New Traffic Management System Expected to Help Alleviate Beach Congestion

Posted on March 16, 2022 by Romi White

Monitors displaying live feeds from cameras at key intersections are watched around the clock at a Traffic Management Center in Escambia County. 

Santa Rosa County District 4 Commissioner Dave Piech during a March 16 Tourist Development Council meeting announced that Miovision devices, which monitors real-time traffic, have been installed on U.S. 98 at Hwy. 87 and Navarre Beach Bridge. They will be utilized by state traffic management personnel to tackle problems, such as afternoon beach traffic congestion or vehicle accidents.

Coupled with a new traffic signal coming soon to Navarre Beach at Gulf Boulevard, the tools will allow traffic management staff to adjust signals to allow for the faster flow of traffic in or around congested areas.

“These traffic cameras will allow monitors to evaluate and respond to traffic issues in real time,” Piech said. “Traffic consultants now have the full capabilities to start monitoring beach traffic for Navarre Beach on weekends to coincide with our Pensacola Beach efforts once the beach season starts. Traffic consultants will be getting with FDOT to come up with flushing plans for different approaches that can be implemented when needed. They now have communication to all US 98 signals and these two CCTV cameras that will help us make the best decision.”

Piech went on to say traffic consultants will monitor the traffic for a couple of weekends to figure out what’s going on and then build flushing plans.

“I’m thankful to my fellow commissioners for agreeing with me to fund these initiatives to improve traffic,” Piech said.

The news was a welcome relief to Tamara Fountain, who owns Windjammers on the Pier and operates the county-owned Navarre Beach Pier with her husband, Ken. “It will be a tremendous help. This light will help move people on and off the beach more quickly and safely,” she said. “It is a much-needed improvement.”

Piech went on to say that Miovision devices will also be installed on new traffic signals planned for U.S. 98 at Ortega Street and just east of Andorra Street. The improvements are part of a concerted regional plan to improve traffic along key corridors.