With the arrival of the holiday season, Lexington police and traffic officials on Wednesday announced the measures they are taking to keep traffic moving smoothly and keep shoppers safe in the city.
Police Lt. Eric Lowe said extra officers will be deployed in the Hamburg area and at Fayette Mall — the city's two busiest shopping centers — to monitor traffic and discourage crime.
Steve Cummins, Fayette County traffic signals manager, said his office has already been talking to local businesses and adjusting timing plans, focusing primarily on Nicholasville Road and Fayette Mall. The city also has adjusted traffic signals downtown and on Leestown and Georgetown roads.
"We encourage everyone to take your time, leave a little bit early and know that we have multiple surveillance cameras around town monitoring traffic at all times," Cummins said.
Thursday through Sunday, 70,000 to 75,000 vehicles will travel on Nicholasville Road each day. In comparison, Interstate 75 handles about 50,000 vehicles a day, Cummins said.
Officials will be in the traffic management center Friday to assist police officers, something they have done for 13 years because "we don't want traffic to be the main focus on Friday," Cummins said.
Police say they see an increase in vehicle break-ins and pedestrian traffic during the holiday season.
Shoppers are urged to place valuables in trunks before arriving at retail stores. Valuables visible in a vehicle could entice criminals to break windows, Lowe said.