By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
“To everything … there is a season,” or so goes the popular song that borrowed its lyrics from the Bible. And it would seem we are once again on the cusp of ending one season and beginning another.
Have you seen the billboards that dot the roads approaching South Padre Island? Have you seen the flyers on social media? It’s almost time for Spring Break 2016, and with it, the busy season for our little tourist nook in paradise. The weather seems to be cooperating, as well, as temperatures are set to rise this weekend.
“All signs point to yes,” as a Magic 8 Ball might read. Businesses and local officials are expecting this year to be a big one since other Spring Break destinations have recently changed their rules regarding alcohol on public beaches.
It’s an exciting time. One can’t help but become energized by the enthusiasm of our annual influx of Spring Break revelers. Texas Week should be a blast, with St. Patrick’s Day occurring smack dab in the middle of it. And before we locals will be able to catch our breaths, Semana Santa will be upon us the following weekend. It’s a one-two punch that’s sure to provide a much-needed boost to the local economy.
Even though the tourist season is old hat for most of us, it’s worth mentioning a few reminders to help keep things running smoothly.
-Plan for traffic delays.
This is especially true if you need to cross the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway in the early afternoon or after sunset. So give yourself extra time to get where you need to go.
-Look out for pedestrians and cyclists.
Getting out of a parking lot can be a tricky proposition when there’s dozens of Spring Breakers walking from one party to the next. If you’re turning right on the divided portion of Padre Boulevard, don’t forget to look both left and right before merging with traffic because not all cyclists are aware that they should ride in the direction of traffic.
-Watch that speedometer.
We all know our local men and women in blue will be out in force all month long, so monitor your speed and help keep our roads safe.
-Move over for emergency vehicles.
I was really surprised last year to see so many ambulances and fire trucks being forced to maneuver around traffic because motorists didn’t yield the right-of-way. Remember, yielding to an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and/or a siren isn’t a matter of courtesy, it’s the law.
Also, if you see an emergency vehicle with its lights on pulled over in the shoulder or on the side of the road, give them a clear lane of space, if possible, and slow down. That’s the law, too.
To all my fellow Laguna Madre residents: stay safe out there and have fun! And as always, visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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