Black Spring Break Traffic Signs Go Up

At Courthouse Road and Highway 90, a blue sign points Black Spring Break visitors toward Biloxi. As the traffic heads east, visitors will see no parking in the median signs, and plenty of no parking and no access fences.

For the last two days, Gulfport has placed barricades along Highway 90 so intersections can be blocked. Coast police are hoping the barricades in both Gulfport and Biloxi will keep traffic moving when Highway 90 is reduced to just two lanes.

District Attorney Cono Caranna headed up the FOCUS group that helped prepare for Black Spring Break. He said, "Law enforcement has worked together to create a good plan. It's a unified plan and it's one in which they will understand their roles and are prepared to implement it."

Orange mesh fencing between Rodenberg Avenue in Biloxi and Tegarden Road in Gulfport has a dual purpose. In some areas, the fence will keep Black Spring Breakers from walking onto the highway. In other places, it will prevent cruising cars from parking on medians.

While John Fullen was putting up the fence, the Gulfport worker was asked if it would do its job. He said, "I don't know. I ain't going to lie to you. I don't know. I can't say."

That's the thing about Black Spring Break 2001. There are a lot of unknowns. Nobody knows how many people are coming. Nobody is sure what they'll do when they get here. And nobody can say where Black Spring Break attendees will hold their parties. The new, temporary signs along Highway 90 are a traffic and parking guide. Whether they're followed is another unknown.

"What I hope people understand is we're expecting a significant amount of traffic," Caranna said. "And we're taking extraordinary means to control that traffic on Highway 90."

As you know, local authorities are hoping the Black Spring Break visitors will use the beach as their main gathering place. So signs went up on the boardwalk. They specifically say that all coast beaches are open.

Last year, the coast got criticized for putting barricades in beach parking bays near the Coliseum. Most Black Spring Break visitors thought the beach was off limits.

by Brad Kessie