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Panama City Beach traffic causing frustrations, but city leaders say they’re working on solutions

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 8:14 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - After a busy day at work or a day spent out on vacation, there’s one thing that can make people question their choice of transportation.

“The traffic was really frustrating this week,” said Panama City Beach visitor Hayden Lilek.

“Plan on being stuck in traffic if you go Back Beach Road,” said Panama City Beach resident Greg Richardson.

Throw in many events and peak tourist season are headed to Panama City Beach.

“It took about an hour to go [what would normally take] 15 minutes the other day, the place was just absolutely swamped,” said Lilek.

More vehicles on the roads means more headaches for drivers..

“Well I think we’re going to be pretty much heavy traffic like we’re used to,” said Panama City Beach Council Man Michael Jarman. “Unfortunately, that’s the way it is at this moment. We all know it’s a huge problem, probably the biggest problem on the Beach.”

A problem that some believe won’t go away anytime soon.

“It’s going to get worse and worse and worse,” said Richardson. “We need some more roads, more lanes.”

City officials acknowledge the traffic problem and leaders say they are actively trying to fix it. One way they are doing that is by opening up the second phase of Phillip Griffitts Sr. Parkway as soon as possible. Some refer to it as Back Back Beach Road.

“We’re looking to open that up May 13th,” said Jarman. “The studies have shown about roughly a 20% decrease off of Back Beach Road that that road will take. It’s going to do nothing but help.”

This road will run from State Road 79 east all the way to Nautilus Street. Whether it’s by car, motorcycle, or bus, city leaders hope these improvements will continue to encourage people to visit.

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