It’s “Spring Break” this week for most North Texas public schools and universities, but fewer students and families are planning out-of-town road trips. KERA’s BJ Austin says they’re sticking to the local freeways and attractions closer to home.
AAA Texas says high gasoline prices are affecting plans for Spring Break. The number of people planning out-of-town road trips is down 8% from last year. North Texas police departments are bracing for heavier traffic around entertainment attractions. Remekca Owens with the Fort Worth Zoo says they’re ready for the crowds.
Owens: We have a traffic and parking plan in place for the entire week that we’ve done with the city of Fort Worth Police Department as well as Parks and Recreation.
Wednesday is the traditional “half price” day at the Fort Worth Zoo and that means the annual traffic back-up on I-30 around the University exit. Last year, more than 25 thousand people visited the Zoo that day.
Dallas Zoo officials expect traffic on South R.L. Thornton at the Marsalis exit to be heavy all week. They say Spring Break is the busiest week of the year. And, they expect really big crowds Monday because of a special discount. Zoo officials say parking fills up fast, and zoo-goers are urged to take the DART Red Line, which stops at the front gate. The special Safari Shuttle runs from the T’s Intermodal Center in downtown Fort Worth to the Zoo every half hour this week.
At Six Flags in Arlington, Sharon Parker says they’ve seen a “staycation” bump the past couple of Spring Breaks, and that’s caused parking lots to overflow.
Parker: We at times have called on the help of the Rangers to allow us to use some of their parking lots, the portion that’s nearest our park. So, there are days when this area is really hopping.
Garland Police Officer Joe Harn says they’re joining many other North Texas departments this week providing extra drunk driving patrols – with special emphasis on “driving under the influence” by minors.