Harbor Drive to Close for San Diego Comic-Con 2018 - NBC 7 San Diego

Harbor Drive to Close for San Diego Comic-Con 2018

San Diego Comic-Con 2018 runs from July 18 - 22, 2018.

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    The scene in front of the San Diego Convention Center will look very different this year as port, city and convention center officials have decided to shut down traffic on Harbor Drive.

    The San Diego Convention Center Corporation announced Tuesday that no traffic will be allowed from First Avenue to Park Boulevard for the duration of the convention.

    The closure will be effective during the hours of 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on preview night and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the convention. On Sunday, the closure will be effective from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

    Cars, bikes, scooters, and skateboards will not be allowed to enter the pedestrian-only zone that will be accessible by only badged members, port officials said.

    "These security and safety initiatives are designed to protect crowds and alleviate congestion issues in and around the Convention Center," Josh Layne, Director of Public Safety said in the convention center's written release.

    Shuttles will load and unload passengers directly from the street instead of curbside from the lobby of the convention center as they have in years past.

    There will be specific areas for pedicabs, and hotel valet parking. Shuttles will stage at Petco Park. 

    Anyone using a rideshare service will be dropped off in areas outside of the controlled traffic zone, according to Comic-Con officials. 

    Photo credit: Port of San Diego

    The convention has topped 130,000 attendees and spread to satellite locations outside of the convention center. There have been exhibits and events at nearby hotels, restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter and even Petco Park.

    In the past, members of the public who did not have badges could walk along the sidewalk in front of the convention center and take images. This will no longer be the case. 

    There have been several additions to security since the convention began in 1970. 

    In 2017, San Diego Comic-Con security added zip-ties to secure fake weapons to holsters and other parts of costumes. 

    Active and retired police officers screened all imitation weapons at the door of the convention hall. Anything that's functional or made of a heavier metal must be checked in or removed from the property.