Safety alert/traffic advisory issued for SpaceX crewed launch visitors



Published:

The crew access arm swings into position for the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Demo-2 mission, Thursday, May 21, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

BREVARD COUNTY, FL. – Brevard County Emergency Management wants to remind residents and visitors to think safety first and foremost as you make plans for watching the return to human spaceflight with Wednesday’s historic SpaceX Crew Dragon rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center.

The launch, scheduled between 4:27 p.m. and 4:37 p.m. Wednesday, will generate a variety of potential safety obstacles for those who want to venture out for the launch. First, there’s the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For your own safety, and to help you avoid becoming infected or unknowingly infecting others with the virus, the Centers for Disease Control has issued social distancing guidelines to keep 6 feet between yourself and others, to avoid groups of 10 or more people and to avoid mass gatherings. As we saw during the Space Shuttle program, Brevard County beaches and parks are prime viewing areas. Please be sure to protect yourself and others by following the CDC social distancing guidelines.

Traffic is also a concern because there is a limited amount of north/south and east/west roadways that lead to prime viewing locations. When gridlock occurs, that’s not only frustrating for motorists, but it also poses major safety issues for law enforcement, fire and ambulance units that might need to respond to an emergency. For your own safety and the safety of others, please obey traffic laws, don’t park on the side of roadways, stay alert and watch for pedestrians, and be prepared for significant traffic delays before and after the launch. There will be an increased law enforcement presence.

Multiple agencies have worked together to develop a traffic plan to help motorists get to and from the launch, including some changes to traffic patterns. Please take heed and be aware that a left or right turn onto a roadway you might normally take may not be available on launch day in an effort to keep traffic delays to a minimum. The launch plan is viewable at www.cfltim.com/ (Click on Launch Traffic Plan.)

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is planning to control traffic flow on SR 528 and SR A1A, particularly at exits for George King Boulevard on Port Canaveral. Post launch, all eastbound 528 traffic will be directed south on SR A1A to 520 westbound. Traffic lights on SR A1A will be modified to expedite traffic flow. SR 401 will be open but limited to commercial and official traffic heading to the Port’s northside operations and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Visitors may use the Waze smartphone app to monitor traffic and be alerted of parking availability. Waze will be continuously updated with countywide parking availability. Public parking will be limited in some areas, including access to popular launch viewing points at Port Canaveral. Traffic in and around the port will be controlled.

Brevard County Emergency Management will be using social media — @BrevardEOC and @BrevardCo_FL on Twitter; Brevard County Emergency Management and Brevard County Government on Facebook — to provide residents and visitors with updates on traffic snarls and parking lot status. You can also text BrevardEOC to 888-777 for text alerts.