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Tybee Island, Ga. – (February 19, 2019) Last year, the Tybee Island City Council unanimously agreed to support the establishment of a set of special safety protocols for high volume events. These protocols were hammered out by a concerned group of citizens, City Council members and City staff with guidance from the United States Department of Justice. This was a process our City voluntarily initiated.
Per this agreement, new traffic control measures that will assist with traffic flow will be put into place on March 16th, April 20th and 27th, and July 4th. These dates were selected because the traffic flow onto and off the island showed distinctive patterns that correlated with increased demand on our city services and increased frequency of drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
The traffic protocols are intended to maintain emergency services access to the entire island during times of high vehicular volume. Highway 80 and Butler Avenue will be reduced to one lane of travel in each direction with a reserved lane for emergency access. Barricades will be used to control access to the parking areas at the south end and to keep traffic out of our residential districts. Once the parking areas are full, traffic will be directed back northward on Butler.
Review the included map to see where traffic control barricades will be positioned. The “Jersey barricades” are of the type typically seen on construction sites, being orange and white, and fillable with sand or water. “French barricades” are steel grates, looking very much like a bike rack.
Because the barricades will restrict access from Butler Avenue to residential areas, the Tybee Island Police Department will work with residents and those who have rented homes who may need to get around the barricaded areas.
Additionally, police will be monitoring vehicles as they traverse Highway 80 on these days and evenings to insure no one is driving under the influence.
March 16th was chosen because it is the day of the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee works closely with the City of Savanah to coordinate this event, which has a spillover effect on Tybee Island and other nearby municipalities.
April 20th and 27th were chosen because all indications from social media are that they will be the days of the unpermitted ‘Orange Crush’.
The Fourth of July was chosen based on the heavy traffic we have traditionally experienced on this date for the City’s annual Independence Day fireworks event.
April 20th and 27th present unique challenges because no one obtains a permit. We have communicated in writing with the primary promoters to the effect that they will be held financially accountable for their continued promotions in the absence of any effort to secure a permit. The letter, along with a copy of our special event permit application, was hand delivered to one of the promoters and shared electronically with another promoter. We take this matter very seriously and fully intend on forcing those who promote this ‘event’—and presumably, personally profit from it—to pay the costs that the taxpayers are forced to pay to ensure everyone’s safety. For the sake of full transparency, the full text of the letter is included as an addendum to this press release, as is a copy of the agreement referenced in the first paragraph of this press release.