Biloxi neighborhoods at odds over public road access

Biloxi neighborhoods at odds over public road access
Residents of Hengen Place want to close Terrace Court to decrease traffic. But that would cut off access to Brodie Road for residents of neighboring Popp's Ferry Landing.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The speed bumps that serve as the border between Popp's Ferry Landing and Hengen Place may soon be replaced by a gate.

However, Lynda Fairley has been using Terrace Court for 17 years and wants to keep it open to get to Brodie Road.

"My granddaughter goes to Biloxi High and it takes me 4 minutes to get her from my house to school every morning using this back access," she said.

The only other access is on Popp's Ferry Road. "It's pretty congested in the morning," Fairley said. "So, we would probably maybe double or triple the time it would take me to get her there in the morning."

Those in Hengen Place claim access is causing a safety issue. They want to close Terrace Court from Lucius Street to Rachel Drive.

"We've even had mailboxes knocked over, cars running up on the empty lots," said Hengen Place resident Rocky Ransonet. "Something needs to be done just for the safety of the community."

Ruth Manning is the first resident of Hengen Place. She gets emotional just thinking about what could happen with traffic coming through.

"I can sit on my sofa in the morning watch the number of cars that are just tearing down the street," she said. "There's too many little children in this neighborhood, and I would hate for anything to happen to them."

The argument to close will be a hard one to make. Fire officials said it will be a violation of the city ordinance. Any development with more than 30 dwelling units in a single residential neighborhood has to have two points of access.

With just one, there's a major problem, said Biloxi Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Mark Dronet.

"If that road gets blocked whether for a traffic accident or whether it be a busted water main or whatever could happen -  and there's no other access and there is a medical emergency - we have no access to that neighborhood, which puts people at danger," he said.

Both sides will meet to discuss the proposal at the Biloxi planning commission at 2 p.m. on April 19.

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