Spring Break: traffic and other issues

Spring breakers saturated roadways and businesses throughout the weekend to enjoy what the coast has to offer.  But a number of incidents across the city from Woolmarket to Point Cadet have caused concern regarding the 2023 event.

“This is an event that has been thrust upon Biloxi for a couple of decades now”  Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said. “Public safety is our responsibility for our visitors and importantly our residents and we are in our after-action analysis.”

The initial numbers from the Biloxi Police Department show that officers responded to 669 spring break calls for service -in addition to the overall 2,160 calls for service last week. There were over 60 vehicles towed and 40 arrests including 19 felonies. The offenses ranged from traffic, drug, and firearm violations, to drunkenness, permit violations, officer assaults, and shootings.

“We dealt with a number of incidents that we usually don’t have to deal with during spring break,” Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said. “We are investigating several activities. We had five shooting victims, including a Biloxi Police Officer, one homicide, and several assaults that took place over the weekend all while trying to keep traffic moving.”

The city’s traffic plan, which is used for special events throughout the year that impact U.S. 90, kept traffic flowing, often slowly, throughout the weekend. Heavy traffic was seen on the roadways Saturday night and throughout Sunday. In fact, police never had to limit U.S. 90 to two-lane traffic between Cowan Road and I-110.

So, what is next? City officials are assessing the impacts of the spring break activities on the city, its residents, and its citizens. Mayor Gilich plans to report on the issues at Tuesday’s 1:30 p.m. city council meeting. The meeting is open to the public and will take place on the second floor of Biloxi City Hall.

Said Mayor Gilich: “Biloxi has had to react to what promoters have brought to this event without consideration of the consequences. The result has been a serious cost to city manpower and resources that could be better used. Our priority is keeping Biloxi safe, friendly, and beautiful.”  

News & notes: Weekly reports, city council

The week that was: Weekly reports from the departments of Police, Fire, Community Development, and Engineering are now online for your review. To see the report from last week and an archive of weekly reports, click here.

Council meeting: City Council meets Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 at Biloxi City Hall. To read the agenda and supporting documents, click here. The meeting will also be streamed live during the meeting. To see the link, click here.