Are this year's record numbers at Cruisin' the Coast too big? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Are this year's record numbers at Cruisin' the Coast too big?

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

If you were on the roadways along the Mississippi Gulf Coast Saturday, it is almost certain that you were faced with some sort of traffic delays as Cruisin' the Coast festivities carried on. You definitely weren't the only one.

This year's Cruisin' the Coast brought in a record number of cars from all over the country.

Registration for Cruisin the Coast 2013 closed at noon Saturday. At that point, 7,042 cars were signed-up, making this the biggest year for the event.

While it's an event that brings many benefits to the region, these numbers beg the question: Is this event too big?

"Basically just, why can't we move?" said D'Iberville resident Robin Dryden. "There's no wreck. The lights are green and people sit through a green light because they're talking to their friend in the car next to them."

Already frustrated by the unusually congested traffic, Dryden was an hour late to pick up her kids from school.

However, that isn't her biggest concern.

"My biggest frustration, dealing with a lot of burnouts and revving engines and people yelling at the cars to do the burnouts," said Dryden.

Cruisin' the Coast organizer Woody Bailey said it's something he never imagined to be a problem.

"17 years. So in 1996 with our start and where we are today, it's just hard to believe," said Bailey. "I just never dreamed we would be doing what we're doing today."

With 44 states represented in this year's event, lacking only Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Idaho and Hawaii; Bailey says things will soon be evaluated.

"I work with all the police departments," said Bailey. "We'll analyze and debrief after this event and kind of see how things went."

With more than 7,000 registered cars, plus an estimated 3,000 unregistered vehicles; he understands all the frustrations brought on by the event's growing popularity. On the other hand, he feels it's a good problem to have.

"I remember when we did not have any traffic on Highway 90," said Bailey. "So, I like seeing traffic on Highway 90. That means business is wide open on the coast."

 But, until the activities are better monitored; event organizers have just one request.

"I would ask that the cruisers have respect." said Dryden.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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