SAN MARCOS, Texas -- After Black Friday, Tax-Free Weekend is the second busiest time to be at the outlet malls. In years past, that meant major traffic backups, and even some major crashes. The transportation department hopes this year will be different.
"Before every Tax-Free Weekend, the city meets with the outlet malls and a representative from Amazon and we discuss issues that we had the prior year and we identify an action plan for this year," said Sabas Avila, director of the Public Services Transportation Division.
This year's action plan includes shutting down the northbound McCarty Lane exit ramp. That's exit 201.
"This is an intersection where we see significant conflict between high-speed traffic exiting IH 35 and slow-speed traffic exiting the outlet malls," Avila said.
Pedestrians and motorists will be utilizing the traffic signal at Centerpoint Road that's accessible for all mobilities, while the transportation department tracks backups from miles away.
"The traffic signal also includes traffic cameras that we can use to monitor traffic and make timing plan changes as necessary," Avila said.
The outlet malls have upped staffing to accommodate the crowds.
"We always start months in advance to work on this. Not only the traffic and the police protection and that type thing, we staff extra security, extra maintenance, all of those type things because we want this to be a wonderful experience for our shoppers," said John Lairsen, San Marcos Tanger Outlets general manager.
If there's one thing to plan for, it's to not be in a hurry.
"Give yourself a little bit extra time when you come out here. It is busy, traffic gets a little bit backed up," Lairsen said.
The northbound McCarty exit will be closed during mall hours on Saturday and Sunday.