Punta Gorda police to close some roads to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

Families will have to keep an eye out for ghosts and goblins while trick-or-treating. But one thing they won’t have to worry about in Punta Gorda? Cars.

“It’s fun to see the community supporting that by just protecting the safety of the children,” said Joie Wilson.

Punta Gorda police officers will shut down several streets in the Historic District form 5-10 p.m. Thursday.

Drivers won’t be able to travel on West Marion Avenue from Cross Street to McGregor and all side streets in between will be closed from West Retta Esplanade to West Olympia.

“We will eliminate any hazards. We thought that closing the streets down and rerouting traffic and allowing the pedestrians to utilize the road as well,” said Punta Gorda Lt. Justin Davoult.

He says 3,000 people usually cram onto the area’s four-foot-wide sidewalks on Halloween.

After a police department volunteer was hit by a slow-moving car last year, officers aren’t taking any chances.

“Rather than waiting for a tragedy to possibly occur, we want to try to prevent one,” said Davoult.

Some drivers who don’t have plans to go trick-or-treating say the closures are inconvenient but understandable.

“Sometimes you just work around it and find ways around it. You can take a great walk down through here,” said Ken Wilson of Punta Gorda.

But parents say taking extra precautions can save a life.

“Keeping the cars away from the kids. They have a lot of police officers coming down here at the same time,” said Wilson.

Staying safe, while having fun.

PGPD says it will see how this year turns out before deciding on any road closures for next Halloween.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Briana Harvath
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