Biloxi intersection called "dangerous" may get traffic light - - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi intersection called "dangerous" may get traffic light

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown says a review is already underway to determine if a traffic light is needed at a busy Biloxi intersection.

As we reported Tuesday, the Biloxi City Council passed a resolution calling on M-DOT to install a stop light at the intersection of Lickskillet Road and Highway 15. That crossing was the scene of an accident that killed a 17-year-old girl from Vancleave one week ago.

Commissioner Brown said that review will look at factors such as the volume of traffic, travel distances at the intersection and accident history. It should be finished in a few weeks.

Highway 15 traffic whizzes by at 70 miles an hour or more past Lickskillet Road. Drivers crossing the divided highway, must approach with caution.

"Getting across is the hard part, yeah," said one driver, as he waited at the stop sign.

Those familiar with this intersection worry about safety.

"They need to slow the traffic down. Probably at least a caution light could stop these wrecks," said one driver.

Clearly visible stop signs protect vehicles trying to turn. But those standard signs apparently aren't enough.

"Like the turn right here, it's bad for people. 'Cause a lot of people don't drive safe, you know," said another concerned driver.

Sharon Pelaez is more blunt.

"This is the most dangerous intersection in Biloxi," she said.

She crosses it six to eight times a day.

"If you'll notice right over there, about one tenth before this intersection, the speed limit kicks up to 65 miles an hour. Speed limits should never be 65 miles an hour at a major intersection like this. It should be 45 max," stressed Pelaez.

Broken glass on the road is a sobering reminder of the crash that claimed the life of a teenager just a week ago. A Biloxi city councilman was among the first on the scene.

"It was very traumatic," said Ed Gemmill. "Apparently the truck had flipped several times and landed back on its wheels. And the individual, the youth was obviously deceased at the scene."

Biloxi police say last week's fatal accident was the only death at this intersection over the past two years. But during that same time, there were eleven accidents with injuries there.

"We had a Biloxi officer that was hit out here eight or nine months ago. And the crashes out here, if they're not fatalities, they're very violent and people get hurt bad," said Gemmill.

Gemmill is convinced a light will mean fewer accidents.

"We can curtail them by putting a traffic light out here," said the Ward 5 council member.

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