New pedestrian stoplight comes to Government Street

New pedestrian stoplight comes to Government Street
(Photo Source: WLOX News)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A new traffic light in Ocean Springs has some motorists scratching their heads when it comes to its location.

But it turns out, the new signal isn't to control an intersection. Instead, the goal of the Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon is to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe.

"The speeds pretty excessive through here at times, a lot of breaks squealing, a lot of people slamming on breaks trying to avoid hitting people trying to get out of those side streets down there," said Dana Ross.

Ross' Garden Shop sits on a busy stretch of Government Street in Ocean Springs, where construction is wrapping up on what looks like an oddly placed stop light.

Part of the $1.2 million Government Street Improvement Project, the light was placed just before Tara Lane due to an MDOT mandate having to do with the layout of the sidewalks.

"It stops right past that signal and continues on on the other side of the street so it forces pedestrians to cross the street," Ross said.

Pedestrians who want to cross simply walk up and press a button located on a pole at the crossing. Then they wait for the light to turn from yellow to red, once the light changes, they're safe to cross the street.

Although skeptical, Ross hopes the new light will be effective.

"That's a lot of money to put into something for it not to be worth it. I'd like to see them make it a regular traffic signal and have some traffic control," Ross said.

For now, the city is putting the last touches on the crosswalk so that it can get up and running.

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