Business owner calling for OS traffic changes

Business owner calling for OS traffic changes
(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - On any given day, parking and traffic on Government Street can be difficult to manage.

Business owner Matt Stebly is trying to help come up with a solution.

"It's dangerous. The roads just aren't built down here for the amount of traffic that we have," said Stebly. "I travel a lot and I get to see the way some bigger cities have really figured out the whole parking situation."

Stebly is calling on city officials to look into changing the current two way traffic pattern to a one-way pattern from Washington to State Street. He believes doing so would allow the city to implement diagonal parking.

"You could fit plenty of spaces from Washington Avenue to State Street," he said.

Life-long Ocean Springs resident Mayor Shea Dobson is aware of the parking issues downtown, and believes something should be done.

"It's something we're open to, but we have to do a traffic study and make sure that if we do something like that we have to do it smart," Dobson said. "We have to make sure we have good long term planning, and just do what's best instead of just because it sounds like a good idea. You have to plan for this type of thing."

Opening up parking on Government Street is one idea, but Dobson says it's important for people to remember that there are municipal parking lots that are open to the public at any time.

"We have the Fallo-Pleasant parking lot on Government that a lot of people aren't utilizing as much as we would like." said Dobson. "We have this parking lot right right by city hall, too."

For Stebly, it's not just about convenience.

"I don't care if you have to walk an extra block, but right now it's about safety," said Stebly.

He adds it's important to continue to draw people to the city, but if they are getting frustrated about parking they are less likely to come back.

Dobson says until a traffic study is completed, the city can't commit to any changes in the downtown area.

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