PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — It’s a choke point for traffic at the beach. The Alabama-Florida line is a problem spot, where the Beachfront Road goes from five lanes to two, and where hundreds of customers of the Flora-Bama Lounge constantly cross the road to the establishment’s parking lot.
It’s a real mess, but changes could be on the way.
At all hours, cars zoom by Flora-Bama.
“We just have a lot of traffic in general in this area,” said Flora-Bama owner, John McInnis.
With a bar with the name Flora-Bama, it doesn’t take a genius to know creating a safer area for pedestrians and a lighter traffic flow takes collaboration from Florida and Alabama Departments of Transportation. The need to come together for a solution became even more apparent in the last few months.
“We had a few service members hit by a car about 6 miles down at night,” said McInnis. “These are guys that came to the Flora-Bama, I think, had a great time, took a cab home safely, decided to walk down the road to go get dinner and a guy ran off the road and hit them.”
The plans for improvements include better lighting, turning lanes, and more cross walks to name a few.
“The only issue we’ve had is time,” McInnis said. “When we found all the solutions, peak season hit us, so it was physically impossible to do the improvements.”
Until peak season comes to an end, Flora-Bama hopes keeping Escambia County deputies at the cross walk will keep pedestrians safe.
“The police presence on the weekend is good for the cross walk,” said Drew Ross, visiting the area from Birmingham, Al., of how he feels as a pedestrian in the area. “So, maybe more police presence.”
“We’re committed to keeping our officers out there or someone at that cross walk during all our peak hours going forward,” McInnis concluded.
The Florida Highway Patrol said in the Flora-Bama area, within three-fourths of a mile on the Florida side, there’s been a total of ten crashes and four with injury since January.