RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Citing mounting concerns of safety, the Department of General Services (DGS) announced Monday that the Robert E. Lee Monument grounds are set to close overnight.
The Lee Monument grounds will close to the public from sunset to sunrise beginning Monday, June 22, in accordance with the Virginia Department of General Services’ regulations. Under the DGS regulation, a Lee Monument gathering of 10 or more will require a special event permit. Visitors of Lee Monument during daylight hours must also adhere to the following regulations:
- Vehicles are prohibited
- No climbing on the statue or its steps
- Maximum occupancy is 500
- No additional banners, flags, posters or other objects shall be placed on or affixed to the statue
- Unlawful activity is prohibited
- Events expected to draw 10 or more people require a permit
The overnight closure will remain in place indefinitely.
“The substantial increase in pedestrian and bicycle traffic in and around the monument and intermittent blockages to vehicular traffic within the intersection pose serious safety risks,” Dena Potter of the Virginia Department of General Services said in a statement. “In addition, such legal violations as vandalism, trespassing on nearby private properties, littering, public urination and excessive noise have steadily been on the rise.”
This past weekend, the Lee grounds hosted hundreds of peaceful protesters for Juneteenth celebrations. Petersburg native Trey Songz held a candlelight vigil in honor of the holiday on Friday.
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