Before Major League Baseball descends upon Dyersville for its game at the Field of Dreams Aug. 13, Dyersville Police Chief Brent Schroeder wants to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to several important safety issues.
While the items discussed are mostly outside the authority of the Dyersville City Council, Schroeder asked for the council’s consent before he relayed his support of three safety measures to the Dubuque County Supervisors.
The first measure would ban parking on the shoulder of the road more or less along the route from Dyersville to the Field of Dreams — Dyersville East Road from approximately three-quarters of a mile outside town up to Lansing Road and then on Lansing Road from Dyersville East Road to Black Hills Road.
Schroeder said there have been issues with cars pulling off to the side of the road in an attempt to get a long-distance photo of the field and on occasion, tourists have actually parked their cars on Dyersville East Road and walked through the corn to get the field.
With the amount of traffic the road sees even outside of special events, he sees this as a safety issue, especially for those who might not be used to sharing the road with farm equipment.
“There’s a lot of farm use on that road — tractors, a lot of wagons, and when you get cars pulled off to the side it makes for a very hazardous situation,” Schroeder said. “Plus, you get people stepping out of their cars and into the travel portions of the road.”
For the more residential Lansing Road section, Schroeder said the parking restriction suggestion came from adjacent property owners.
Schroeder said while he doesn’t want to make it seem like the City of Dyersville is strict or unwelcoming with its rules, he would rather deal with rural parking restriction complaints than someone getting struck by a vehicle.
City staff said if approved, there will likely be permanent signs installed before the game.
The second item Schroeder said he supports is lowering the speed limit around the Field of Dreams.
The Supervisors are slated to discuss reducing the speed limit from 55 mph to 35 mph on Black Hills Road and Lansing Road, which already has the support of property owners on Lansing Road, Schroeder said.
The third suggestion, which came from MLB but still has Schroeder’s support, deals with limiting the amount of traffic around the Field of Dreams leading up to the Aug. 13 event.
“It’s going to be hectic enough without people driving by to get a look to see what’s going on out there,” Schroeder said.
Major League Baseball’s security element would like to close Lansing Road from Dyersville East Road to Black Hills Road from Aug. 10 to 14, but that is ultimately the Supervisors’ call.
Schroeder the road would likely be closed during daylight hours on Aug. 10-11, but the day before and the day after the game, it would be shut down 24 hours a day.
Both ends of the road would be staffed by a police officer along with a representative from MLB. Schroeder said this would alleviate some of the issues the 25th-anniversary celebration had.
With all the extra enforcement being needed, Schroeder said he is meeting with MLB this week to discuss reimbursement for any activities beyond the department’s budget.
Schroeder also wanted to notify the public that the helicopters people may see frequenting the area are crop dusters pilots that are staying at the Comfort Inn.
“They will be parking their helicopters along US20 again, so if anyone sees them and is worried about helicopters coming to and from town, that’s what’s going on,” Schroeder said.