BLINK: How to get there, where to park, and what to see

Updated: Oct. 10, 2019 at 7:07 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - BLINK is here at last. But for many visitors, questions remain about transportation, parking, street closures and more.

FOX19 NOW has these questions too. Here’s what we found:

Running 7-11 p.m., Oct. 10-13, BLINK is a festival event based in Over-the-Rhine, Downtown Cincinnati and Covington featuring murals, light-based sculptures, projection mapping and interactive art.

It’s also free.

One of the focal points this year will be the Roebling Suspension Bridge.

Not only will the bridge have hundreds of special lights, but a unique soundtrack will bring the bridge to life as it connects Cincinnati and Covington.

“The Roebling Bridge is already an icon in the Cincinnati region and it does literally bridge these two states, it bridges our communities and that is what BLINK is all about... bringing people together to enjoy art,” Rich Walburg with BLINK Cincinnati said.

At 30 city blocks and with 96 unique installations, BLINK promises to be the largest event of its kind in the country, drawing more than 1 million people to the urban core.

Download the BLINK app: Apple | Android

Event officials released a final BLINK map including all projections, murals, installations, constellations, and live entertainment as well as hospitality areas, VIP tents, streetcar stops, and restrooms. Check out the map below:

Event officials encourage those who don’t already live downtown to arrive at BLINK by carpool, Metro, TANK, or rideshares such as Uber and Lyft.

Metro service will use the Riverfront Transit Center as downtown’s bus hub rather than Government Square. The transit center is located beneath Second Street, with staircase and elevator access outside the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Metro’s park-and-rides will be located at Union Terminal, Area F, and Cincinnati State, Area B. Rides will cost $1.75. Riders will be dropped off inside the Riverfront Transit Center, located directly beneath the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

TANK’s park-and-ride will be located at Northern Kentucky University, Lot E. Rides will cost $2. Riders will be dropped off at the Covington Transit Center.

Those who do drive, take note that much of downtown’s street grid will be closed to through traffic to reduce congestion. Major cross streets such as Central Parkway will be open with police assistance, but drivers should expect delays at all crossings due to the large number of pedestrians. A road closure map is embedded at the bottom of the article.

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On-street parking will be available, as will city- and county-owned parking facilities, private garages and surface lots.

Visitors should try the Banks underground parking garage; Fountain Square garage, or the surface lots on Sycamore Street in Pendleton.

Police will have a large presence at BLINK, both uniformed and plain-clothes officers. An emergency operations center will also be up and working, where officers will review surveillance camera footage from around the city and coordinate security for the event.

BLINK is not a ‘drive-thru’ event, officials stress. It is meant to be experienced on foot.

There isn’t a set starting place for BLINK, though officials say it is best experienced beginning at Findlay Market and working south, or beginning in Covington and working north.

Visitors can travel between the festival’s zones using the Cincinnati Bell Connector and the Southbank Shuttle.

Streetcar service will be free after 4 p.m. during BLINK. The Southbank Shuttle will cost $1.

Driving electric scooters will be prohibited within the BLINK event venue. Scooters can be used to travel to and around the event venue. For safety, officials urge riders to ride the scooters in bike lanes or close to the curb. Riding scooters on sidewalks is prohibited.

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