Spring Break traffic fills roadways - WFLA News Channel 8

Spring Break traffic fills roadways

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

The traffic where U.S.19 intersects Gulf to Bay Blvd in Clearwater resembles a parking lot at times, but this is what Spring break traffic looks like this time of year.

"Yes, it's picked up dramatically ever since the baseball games started and people come down from up North come down," said Eric Dalton, Dunedin resident. Dalton said he typically uses the side roads to avoid the tourist traffic.

Clearwater gets especially crowded because the Spring Break coincides with the Phillies Baseball Spring Training games at Brighthouse Field.

The city manually times the street lights to help cars get on and off the beach more quickly, and police are increasing patrols to deal with the extra traffic.

"We have officers on foot, officers on bicycles, on mobility vehicles, mules, ATV's as well as SUV's to patrol the sand area in addition to our regular patrol vehicles," said Lt. David Dalton,Clearwater Police. According to Clearwater traffic engineers, beach traffic doubles from 32,000 cars a day, to 60,000 during Spring Break peak.

The vacationing students we talked to said they have a simple plan to beat the back-up,"Pack the night before, wake up and get ready to party for Spring Break," said Steven Nichols, beach visitor.

Despite the crowds, no one seems to be complaining, especially not Ray Shafie. "I love being here. It's the heaven in the world. Clearwater is the best, just look at the white sand. I came from Massachusetts where it was cold and snowing," said Shafie.

Hillsborough students are on Spring Break this week, and Pasco and Pinellas students are off the week before Easter.

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