City, police making plans to ease traffic backup during eclipse

What are the main concerns for eclipse day?

What are the main concerns for eclipse day?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The total eclipse if only four days away — so at an event Thursday, News10NBC asked the mayor what’s the number-one thing he’s worried about when the moon starts blocking out the sun.

The number-one worry is traffic. The city and police department have studied this for 12 months. They’ve talked with other cities that were in the path in 2017. The traffic jams happen when everyone tries to leave at the same time — so if you’re at a public place, the mayor is asking you to stick around for a bit.

“We want to make sure they stay and enjoy the moment, enjoy friends, enjoy family, enjoy food offered depending on where you are. Don’t just leave at 3:50. Stay around and enjoy. We don’t want to have traffic problems,” Mayor Malik Evans said.

Greenville in South Carolina was in the path of totality seven years ago. Police there say that the traffic on the major interstates came to a complete stop as people parked and got out of their cars to watch it.

Rochester Police are short 100 officers. So instead of having an officer at every major intersection, they’re deploying members of the traffic unit to the state Transportation Command Center to deal with traffic remotely.

“So for example, if traffic is backed up eastbound for a significant amount of time, they’ll be able to turn that eastbound light green for an extended period and get those cars through where it would normally be an officer at the intersection directing traffic,” Capt. Greg Bello with the Rochester Police Department said.