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Police in Rochester preparing for anticipated traffic jams on April 8



Rochester, New York – A significant number of people are likely to flock to the area on April 8 in order to witness the total solar eclipse up close, so the Rochester Police Department is bracing for possible traffic jams.

Although the agency has preparations in place to manage the roads, Rochester Police Captain Greg Bello advises folks to be ready to sit in traffic with all of the events taking place throughout the city.

“We are around 100 officers short. We can’t be everywhere in the city at every point,” he said. “We can’t run every traffic light at every point throughout the city. So, we’re working on a few different things.”

At every significant crossroads in the city, a member of the RPD’s traffic unit will be placed at the NYS Department of Transportation’s headquarters in Henrietta, giving them virtual authority over the traffic lights.

“We are going to use the blue light camera system to monitor traffic in the area and adjust traffic lights as need be,” Bello explained. “(We’re doing) as much as we can to try and get traffic flowing as smoothly as we can throughout the city.”

Bello stated that in order to maintain traffic flow, there won’t be any physical police present at many of the city’s crossroads. Instead, drivers must pay heed to the lights.

“If you can’t get through an intersection, don’t go into an intersection and block it up,” Bello said. “Because when the next way gets green, they can’t get through because you are stuck in the middle of the intersection blocking it.”

Along with New York State Police, RPD will have an eye in the skies.

“They are going to be flying that day, and we are going to be utilizing our drones to help monitor,” Bello explained. “Part of that will be monitoring traffic around the city.”

Police anticipate a sizable throng to watch the eclipse at Charlotte Beach.

“We anticipate having to shut down Lake Avenue at some point and restricting access up there, just because there isn’t major roads to get in and out,” Bello said.

Bello advises residents to move to the right when an ambulance, police car, or fire truck wants to pass on the eclipse day. Additionally, he advises people to use patience when dialing 911.