CONYERS -- The popularity of the Fabulous 4th event at the Georgia International Horse Park has prompted the Conyers Police Department to implement some changes to traffic planning for the event to make it easier for visitors to enter and exit the horse park.
According to Conyers Police Capt. Scott Freeman, "The main reason we are implementing these measures is to help with traffic flow getting in and out of the horse park. By getting our traffic plan out to the prospective visitors, and with the signage in place, we are doing everything we can to make the July 4th celebration a fun, less frustrating event for everyone."
The park will open at 5 p.m. Monday, July 4, with the fireworks beginning at 9:45 p.m. The fireworks are expected to last 15 minutes. Despite extensive advance planning for the traffic plan for this event, police are cautioning drivers that they should expect traffic delays both before and after the event.
According to Freeman, "We urge everyone to be patient, be cautious of pedestrian traffic, and to follow the directions of police officers in the area. Costley Mill Road, where the fireworks will be launched, will be shut completely down starting at noon, so visitors should plan accordingly."
According to a press release from the Police Department, police plan to first park visitors in the large main parking lots inside the horse park. Once that has reached capacity, the Steeple Chase will be opened for parking. At that point, Centennial Olympic Parkway will become one lane as police officers block off one lane to provide for pedestrian safety. All cars coming up the parkway will then be parked in the Steeple Chase parking lot. There will be no parking allowed on the Centennial Olympic Parkway median or on the sides of the road. Vehicles parked in those areas will be towed.
New this year to help guide motorists will be electronic signs that will be programmed with information for visitors about travel and parking. As visitors pull into the horse park area, directions on parking will be provided by the signs; when visitors are ready to leave, additional information will be programmed into the signs. The information can be changed as circumstances change and police deem necessary.
In addition to the electronic signs, the Police Department has created regular street signs giving directions to Interstate 20 as well as Ga. Highway 138. According to the press release, in some cases visitors may be routed to an area with which they are not familiar. However, if they continue to follow the traffic and directions of police officers, they will be led to Ga. Highway 138 and I-20.
Another new element to the traffic plan this year is a maximum capacity limit. In years past the influx of vehicles has exceeded capacity, according to the Police Department. This year, once parking has reached capacity, access to the horse park will be closed from Ga. Highway 138, the Newton County side and from Sigman Road at Gees Mill Road. Once capacity is reached, police will direct visitors away from the park. Anyone who parks on any roadway, especially Ga. 138, will be cited and their vehicles towed, according to police.
Police recommend that anyone who lives in the area or who takes the roadways through the horse park area to get to their homes or businesses should plan to take an alternate route during the event as traffic is expected to be heavy.