Fourth of July traffic out of Nichols Park will operate as it always does this year. Local law enforcement from both the City of Jacksonville and Village of South Jacksonville will be working to help motorists and pedestrians move about safely during and after the fireworks display.
Vandalia Avenue will be closed down for parking along the street beginning at 5AM Sunday. At the time of the fireworks at approximately 9:15PM, Hardin Avenue at Vandalia Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, South Chilton, and Lakeview Terrace will close to traffic to allow safe travels for pedestrians.
Village of South Jacksonville Police Chief Eric Hansell explains the traffic pattern for Sunday evening: “At the conclusion of the fireworks, traffic will be routed westbound down Vandalia towards South Main. If you are in the left-hand side, it will be mandatory that you turn south on South Main Street. If you are on the north side of the roadway traveling westbound, it will be mandated that you travel northbound on South Main. We will have a couple officers at that intersection directing traffic to try and get everyone out as quickly as we can and keep things flowing. Traffic also on Clay Street and East Street off of Vandalia will only be allowed northbound traffic away from Vandalia. Nothing will be allowed to come on to Vandalia.”
Hansell says all UTV and golf carts will also have to abide by all traffic patterns just like normal motor vehicles.
Inside the park, the Jacksonville Police Department will provide general security. Chief Adam Mefford says they will be providing general support as well as any first responder support inside Nichols Park: “We will be responsible for the grass area near the swimming pool, security of the area, and making sure people aren’t in unauthorized areas for safety purposes. We will have officers out there just doing general patrols and assisting the public with any concerns over safety issues or medical needs. We will have our VIPs, Citizen’s Police Academy, individuals out there helping with parking of vehicles. We will be assisting with traffic controls and just general assistance for the evening to ensure we get a smooth and safe night for everyone.”
Fireworks are expected to begin around 9:15 to 9:30 Sunday evening. Both departments urge drivers to allow for extra time if they are traveling in South Jacksonville during this time and to be extra aware of pedestrians entering and leaving the roadway.