Jackson Co. looking to solve Gulf Park Estates safety issues - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. looking to solve Gulf Park Estates safety issues

The most congested of all is Beachview Drive. That's the main drive leading from the northern end to the southern end of Gulf Park Estates. (Photo source: WLOX) The most congested of all is Beachview Drive. That's the main drive leading from the northern end to the southern end of Gulf Park Estates. (Photo source: WLOX)
The area has experienced growth over the past several years, and because of that growth, the roads in the subdivision are becoming more congested. (Photo source: WLOX) The area has experienced growth over the past several years, and because of that growth, the roads in the subdivision are becoming more congested. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Doug Blakeney likes to jog along Beachview Drive. To say it's an adventure would be an understatement.

"I've had a pizza delivery guy bump me one time and threw me up on the hood and threw me over in the other lane. It's very crowded on the sides. Had another guy that bumped my elbow," Blakeney recalled.

Hundreds of school children stand by the road every morning and afternoon. That worries those who take care of them, people like Charles Keenum.

"In my opinion, it's dangerous just to be on this street to be honest about it. People and kids cross up and down Blueberry to the school. They're always crossing this street," Keenum explained.

In addition to the hundreds of cars that run up and down Beachview every day contributing to some of the dangers, there are other factors as well. For instance, on each side of the street, there are drainage ditches, and there are no shoulders which leads to even more hazardous conditions.

Ken Tucher is a business owner in the neighborhood.

"It's pretty dangerous. We're seeing ambulances and police cars usually on a daily thing going up and down the road. I know I wouldn't want to ride a bike or walk the street up and down it with the cars," Tucher said.

The proposed new sidewalk sits well with Michelle Jones, who avoids Beachview on her morning walk.

"I think it would be great, especially for the kids around here so they can at least cross the street to get around to their friend's houses," Jones said.

That's a feeling shared by Todd Vidrine, who lives along the busy road.

"I think it would be great. People are always trying to get along the side of the road walking in ditches and stuff like that. I think it would be a good option down here," said Vidrine.

With the dangers continuing to mount, that option may now be the only choice. The estimated cost of the sidewalk project is about $280,000. County officials hope most of that can be paid for with a grant from MDOT.

A public hearing on the sidewalk proposal will be held Sept. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Elks Club on Beachview Drive.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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