Fourth of July traffic plan

The Laguna Beach Police Department will try a new approach to relieve

heavy traffic after the Fourth of July fireworks.

“The town becomes a total gridlock as people try to leave,” said Sgt.

Doris Higgins.


Every year people come from all over Orange County to stake their

claim at Heisler Park and other beaches for barbecues and picnics well

before the annual fireworks display. It’s the classic case of first to

arrive, last to leave and when they do, Laguna’s streets experience the


red glow of brake lights.

In years past, getting out of downtown Laguna could take up to an hour

and half, said Higgins. The congestion in the Canyon quickly affects

residents and visitors trying to return to their homes or hotels.

From 9:30 to 11 p.m., the department will designate the two-way

left-turn lane on Laguna Canyon Road as an additional outbound lane.

Higgins cautioned Canyon residents who live on the stretch between Canyon

Acres and El Toro Road that the traffic system might impact their route


home. Residents driving into town on Laguna Canyon Road should plan to

either arrive after 11 p.m. or drive past their street and make a U-turn

where practical.

Ultimately the department hopes that the system will allow everyone to

get home safely and efficiently.

“We want to help clear traffic and let people get home faster,”

Higgins said.