City to vote on lowering the speed limit in front of old Taconi building

City to vote on lowering the speed limit in front of old Taconi building

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The City of Ocean Springs will vote Tuesday on lowering the speed limit on Magnolia Avenue in front of the old Taconi Elementary School building, which now houses the Head Start preschool program. Several residents are hoping for this change due to the high levels of traffic and drivers parking on the street.

Reed Webb is one of the residents looking forward to slower drivers. He’s lived across the street from Head Start for two years.

“It’s very congested. The street’s very narrow," he said.

Recently, Webb said he’s spotted Jeffrey Hayden directing traffic.

“Got that gentlemen here that’s just started doing this, but I fear for him at times," Webb said.

WLOX introduced you to Hayden earlier this month. He’s a fed up resident, hoping to force change on Magnolia Avenue.

“I think the slower the better when there’s kids," said resident Alex Dodson. His kids went to the after-school program at the YMCA years ago. Alex said the limited parking is a safety issue.

To fix that congestion, Ward 2 Alderman Rickey Authement is asking the Board of Aldermen to vote “yes” on lowering the speed limit from 25 mph to 15 mph on Magnolia in front of the Taconi building. If approved, it takes 30 days to go into effect.

In any public school zone, the required speed limit is 15 miles per hour. It’s 25 on Magnolia because this building hasn’t been used as a public school since 2012. The YMCA and 3D School also rent the space.

“The city’s trying to do our part on what we can do to get people to conform to traffic and make it safe for the kids," Authement said.

October traffic study along Magnolia Avenue in front of the old Taconi building, which now houses the Head Start program, revealed more speeders around 3 p.m. than any other time of the day.
October traffic study along Magnolia Avenue in front of the old Taconi building, which now houses the Head Start program, revealed more speeders around 3 p.m. than any other time of the day. (Source: Photo City of Ocean Springs)

Several neighbor complaints led Authement to order a traffic study back in October. Traffic monitors were placed along Magnolia. Authement said the study showed a peak in speeders around 3 p.m.

Webb said the peak in speeding won’t change with just new signs on the street.

“If it’s not enforced it won’t do any good," he said.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m.

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