BELLEVUE, Wash. - The Bellevue Police Department is getting ready for Snowflake Lane, the Eastside's biggest holiday attraction.
This year, expect to see some changes as police increase security to keep the crowd safe.
Citing terrorist incidents in Paris and Nice, the Bellevue Police Department says it has been watching events targeting crowds of civilians around the world and want to be sure they are doing all they can to protect the crowd at Snowflake Lane.
Last August in Nice, France, a cargo truck drove through the crowd, killing 86 people, including many children, during the Bastille Day celebration.
"This year we're doing something different because of that. We're going to have some hard barriers. We're going to protect the crowd," said Bellevue Police Captain Debbie Ingram. "You'll see a semi-truck that's going to block the parade route and you'll see different vehicles that are going to block the parade as well."
To keep any cars from driving down Bellevue Way during Snowflake Lane this year police will park a semi-truck on Northeast 8th Street during the show to block the road. At Bellevue Way and Northeast 4th Street, they will use police and fire vehicles to create a barrier.
"It's because of Nice, it's because of drunk drivers, it's because of confused drivers. It's a mismatch of everything and it is overall preventative," said Captain Ingram.
They say a drunk or disoriented driver turning on the street is more likely than a planned attack; the semi is designed to stop both.
"It's nothing I'd thought about," said Bellevue resident Bob Linse. "I'm glad they're watching the news, listening, seeing what's going on in the rest of the world, considering the impossible here and taking care of it for us."
For 30 nights in a row, up to 7,000 people come each evening to enjoy the show which includes music, dancers and characters, and is capped off with fake snow falling from buildings.
Bellevue police will also increase the number of officers on duty. All security is paid for by Kemper Development Company, which puts on the show.
"Security has always been our first priority with any event at The Bellevue Collection. That includes Snowflake Lane. Every year we work closely with the Bellevue Police department on Snowflake Lane and are taking extra precautionary measures this year per their recommendations for enhanced security," said Jennifer Leavitt of Kemper Development Company.
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