At the Sparks Street Vibrations site Monday there was an eerie calm. Even the takedown crew seemed unusually quiet… the silence broken by one beeping truck, as opposed to thousands of thundering choppers.
Over the 5 days of the event, the Nevada Highway Patrol investigated 65 crashes in Reno-Sparks. 25 caused injuries, 40 property damage. That's down from 84 crashes last year, 35 injury and 49 property (the report doesn't include one fatality that Reno Police investigated Sunday morning).
But arrests just about doubled. 54 motorists were arrested this year…27 for DUI, the other 26 for warrants, misdemeanors or felonies. Last year: 23 arrests…16 for DUI, 7 for the others. 65 crashes and 54 arrests are big numbers. But it's a big event. Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Barb Stapleton told us it's "Very big. I'm thinking we're in upwards of 100,000 people that come here annually."
As for the arrests, Trooper Stapleton says there were more eyes on the roads looking for lawbreakers: 57 troopers and 15 command staff, a full force. As she told us, "Vacation, what not...everything was cancelled to put them on 12-hour shifts. And they worked through the 5-day event."
And after all the concern, no repeat of gun violence. At Road Shows Inc., Street Vibrations producer Randy Burke said the gangs were a no-show. "We didn't see any of the motorcycle clubs that were not invited. We didn't see any of them."
Which he says, changed the mood of the crowd...a calmer feel, like in years past. As he told us, "There was a change in the attitude. The audience and crowd was much quieter. They weren't as boisterous. They weren't racing up and down the street."
A return to normalcy, just like they hoped. Among the staff at R road Shows, we found a lot of relief. Monday they spent the day unpacking. Then they'll get right to their desks and work towards Street Vibrations 2013, which they hope will lure many more people back into the water to give the event another chance.