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Jacksonville Beach to reroute traffic for July 4th event

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Updated: 7/02/2013 9:50 am
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla.-- The 4th of July fireworks have sparked a whole new traffic plan for Jacksonville Beach, the first of its kind, and it's one that neighbors hope will prevent the nightmare they saw the last time the city hosted the celebration.

"I think it's great," said Cory Nichols. "I think anything to help with the flow of traffic down 3rd Street," he said.

Here's the traffic pattern breakdown:

Butler, Beach and Atlantic boulevards will be the main routes into and out of the beach area.

Police say A1A will be the main route north and south, but cones will block the medians between 10th Avenue North and 16th Avenue South, so for the first time on the 4th of July, you won't be able to cross A1A within that zone.

Traffic lights on A1A will be manned by officers at all times.

Neighbors say they're glad to see the city fixing some of the 4th's biggest problems.

"A lot of people are trying to figure out where they're going, but if you can keep them going in the same direction and stop them from turning, it keeps traffic moving in those locations," said Nichols.

But some Beach businesses like Habibi's Bar aren't convinced this plan is the solution.

"The way I see it, if you restrict access points I don't understand how that would increase the flow of traffic and make it smoother for everyone," said Habibi's owner Farid Elchaer.

Streets won't start to close until 4 p.m. on the 4th. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

As for parking, paid parking will be available at the Jacksonville Beach Pier, 4th Ave North at First Street and the Latham Plaza parking lot. Street parking will also be available on A1A and Second Street.
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