New tech reveals tidal wave of holiday traffic

The numbers don’t lie.

At a city commission work session May 30, Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer reported 132,641 cars passed license plate readers at Manatee Avenue, Gulf Drive and East Bay Drive during Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27.

He estimated the number of automobiles represents 400,000 to 500,000 people.

City attorney Patricia Petruff suggested the mayor or commission chair share the data with Manatee County.

“That’s an astounding amount of people for a city with a resident population of less than 4,000,” Petruff said, “They should know what the tourist development council is doing to us, not for us.”

Additionally, at a May 28 commission meeting, Tokajer reported over the holiday weekend, the HBPD issued 230 parking citations, 86 traffic citations, six traffic arrests, four noise violations, four license plate reader related arrests and one drug arrest.

Officers responded to 63 dispatched calls and 262 officer-initiated calls over the holiday weekend, according to Tokajer.

“They were very busy,” Tokajer said. “But they really did a great job.”

The chief said there were no burglaries, robberies or larcenies reported over the weekend.

— ChrisAnn Silver Esformes