Crowds Jam Pack Santa Monica Beach On Memorial Day

Tuesday, 27 May 2014, 12:00:00 AM

Mirror Staff

Los Angeles area

beaches saw heavy use this Memorial Day, with some parking lots filled before

10 a.m. and throngs of vehicles clogging roads leading to the coast.

Los Angeles police advised motorists throughout Monday afternoon to avoid

Pacific Avenue between Washington Boulevard and Westminster Avenue in the

Venice area due to traffic congestion.

Police also said

the Vista Del Mar parking lot at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa Del Rey was

full and there was a half-mile of backup of cars headed towards beaches on

Imperial Highway.

Both directions of Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica were moving at 8 to 12

mph around midday, according to automated reports.

Congestion was also reported on the westbound Santa Monica (10) Freeway in West

Los Angeles and Santa Monica leading to PCH.

Battalion Chief Fernando Boiteux of the Los Angeles County Fire Department's

Lifeguard Division called it “a big official kickoff for the summer.”

He didn’t have an immediate tally, but said the water rescue total would easily

top 100 by the end of the day. There were no fatalities and the bulk of the

rescues were routine, he said.

The division,

which manned 150 lifeguard stations, was also involved in at least four boat

rescues, Boiteux said.

Beach parking lots in Venice and Santa Monica were full by 10 a.m., he said.

“The lifeguards have been busy,” he said. “It’s probably the heaviest crowd

we’ve had in 2014.”

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