MDOT nixes requests for signals
By Dwayne Bremer
Mar 5, 2013, 18:09
The Mississippi Department of Transportation has declined a request from the Hancock County Board of Supervisors to install new traffic lights at the intersections of Highway 90 and Lakeshore and Lower Bay Roads.
Hancock County Road Manager Bill Johnson informed the board Monday that although MDOT will not be installing traffic lights, it did offer suggestions to improve safety at both intersections.
The two intersections are major thoroughfares for residents and tourists who are traveling to either residential areas, the beach or the Silver Slipper Casino.
According to an email from MDOT Engineer Kelly Castleberry, a traffic analysis was conducted on the area in 2012.
The study found that during a four-year period from 2007 to 2011, there were 38 accidents at Lower Bay Road and 27 accidents at Lakeshore Road.
A majority of the accidents were rear-end crashes and traffic signals usually increase the number of rear-end crashes, Castleberry said.
MDOT suggested the county increase the length of the turning lanes on both intersections on the highway, as well as install new traffic signs warning drivers traveling towards the highway that a stop is upcoming.
Board of Supervisors President Lisa Cowand said the county is not necessarily looking to install traffic lights, but is interested in caution lights or signs.
"We are just looking to try to improve safety," Cowand said Tuesday. "Those two intersections have been hot spots in recent years. We are going to continue to work with MDOT to try to improve those areas."
Cowand said the suggested improvements to the two intersections may cost the county about $30,000.
In addition, she said, the board has requested the sheriff's office and highway patrol continue to monitor the area.
"We are still going to work through MDOT to see if we can get this done," she said. "Safety is our top priority."