Highway 90 Traffic Study Planned - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/01/05

Highway 90 Traffic Study Planned

Most everyone who drives Highway 90 has complained about the increasing traffic congestion. That's why Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway is asking the city council to support a traffic study, focused on one of the busiest stretches between Rodenburg Avenue and Debuys Road.

High rise condos will further boost an already increasing traffic count on the coast's favorite highway.

"People want to be on Highway 90. That's where everything is. They want to see the beach. They want to look at the water. It's a scenic drive, so that's where they're going to go. That's where they're going to stay," Mayor A.J. Holloway said.

The traffic study headed by Gulf Regional Planning will look at options for avoiding traffic gridlock on the popular highway.

Among the ideas are better synchronized traffic lights and improving some intersections, things like adding a turn lane where needed. More and better service roads are also a possibility.

"We have some right of way or some service drives already available and those would just need to be improved and then some more maybe built," the mayor said.

David Taylor with Gulf Regional Planning told WLOX News public transit must play a bigger role in helping meet future transportation needs. The big challenge is convincing people to give up their cars and ride the bus.

Mayor Holloway says light rail service might be an even better long term alternative. Existing CSX right of way could accommodate some form of local passenger rail service.

"And go from city to city and business to business and so forth," said Holloway.

The study will look at many alternatives to achieve a simple, yet challenging goal: keep traffic congestion on Highway 90 at manageable levels.

"Who would have thought 15 years ago what would be happening today?" the mayor said.

The proposed traffic study will cost $150,000. The city's share is $30,000. Gulf Regional Planning and MDOT will pay the remainder.

by Steve Phillips

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