DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Thousands of people are expected to head to the coast this weekend for the Daytona truck meet.
Daytona Beach police have laid out a new plan to keep traffic moving on bridges during special events. The move comes after some eastbound lanes were closed over Memorial Day Weekend due to crowd sizes.
Police Chief Jakari Young said they do not plan on closing any bridges this weekend.
Officers will utilize the pink “P” pass plan is in case it gets congested. They can turn to the plan to help traffic flow and get residents where they need to go.
“It’s like an insurance policy. All the bridges are getting backed up, let’s provide this courtesy for our residents, they need to get home. So, let’s restrict main street for our residents, business owners, employees,” said Young.
Those people will need a pink “P” pass to cross the Main Street draw bridge if the plan must go into effect. All beachside visitors would continue using the other bridges.
“At this point in time, there are no plans on closing the bridges this weekend at all,” said Young.
Young said the plan is so they don’t have another situation like Memorial Day Weekend. Due to congestion beachside, police ended up closing eastbound lanes on all three Daytona Beach bridges for several hours.
Businesses were forced to cancel events.
“We couldn’t get our convoy of equipment and everything over here that we were supposed to, we couldn’t get the police support we were supposed to,” said Jeff Honeycutt, manager at Froggy’s on Main Street.
Honeycutt said several bars and restaurants on Main were supposed to have a bar crawl.
“We’re used to being able to handle tens to hundreds of thousands of people in the span of a couple days and the fact that we couldn’t do that in a 24 hour period was a bit shocking,” he said.
Young said this weekend will be the largest Truck Meet yet estimating 5,000 trucks and up to 45,000 spectators.
The main event is at the Daytona International Speedway until 5 p.m. Then, One Daytona across the street will host events until midnight but some crowds will head beachside.
“We are anticipating more traffic than we’ve probably seen this year outside of Bike week,” said Honeycutt.
To get the pink “P” pass you just have to go to the police headquarters and show your proof of residency or work.