Jackson Co. supervisors working to build bike path to improve sa - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. supervisors working to build bike path to improve safety

Barry Page and his daughter enjoy riding bikes, but they can't do it as much around their home in Ocean Springs. (Photo source: WLOX) Barry Page and his daughter enjoy riding bikes, but they can't do it as much around their home in Ocean Springs. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Some residents who live near Ocean Springs Middle and High Schools say riding bikes along Old Spanish Trail is dangerous. As Patrice Clark reports, Jackson County supervisors are working to provide a safer ride for those who live and work in the area.

Barry Page and his daughter enjoy riding bikes, but they can't do it as much around their home in Ocean Springs.

“You are right between the middle school here and the high school, and there is really nowhere for kids or adults to ride their bikes, but the whole Jackson County, nowhere to ride bikes. It is surprising, because cycling is one of the most popular sports in the country,” said Page.

Page said if they try to get on the road and ride, they have to dodge cars, and that's not safe.

“Riding on the road is dangerous. Here in Jackson County, for example, on this road, there is no shoulder,” said Page.

Supervisor John McKay understands Page and other residents' concerns. He is working to get a new bike path in the community.

“This is a project we have been working on for several years through Gulf Regional Planning acquiring monies to do this. What we are actually doing is building a bicycle lane from the middle school all the way out to the new high school. It would be six to seven foot wide, and it will go along Old Spanish Trail. That money is already appropriated, and the engineering is being done right now,” said McKay.

George Zorn and his engineering team are working on the preliminary sketches for the pathway. He said it will be about two miles long.

“It is still in the design phase, and we are about 25 percent complete,” said Zorn.

This project is part of a bigger vision for the area located just south of Highway 90.

“The long range plan is to have a bicycle walking path all the way from Lake Mars all the way to Belle Fontaine Beach so you can ride your bicycles, you can walk and you can jog,” said McKay.

That sounds good to Page and his daughter who just want to ride their bikes and be safe while doing it.

McKay said the project is estimated at around $600,000. Construction could start as early as this year or the beginning of next year.

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