Bridge walkers taking note of possible terrorism

Bridge walkers taking note of possible terrorism

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The public concern about terrorism is rising in the United States following Tuesday's truck attack in Manhattan.

Residents along the coast are no exception.

This week in New York City, a man claiming he was inspired by ISIS drove his rented truck onto a pedestrian pathway, killing eight people.

The Biloxi- Ocean Springs bridge pathway is wide enough for a car. Earlier this year, a woman drove the length of the pathway, striking one person. She was charged with felony DUI.

A would-be terrorist could do the same, according to Biloxi police chief John Miller. "For someone who has decided they're going to do something dastardly like that, that's the perfect place to do it."

Bridge walkers like Susan Muzslay are taking note.

"I actually try and be aware of what's going on around me all the time. What happened made me a little more aware of the walking path, the bicycle path and what happened," Muzsaly explained.

Some don't think that could happen here. That includes Brianna Robins. "We're in Mississippi, this is the hospitality state. Hopefully, people wouldn't do that in the hospitality state but at the same time, I do have to be cautious."

Others, like Leonard Vergunst, aren't going to change their habits. "Personally, you can't live in fear. Random craziness is everywhere. It's just one on those things, wrong place at the wrong time, but yeah, it is scary."

Change has come for some, including walker Sharon Olier. "It's very scary. I actually quit taking my cell phone in the morning on the bridge here so I can hear what's going on around me. I don't listen to music or anything any more on the bridge."

Vehicular barriers were one in place. Some walkers, like Roderick Buford, want them back. "Bring the poles back. Or if not the poles, bring something, do something to keep a vehicle or anything from coming on the pathway"

The Biloxi police chief agrees. "I'd love to see those bollards go back up. That's something that's very difficult to overcome. if you decide you're going to go out and hurt someone today and you're going to use that bridge, you pull up there, those bollards are there, well, you're going to have to change your plans," Chief Miller said.

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, concrete barriers that were up several years ago were removed at the request of the cities. They say in light of what happened in New York, they'll put them back up if the cities request it.

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