Traffic Pattern Changes During G-8

Barriers like these will be used to block roads.
Barriers like these will be used to block roads.

Savannah's downtown area won't be very easy to navigate during the G-8 summit. Drivers will need to add extra time to their commute for traffic delays and road closings. Downtown traffic is already confusing to some, but during the summit, things are not going to get easier.

"At any given time during this event there may be road closings," said Capt. Gerry Long, who's heading up the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department's G-8 planning.

Especially around the Bay Street and River Street area, where many delegates will be staying. "The Hyatt will be a security zone," said Long. "There will be no privately owned vehicles under the Hyatt, there will be no pedestrian traffic under the Hyatt."

River Street will essentially be split in two, divided by the Hyatt.

Rudy Gadstik, who owns three businesses on River Street--two under the Hyatt--says it may not be good for business, but there's nothing they can do. "They'll be open, but we'll just play it by ear," he said. "Hopefully we'll come out of this unscathed by protestors."

Whitaker Street will turn to one lane near the federal courthouse, and so will Bay Street and Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. in some areas. Other main roads will also have different traffic patterns. Access to the bridge will also be tight. "Access to the Talmadge Bridge will not be unfettered," said Long. "There will be stops and checks in that area as well."

So if you work or need to get downtown, the bottom line is, keep your eyes open for detours and try to bike or walk around. Officials are also recommending carpooling to reduce to the number of vehicles on the road.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro,