It is fair to say that many island residents have a love but irritated relationship with tourists.

Logically, most residents understand the importance of tourism to the city. Still, as they are sitting in their cars inching toward the causeway clogged by out-of-towners’ vehicles or trying to navigate home from work during Mardi Gras, spring breaks and other events, it can be trying on their nerves.

Dave Mathews: 409-683-5258; dave.mathews@galvnews.com

(1) comment

Allen Flores

Galveston leadership can improve the balance between tourism and residents' quality of life. Rethinking the current placement of large rowdy festivals is necessary. Placing them near the cruise ship traffic makes no sense. Another way to curtail traffic for cruise passengers is a shuttle program for passengers to visit downtown from the cruise terminals. The Port of Galveston is likely to push a shuttle program to alleviate traffic. But city council's insistence to make The Strand an outdoor music venue during Mardi Gras and motorcycle gatherings is contradictory to better traffic flow for residents and the cruise industry. The Convention Center, Cherry Hill, Seawolf Park and East Beach are better suited for Mardi Gras concerts. The parades are adequate and the city manager has stated that Seawall-only parades are less expensive. The cruise passenger traffic on Harborside Drive and Strand Street would benefit from a traffic study that results in the city's participation.

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