The Daily Gamecock

St. Patty’s Day traffic requires more control

Congestion on roads inconvenient, dangerous

As Five Points holds its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration March 16, more than 40,000 people are expected to crowd the streets of Columbia, causing more than just a surge in alcohol sales.

With special events, especially ones like St. Pat’s in Five Points, comes an unbelievable amount of traffic and congestion. Though the traffic flow is heavy, the control of it is dishearteningly minimal. Crowds of people and cars block roads that lead to work places and off-campus housing. In previous years, those who live beyond the stadium and leave their house or apartment after 10 a.m. have been known to sit in a three-hour line just to make it back home. This situation is unavoidable for students with jobs or other obligations on Saturday mornings. The scant number of police officers who direct traffic do little to improve the situation for drivers who have to wait 45 minutes to inch 3 feet down the road.

However, true to Columbia tradition, there will undoubtably be more police officers giving festival-goers drinking tickets during this year’s celebration. Instead of focusing all the attention on the festival’s guests, police officials should be making sure roads have a steady flow of traffic as opposed to the usual congestion. Many more accidents happen when traffic isn’t properly controlled and, with the number of people the festival will draw, more control is essential.