Businesses urge MDOT to install light at busy Gulfport intersection

Businesses urge MDOT to install light at busy Gulfport intersection

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Neighbors and businesses call it a dangerous intersection in Gulfport that they believe will only get worse. Gulfport city leaders reported 12 accidents at the intersection of East Taylor and Lorraine Roads since the start of the year. This week, two more accidents at the same location have people asking: Why isn't anything being done to make it safer?

"I think it's dangerous.There's no light, and it's hard to get out," said one driver.

"It's just a really bad accident waiting to happen every single day," said another driver. "It's just treacherous. It's awful."

Drivers say it's risky trying to pull out of the intersection at East Taylor Road and Lorraine Roads. Many business managers in the area agree.

"We've seen several accidents, some of them very bad. We have a lot of traffic," said Tammy Wages.

Wages is the manager of "Dressed in Blue," located at the new Bridgewater strip mall on Lorraine.

"It's dangerous getting in and out of here for myself and for all of our customers," said Wages.

Next door, the manager of "The Pecan House" has seen traffic jams caused by accidents at the intersection.

"Every morning, I'm real nervous, especially at night leaving around 5:00, 5:30. It's real busy," said Chelsey Shoemake.

They expect the intersection to get even busier, with more businesses going up in the area. They believe a traffic signal would help cut the number of accidents.

"I just think it will calm down a lot of the chaos trying to get across right there, make people feel more comfortable," said Shoemake.

Gulfport leaders have asked MDOT to install a traffic light at the intersection. But MDOT District Engineer Kelly Castleberry said based on a recent study that looked at certain criteria like traffic volume, accident history, and turn movements, the intersection does not need a light.

He told WLOX News: "Motorists traveling Taylor Road do have access to a traffic signal currently located at Brentwood. MDOT did discuss movement of the Brentwood signal to Taylor Road with the city of Gulfport."

City leaders have said both locations need a light. Several businesses hope MDOT will reconsider and give the green light to plans to put a signal at Taylor.

"Just keep asking and hope and pray there's no more accidents or injuries," said Wages.

MDOT engineers said they may conduct another study of the intersection in about a year. Meanwhile, the city's spokesman said leaders will continue to evaluate the situation to make sure that any decision made will be in the best interest of everyone involved.

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