Grapevine’s Unwelcome Holiday Tradition: Gridlock

City leaders fight holiday traffic congestion


Gridlock in Grapevine has become an unwelcome holiday tradition, and city leaders say they are trying to find ways to lessen traffic headaches.

"It's horrible," said one driver stuck at a red light on Northwest Highway. "It's bad, the worst it's ever been."

Attractions like the Gaylord Texan hotel and convention center are big draws.

More than 200,000 people are also flocking to the Gaylord to see the huge ice display -- not including the guests staying in the 1,500-room hotel or eating at its five restaurants.

Holiday shoppers are also crowding streets around the Grapevine Mills mall, and others are drawn to a large Christmas light display on Main Street.

The gridlock was especially bad last Saturday. The city's police chief, fire chief and traffic engineers met with Gaylord managers, said Lt. Todd Dearing, Grapevine police spokesman.

"We know there's going to be traffic out there," Dearing said. "But this time we're making sure that we have our bases covered. We're watching it and monitoring it."

Police are ready to direct traffic if necessary, and traffic engineers have checked red lights to make sure they are correctly synchronized.

"We shouldn't see the issues we saw last week," Dearing said.

Gaylord managers say in some ways, they're victims of their own success.

"It's gotten pretty busy, and we're very fortunate," said Martha Neibling, public relations director for the Gaylord Texan. "Weekend times during the holiday season are always going to be busy, so we would suggest if you're coming out... just leave yourself a little extra time."

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