Diamondhead mayor wants sidewalk to be multi-purpose

Diamondhead mayor wants sidewalk to be multi-purpose

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - Diamondhead has been awarded a Mississippi Department of Transportation grant to make it safer to get to the bus stop.

The plan calls for a sidewalk specifically with school children in mind, but some want it to be much more. It's a small stretch of land, but the $300,000 Safe Routes to School program could have a big impact.

"It's going to provide more connectivity for the community," said Mayor Tommy Schafer. "And not only is it a safe route to school, it could be a bicycle path. And the big question is can it be used for golf carts and low-speed vehicles."

The route on Golf Club Drive begins at Molokai condominiums and goes to the first entrance to the Diamondhead Country Club. It will take frontage property from about 10 to 15 homes along the stretch, which is less than a mile.

"It's been overwhelmingly well received," Schafer said. "Culverts, mailboxes landscaping. That's an issue we're going to have to address."

Officials are anticipating some push back on the proposal, but at least one resident who would be affected by the plan likes the idea.

When Mariano Roman moved to the area about four years ago, he and his wife wondered why there was no sidewalk.

"And now I guess the city decided to get wise and go ahead and build a sidewalk," Roman said. "And we don't mind, we're looking forward to it...I'm willing to give some of my land, whatever it takes to have a sidewalk for the kids can walk, pedestrians can walk to have their morning exercise."

Though the plan is in the conception stage with no renderings available, Schafer is clear about how he wants to see it progress.

"We want to make sure the largest part of the community is accommodated; from children all the way to our senior citizens," Schafer said. "We are a bedroom community, a wonderful community, and this is one more step to connecting the whole thing together."

In the next few weeks, a survey will be done. Any obstacles that are in the way of construction will addressed, and residents affected will be notified.

Schafer is hoping it will launch a phase II that will take the sidewalk all the way to the back of the city.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.