square Park mostly empty <50 people, including queue (@20) for carriage rides

                On street parking around Circus Square Park still mostly full

                Way more vehicles (easily 4:1, maybe more) approaching College on 7th from Kentucky St in the right lane, even though most of them are going straight through, not turning right at garage or onto College St; only about 3 vehicles stacking space between intersection/crosswalk and entrance to garage

9:32        Fireworks Begin (actual)

9:38        Fireworks end, lights on BG Ballpark, Mass exodus from ballpark

                Rock n B Horse Carriage still doing rides, leaving from queue on 7th

9:41        2:1 ratio of pedestrians heading to structure vs. BGMU lot

9:45:      14 running total exits from structure onto 7th Ave

9:47       Lady Bugs food truck leaving Circus Square Park

9:48       Rock n B Horse Carriage back at start

9:51        21 running total exits from structure onto 7th

9:54        BG Ballpark appears empty

23 running total exits from structure onto 7th

10:03     SKYPAC release, heavy pedestrian traffic at 7th & College

10:09     Vehicle entering garage from 7th

10:10     Traffic stacked both lanes past ballpark/SOKY in view

                30 running total exits from structure onto 7th

10:12     WKU Shuttle leaving SKYPAC, crossing 7th

10:14     2 more WKU Shuttles leaving SKYPAC, crossing 7th

10:15-10:30         Capitol Release

10:00-10:15         21 vehicles left the SKYPAC/Pavilion gated lot turning left onto Center Street and left again onto 7th, but into the right lane of traffic congestion; only 3 moved to left lane after seeing queue

10:16     People creating own pick-up location at handicapped ramp right outside of Driver’s License office, facing 7th Ave

10:18     8th Avenue Elevator line is long10:19        Pickup from Driver’s License office  

Queue for 8th Avenue elevator is out the door

10:21     Another food truck exit from Circus Square Park

                Traffic exiting 8th Avenue from garage is flowing/clearly quickly; both exit lanes in use

10:25     5 vehicles stacked to exit from parking garage 7th Avenue

10:27     Last WKU Shuttle loading in front of SKYPAC

10:29     Pedestrians clear on College/7th but some still visible first floor garage

10:30     7th Avenue traffic appears normal flow

10:31     Elevator line on 8th Avenue gone

                Ushers from SKYPAC seen walking to garage, mostly straggler pedestrians now

10:35     45 running total vehicle exits from 7th Avenue side of parking structure (from 9:04)


Vehicle Drop-Offs/Pick-Ups at Hot Rods/BG Ballpark 5-9pm: 14 (6 families w/strollers, 4 canes/walkers, groups)

















Vehicle Drop-Offs at SKYPAC/Circus Square Park 5-7:30: 69


Drop-offs at this location include 1 repeat drop-off in a passenger car plus 4 WKU shuttle drop-offs and at least 1 BG Trolley drop-off

Circus Square Park: 10

Observed on College St 5-7:30:  Bicycles (3) Mobility Scooters (3) Knee Scooter (1)

Some heading to other locations (ballpark?)

Other Observations/Recommendations:

  • It seems a lot of Concert in the Park attendees utilized on street parking on streets north of 6th Avenue, perhaps down by Lisa’s Diner, on Parks property or on nearby streets. More pedestrians approached Circus Square from that direction than expected.
  • Way-finding, identifying signage needed for elevator/stairwells for both entrances, inside AND outside the garage (on each floor) for visitors arriving to, exiting from, and returning to the garage (nothing marks these locations on the exterior of the structure or inside the floors. Paint the stairwell locations with Floor numbers and add which entrance to use for 8th Avenue, 7th Avenue or destinations.
  • Elevator maintenance/access must be priority for accessibility for BOTH sides of the structure and for all events. If an elevator must be shut down, access should still be given to stairwells.
  • Access to doors/stairwells: with the general public/event dependent on the parking garage and being encouraged to park there, we need to have a more proactive approach to communicating things (like a faulty elevator) that people need to know before they go. Posting a notice on a physical door is not enough. SKYPAC and/or Hot Rods could communicate (along with @downtownbgky) in advance and repetitively as part of a “Know before you go”. Or consider a text messaging service people could subscribe to….
  • Signage/bulletins inside the parking garage/stairwells/elevators to communicate things like the clear bag policy at BG Ballpark (as an example), downtown events, Fountain Row, SKYPAC offerings, etc. THINK: user experience for downtown! At least 25% of ballpark visitors returned to their car with bags and purses because they weren’t prepared for the clear bag policy.
  • Traffic exiting the Elm Street/SOKY Marketplace/SKYPAC rear lot should be directed away from the congested event exit area at 7th/Center. Perhaps leave that gate closed and direct traffic onto 6th to Kentucky and away or further out?
  • While some vehicles COULD exit onto 7th Avenue, few actually did and they encountered heavy pedestrian traffic AND vehicular traffic during the attempt, meaning they often waited to exit. Even so, the stacking inside the garage was only as high as 5 vehicles one time. The rest of the time it was no more than 2-3 vehicles.
  • Also, non-event traffic expressed frustration approaching 7th and College (horn honking, engine revving) because they couldn’t SEE the number of pedestrians crossing ahead, or they were just that impatient. Not sure why so many had a preference for the right lane, even for vehicles driving straight through?
  • Horse & Carriage Staging needs a safer staging area for loading/unloading. If anyone is hosting an event at Circus Square and utilizing a horse and carriage service, a safe plan with designated pick up and drop off locations is needed for their event rental/permit. While loading, the carriage was parked on a yellow line, with no cones or anything to safely divert approaching traffic to merge around them. This continued after dark and made it more unsafe than ever.


The next Downtown Meet Up is Wednesday, August 9 at the Lisa Rice Library, Meeting Room 2, 3-4pm.

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