Biloxi residents express spring break frustrations - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi residents express spring break frustrations

The residents who came to the meeting demanded the city to improve traffic flow. (Photo source: WLOX) The residents who came to the meeting demanded the city to improve traffic flow. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

It's estimated that more than 60,000 people converged on Biloxi's beach front during spring break weekend in April; a 70 percent increase from the year before. 

With the crowds came a lot of complaints from residents, who sounded off on Wednesday night in front of city leaders. 

"I'm sick and tired of this," said one Biloxi resident. Another added, "It was a chaotic mess as far as trying to move that night." 

A room full of people like Debora Stanovich gathered in the Snyder Center to express their frustrations with spring break. Stanovich lives right off Highway 90 and says she was blocked in her neighborhood. 

"There's a lot of older people that live in our neighborhood and if one of us got ill, if something happened, we're dead," Stanovich said. "There was no in, there was no out."

Frank Szymanski's mother-in-law lives near the beach. She had a medical emergency during spring break and he couldn't get to her house to help. 

"It was just a total mess up as far as traffic," Szymanski said.  

With those concerns in mind, Biloxi Councilman Paul Tisdale called the meeting so city leaders including the police chief and fire chief could hear the feedback and take suggestions. The comments will be considered in helping shape the security plan for next year's spring break. 

"We were overwhelmed. Nobody expected that many folks to show up for this spring break thing," Tisdale said. 

A common suggestion heard at the meeting was creating an emergency lane on Highway 90. Also, Szymanski thinks Biloxi has to find away to put more police and first responders on the street. 

"They need a lot more personnel," Szymanski said. 

The residents who came to the meeting demanded the city to improve traffic flow and to make them feel safer for next year's event. 

"With all the other events traffic gets backed up, but never do we have this kind of issue," Stanovich said. 

Tisdale understands the solutions won't be easy to find, but he knows the city must be ready. 

"What if next year we have 75,000 people here, what if we have 15,000 people here, who knows but you have to be prepared," Tisdale said. 

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