Coast Man On Crusade For More Bicycle Lanes In Harrison County

The bicyclist killed in a hit and run accident last week will be buried on Wednesday. Police say Maurice Whitlock died after a car hit him on Pass Road.

Raymond Cofield owns bicycle shops in Gulfport and Long Beach. He says after doing a lot of repair work for people who have been run off the road by cars, he came to the conclusion that Harrison County needs more bike lanes.

"The coast has grown so much that the bicycles have been forced into the back roads to where that there's really no place to ride anymore," said Cofield. "There's traffic everywhere."

A few years ago Cofield began a crusade to get more bike lanes installed, he even started a petition drive. He's collected one thousand signatures and contacted public officials, trying to make them aware of his safety concerns for kids and the local population.

There are some bike lanes on the coast. The Mississippi Department of Transportation built a bike lane on Cowan Lorraine Road a few years ago. Cofield says people need access to bike lanes in other high traffic areas as well.

"They have as much legal right to be on Pass Road as the vehicles do, even though myself personally, I would seek an alternate route," said Cofield.

According to Gulfport police reports accidents between bicycles and cars aren't that common.

"On a day to day basis it's something that is truly not frequent," said Joe Langenbacker of the Gulfport Police department.

Cofield says many of his customers travel out of town to areas where they feel they can bike ride safely.