SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - The 2019 super bloom in Walker Canyon, which is attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the City of Lake Elsinore, is causing significant traffic congestion on Interstate 15 and surrounding roadways.

On Thursday, police and city representatives held a news conference to discuss changes that the city would be implementing to help ease the increased traffic flow to the area during the super bloom.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the City of Lake Elsinore announced a poppy field "shutdown," before re-opening Monday, due to the overwhelming crowds of people visiting Walker Canyon to see the poppy super bloom.

Steve Manos, the mayor of the City of Lake Elsinore, addressed the media on Thursday and said the real challenge in dealing with the huge crowds coming to see the poppies is that they don’t know what to expect. So they want to make sure they’re prepared for anything.

“Our primary goal is to reduce the number of friction points between residents and tourists, that’s the main goal.” Manos said.

City, county, transportation and public safety personnel have been working together to create a unified approach to addressing the increasing challenges related to this year’s super bloom. 

This includes increasing available resources and support, implementing additional traffic control measures, increased enforcement, expanded public notices, and improved access plans that ensure the overall safety of those visiting Walker Canyon while also reducing the impact to residents.

It's important to note, you can only access Walker Canyon this weekend - Saturday and Sunday - via shuttle service. It costs $10 per person and children under 3 are free. The shuttle picks up on the east side of Nichols Road just off the freeway, and at the Outlets at Lake Elsinore

The City of Lake Elsinore provided the following statement on their website:

The 2019 Superbloom is a natural phenomenon unlike anything the City has ever experienced and demonstrates the extreme beauty of the City of Lake Elsinore. We would like to thank residents and visitors for their patience as we faced substantial challenges related to this international attraction. At this time, the City is experiencing a high call volume. Walker Canyon is currently open, however parking is very limited. Lake Street and Nichols Road are also now open. For more information, call the Superbloom Hotline at (951) 471-1238.

The super bloom has caused major congestion for the City of Lake Elsinore, police and city representatives gave an update Thursday. (Mar. 21, 2019).

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