Authorities Prepare For Traffic Control During St. Patrick's Day - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Authorities Prepare For Traffic Control During St. Patrick's Day Festivities

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Savannah, Georgia -

If you've been downtown this week - you know there are plenty of people seemingly already in town for St. Patrick's Day...roads are congested and parking spaces are difficult to find. That only promises to get worse through the weekend. The hustle and bustle downtown grows by leaps and bounds every spring- with the busiest days by far coming around the St. Patrick's Day festival. All that additional traffic calls for plenty of additional monitoring and planning - Metro Police say they have that well in hand. Officers and volunteers from Metro Police began blanketing neighborhoods along the parade route this week to let people who live and work there know when their car needs to go. Lt. Greg Mitchell explains, "We're going through the staging area and the parade route, letting people know the times that the streets will be off limits for parking."

Those who don't comply could have their cars towed come parade day and that's not the only traffic issue authorities prepare for around St. Patrick's Day says Lt. Mitchell, "Because there's such a large number of vehicles in the downtown area and it's very congested - it wasn't built for the number of visitors that come for the festival - so in order to facilitate moving the vehicles along - we have our partners in traffic engineering have control of traffic signals and the have control of crosswalks." Watching traffic in real time on city cameras and using reports from officers on the street - those with control will be able to change the length of green lights and crosswalk signals to facilitate the flow of traffic and pedestrians. "A big part of getting traffic moving is people walking in between cars and we don't want anyone to get hurt - so if our citizens use the crosswalks - we'll expedite that as much as possible."

Lt. Mitchell says that's something they'll be encouraging pedestrians to do...if the crowd grows too big though - they have other options at their disposal. Lt. David Gay explains, "All the businesses have been notified of a potential Bay Street closure - this could happen Friday, Saturday, Sunday night - right now we hope we don't have to close Bay Street at all. It looks like we probably won't have to do it Friday - if we do it at all it will be Saturday, Sunday or Monday." That decision is based on pedestrian traffic and highways speeds.

If your car gets towed from the parade route - you'll need to go to the police annex on Chatham Parkway to get a tow form and recover it. Definitely a hassle you don't need as you try to enjoy the weekend.

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