POSTED: Friday, December 18, 2009 - 11:28pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 4:05am
TYLER - Paramedics strapped and loaded a young man to a stretcher after he was involved in a car crash on WSW Loop 323 in Tyler Friday.
Witnesses said it was lunchtime, traffic was backed up for miles and the young man got impatient.
"All the traffic was stopped," said Melinda Peterson, whom witnessed the accident, along with her children. "The next thing I know, the black vehicle passed on the shoulder...a car was turning into the Jalepeno Tree and they collided."
Peterson said despite the heavy traffic - she didn't notice any police officers manning traffic around the mall area.
Tyler Police Department spokesman Don Martin said officers never hand-directed traffic during the holidays.
He says, instead, TPD relies on traffic signals.
Longview Police Department public information officer Kevin Brownlee says they implemented a "Holiday Action Plan" right after the Thanksgiving.
He said officers are assigned to various beats and they are responsible for their particular area. Officer Brownlee the idea is to clear car accidents quickly, man shopping center parking lots for an suspicious activity and he says, if necessary, they'll get out and hand-direct traffic. However, Brownlee said for the most part, just like Tyler, they believe in the city's traffic system.
Tyler city officials estimate that 100,000 people live in the area. They said during the holidays, 400,000 people go there to shop.
Peter Eng, Tyler City Engineer, said traffic is monitored remotely. He said Friday afternoon, his team surveyed the Broadway Square Mall area and adjusted signals where needed.
Everyone we spoke with Friday said to remember that it's the holidays and it's going to be busy, therefore, remain calm and patient.
How do you feel about the traffic this time of the year wherever you live? What do you think needs to be done, if anything, to speed things along? We want to hear! Leave your thoughts in the comment box!