D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - In many ways it was a typical Black Friday on Sangani Boulevard. The shoppers were there. The deals were there. What was missing were the D'Iberville police officers who usually direct traffic.
"The last couple of years we had to override the red lights. All evening Thursday evening and Friday during the day sometimes," said Capt. Clay Jones with the D'Iberville Police Department.
Even when holiday traffic was at its heaviest, police said cars kept moving and there was no need to override traffic lights. Officers credit a wider Sangani, the new flyover and the installation of additional traffic lights. Drivers said the engineers who came up with the plan to relieve congestion got it right.
"Is a lot better driving since they put in the traffic lights," Sharon Chambliss of Gautier said. "Things seem to be moving a lot quicker now as compared to times before."
"I got in and out in, like, super fast time. Last year, I was stuck in line for two hours. This year, it's like it wasn't even a Black Friday. The traffic is a lot better and they've got the road all nice and paved," said Douglas Martin of St. Martin.
"It's great," said Penny Davis. "It makes it so much easier with the flow of traffic back and forth. You can get off and on the Interstate. I've come over from Jackson County, so it makes it easier to get on and off and get over to where I need to go."
D'Iberville police said with traffic flowing well, they've been able to put their manpower other issues surrounding holiday shopping.
"We're concentrating on the parking lots, making sure everyone is safe getting to their cars," said Capt. Clay Jones. "Again, we have plain clothes officers inside the stores. So it gives us a lot more time to concentrate on that safety and security aspect."
Sometimes there are crowd control problems associated with Black Friday. D'Iberville Police said this year they only had once incident in which one person was arrested at Walmart for disorderly conduct.