Jackson Co. residents react to popular park road remaining open - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. residents react to popular park road remaining open

The popular VFW Road that sits inside Gulf Islands National Seashore will remain open, for now. (Photo source: WLOX) The popular VFW Road that sits inside Gulf Islands National Seashore will remain open, for now. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

The popular VFW Road that sits inside Gulf Islands National Seashore will remain open, for now. Resident John Lee is happy about that.

“Me and my wife and the people who live in the 30 homes in this area south of VFW Road here use this cut through extensively,” Lee said.

“I have never had an issue with it, but I know quite a few folks who have,” Ocean Springs resident Duncan Perkins said.

Perkins rides his bike weekly at the park and admits there are some benefits to closing that road.

“I tend to think it being a national park there shouldn't be public access to their homes when there is a different way to do it. These folks use it as a pass-through and shortcut to get to their houses. I understand everyone wants to go home after work, but I think we need to keep this place as nice and as wild as we can,” Perkins said.

The park service was reportedly considering a closure because the short thoroughfare presented a danger for those biking and walking in the park. Several neighbors and county leaders disagreed.

“There is not a whole lot of traffic on here. I have monitored it before, and probably max, during rush hour, is 120 cars per hour. That is two per minute, so it is not heavily traveled right now,” Lee said.

“We got the board of supervisors to pass a resolution in opposition of this closing. We had the City of Ocean Springs to pass a resolution,” Jackson County Supervisor John McKay said.

A recent management plan review now says keep the road open, unless traffic increases 25 percent above a baseline measured in 2010. If that happens, the park will enact measures up to and including possibly closing the road.

“It gives us another option to get to Highway 90,” said Lee.

“We only had a couple of cars passing as we are talking here, but it's a necessary road as we see,” McKay said.

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