Riley County police had a hard time keeping traffic off the Band Day parade route Saturday.
The parade, which began at Triangle Park, looped around City Park along 11th Street, Poyntz Avenue and 14th Street and back to Triangle Park, was frequently interrupted by motorists who ignored officers trying to redirect them.
One officer at the corner of 11th Street and Fremont was almost hit several times by motorists as vehicles turned left and right off Fremont onto 11th Street or vise versa. Even though the officer was continuously waving his arms for them to turn away from the route, motorists ignored the hand signals, barely missing the officer.
Those who did pay attention were forced to make a U-turn and head back down Fremont, away from the parade.
Twice the officer had to stop bands from marching across the intersection because motorists ignored the fact a parade was in progress. The motorists appeared to be trying to exit the Aggieville area.
Saturday’s parade was the first oto use this route, which was necessitated as a result of the construction along Poyntz Avenue that is scheduled to be completed later this fall.
The 11th and Fremont intersection, which appeared to be the most problematic, has also been part of the parade route in previous years when bands marched from Triangle Park through Aggieville, then down 11th Street to Poyntz, or vice versa. The difference appeared to be that the previous route allowed those wanting to leave Aggieville to do so via 14th Street, whereas the route used Saturday did not.