GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – With Thanksgiving and Black Friday just days away, Greenville Police are already taking preventive measures in busy commercial areas.

“We are putting plans in place to help alleviate some of the headache with the traffic, as they’re going to try to shop,” said Lt. Mark Holbrooks, with the Traffic Unit at the Greenville Police Department.

“With the season coming up, we will see an increase of traffic around our major shopping areas – the Haywood Road area, the Woodruff Road area specially,” said Lt. Holbrooks.

Some people told 7NEWS the Woodruff Road area is crazy at times.

“I kind of just come up here to go to the shops, the traffic is really bad,” said Kyler Lum. Lum said she walks in the area when she’s in the city for work. 

“Like the traffic lights. I mean, I’m standing at a traffic light for at least 10 to 15 minutes, before I can even run across,” she said.

“Honestly, I just see people trying to like you know, force everybody into the lanes. They’re kind of like turning, even when I walk, people don’t really adhere to me,” Lum said. “They kind of just try to force me to walk faster, because they’re trying to make the light. And sometimes that left turning lane, people are still in the middle of the intersection.”

Lum said a similar situation happened on Tuesday.

“There was a huge truck like in the middle of the intersection blocking it down there, and he wasn’t trying to like beep his horn to move everybody out of the way,” Lum explained. “I had to like walk in between cars, because everyone was on the pedestrian walkway.”

Jackson Sisson said he knows the traffic patterns all too well.

“I come here about close to every day, working at Off Broadway Shoe Store, and I mean the plaza in here isn’t too bad, when it comes to traffic, but once you get out into the main road is when it all goes down,” Sisson said.

“Blocked intersections on red lights. You know, they like to rush and get in, and that can cause people that are turning left, to not be able to go, which just backs up the only road in and out of anywhere here which is Woodruff Road,” Sisson said.

Starting this week, Greenville Police will be out in the area.

Police said that beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend, they will monitor key intersections along Woodruff Road and also maintain high visibility in the popular retail districts.

“Sitting at intersections,” Lt. Holbrooks said. “Watching those that are blocking intersections. If the need arises, and they will direct traffic as well.”

“If you ride down Woodruff Road now, you’ll see some of our digital sign boards out there, reminding people not to block intersections,” said Holbrooks.

The signs will also ask drivers to use Parallel Parkway, which runs from Verdae Boulevard to Woodruff Industrial Lane, as an alternative.

Holbrooks said last year, they did see some accidents in this area.

“It is a heavily traveled area, so we do typically see a good number of collisions on that road. And of course you know the holiday season more traffic, we will see some increase in the traffic collisions that are in those areas,” Holbrooks said.

Officers want to prevent things from getting worse.

“Most of these guys, they are out here too try to educate people more than anything else,” Holbrooks said. “Try to use the Parallel Parkway, because that does alleviate a lot of traffic off of Woodruff Road.”

They want you to do your part, as well.

“First of all, plan ahead,” Holbrooks said. “There’s going to be heavier traffic, so go ahead and plan on leaving earlier if you plan on getting somewhere, so this way you know, you’re not stressing trying to get there.”

“Be mindful of others who are on the roadway and everything else. Don’t block the intersections,” he said.

The police department sent these tips for drivers:

  • Don’t block intersections
  • Don’t drive aggressively
  • Drive at a safe speed
  • Plan your route before heading to your destination
  • Don’t drive distracted

“Don’t block the intersections,” Holbrooks said. “A blocked intersection, essentially trying to beat the traffic light, what you end up doing is blocking those coming off of side streets, coming out into the roadway, as well. Which sends congestion in all directions and it just makes for a typically, you know–headache.”

Those who frequent the area gave tips to drivers too.

“Drive safe. Use the turn signal, don’t block traffic,” Lum said.

“Be patient. We’re all going somewhere,” Sisson said.

Holbrooks said officers will be assigned in the area every weekend between now and Christmas.

“We will be having officers that are assigned out there on the weekends to help deal with some of those issues that will be coming up,” Holbrooks said.

He also said officers will be out during the week at heavy times.