Autumn begins September 22. The date means nothing at all to our desert sun, but we’ll use it as an excuse to slow down and do some abstract thinking. For example: Let’s consider how the classic aphorism “When one door closes, another opens” might apply to Downtown Vegas.
The “opened door” is Commerce Street. The “alley” portion of the southbound one-way recently opened to traffic, which means Main Street becomes a permanent northbound one-way, from Las Vegas Boulevard all the way up through Gass Avenue, this week. (The west side of Main—the Velveteen Rabbit/Casa Don Juan side—also closes this week for construction, though all businesses will remain open and accessible.)
Road construction on Commerce and Main will continue for roughly another year, but we’ve been expecting it for months. What we never seem to expect, even though it now happens around this time every year, is for stretches of Fremont and Fourth Streets to close for cool-weather events—which they will both do more than a half-dozen times between now and mid-November.
Some of those events include Las Vegas BikeFest, which takes over Fremont between 6th and 10th Streets October 5-8; the nighttime Las Vegas Pride parade, closing off 4th Street on October 20; the Sin City Halloween parade and hearse show, haunting Fremont October 27-28; and the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon, which consumes not just Fremont but Las Vegas Boulevard, too, on November 12.
Unfortunately, there’s no way around these closures. Assuming you’re not running the marathon or entering your hearse in the parade, all you can do is wait them out. But, hey, good news: Next year, when street closure season comes again, we’ll be able to park on both sides of Main. The window opens.