ORLANDO, Fla. – Monday will mark one year since 49 lives were lost during a mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
As the Central Florida community plans Orlando United Day events to honor the victims and survivors, the city is also preparing for tens of thousands of attendees to swarm to remembrance ceremonies.
"We expect people coming from around the world," said Lt. Richard Ruth, Orlando police traffic enforcement commander. "The tragic shooting we had here touched people from around the world and with that we don't really have an RSVP list so we have to anticipate that we are going to have just thousands upon thousands of people coming to the multiple events."
The parking lot at the gay nightclub was already blocked off Friday afternoon and by Monday, roads around Pulse and Lake Eola will be closed.
Orlando police said anyone who plans to be in those areas within the next few days should expect detours and closures. Drivers are encouraged to leave early and be patient.
"We are going to open up one lane southbound on Orange between Kaley and Harding," Ruth said. "The difficulty we have there, (Pulse is) a mid-block business, so in order to keep people from coming in, we are going to have to extend out a little bit and it's going to interfere with people trying to get to work or trying to get home."
Ruth suggests that drivers trying to go south on Orange Avenue to instead use Delaney Avenue, Orange Blossom Trail, Division Avenue or westbound Interstate 4.
As for parking, drivers need to make sure they are parked legally and not on private property. Because parking could be difficult to find, attendees should consider using SunRail, Uber or Lynx to get to and from the events.