Private citizens group wants to see Harrison County as a walkable community

Private citizens group wants to see Harrison County as a walkable community

HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - If you walk or ride your bike down Highway 90 in parts of Harrison County, you may notice that a smooth trip is often difficult. A private group of concerned citizens is now working with county officials to straighten things out.

Washed out and buckled sidewalks are what visitors and residents alike have to work with if they want to exercise on more than 20 miles of Harrison County’s waterfront. The Harrison County Active Living Initiative (HCALI) completed a survey just last year asking locals and tourists what were their main concerns with using the sidewalks along Highway 90. The two top answers... safety and disrepair of concrete. Initiative committee member Dave Dennis said the reasons for the badly needed repairs are many.

“Safety, wellness and giving millenials, giving people a reason to want to be here. Giving them a reason if they have children, if they have a consideration of wanting to move here and relocating here, particularly companies and other families, what would draw them here for quality of life issues? This is one of them,” said Dennis.

In many areas, Dennis said, the walkways are dangerous, in some cases impossible to use and actually slope toward the highway. Initiative Chair Cynthia Minton-Walker has also engaged with a county mayor.

“He was commenting that younger, young family type citizen is just not showing up and moving in. At that point, he began to understand that there’s some things that need to be done,” Walker said.

The first thing that needs to be done is a study throughout the county, Walker said, that starts with a meeting with the Harrison County Board of Supervisors.

“We’ve been meeting with the board of supervisors recently, actually over the last couple of years and they are now helping us fund a study that will be county wide participation on what is it that we need, not just on Highway 90, but across the county to make it a walkable community,” she said.

Monday morning that group will meet with the Harrison County Board of Supervisors to discuss plans to improve the look and feel of the path that currently exits, in addition to the wellness aspects of the waterfront traversed by so many in the county.

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