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Is Mardi Gras rowdiness cause for pedestrian safety concern?

It's that time of year. The Super Bowl is over, but now it's time for Mardi Gras. While much of the country may have its eyes turned toward that city on the delta to the east for this annual affair, there are a good number of folks who find that Galveston has just as much fun to offer.

But where there is rowdiness there can be a heightened risk that someone could be hurt. That may be especially true for unsuspecting pedestrians caught in the middle of things if a fracas erupts. Such melees have broken out in the last two years. In such a setting, even if there are no motor vehicles cruising the roads, the chances of a pedestrian being injured are greater.

As a result of the issues that came out of the Galveston revelry the last two years, officials have announced that they plan to alter their security procedures for this year. In anticipation of the thousands that are expected ahead of Fat Tuesday, officials say they will try a kinder, gentler approach to clearing the streets at the end of each night of festivities.

Last year, there were complaints from some revelers that police had used unnecessary force to break up unruly crowds, including the use of night sticks and pepper spray. But officials noted that they were responding to individuals who were throwing rocks and bottles.

This year, officials say partiers should take their cue to clear streets around The Strand area from street cleaners. The slow-moving vehicles are expected to be out starting around midnight and officials say they hope pedestrians get the message that they're not looking to hurt anyone, they just want to get things cleaned up.

Have fun, but stay safe.

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