Are Our Roads Safe Enough for Bicyclists?

In the wake of Tuesday’s bicycle accident, pedestrian safety is more important than ever. The Mississippi Gulf Coast has 26 miles of beautiful coastline and many tourist attractions, and because of this, the Gulf Coast attracts many who like to walk, run, or bike, but just how safe is it for pedestrians on Highway 90?

Sean Perry, a firearms safety instructor, has only been here three weeks and already noticed some bad habits from drivers. Perry says, "They’re not aware of people trying to cross the roads, pedestrians on the sidewalk and the side. They’re pretty much in their own world. Forty five is a pretty fast speed limit for this road, but most people don’t follow it."

After Tuesday’s tragic accident that claimed the life of 63 year old Biloxi resident, Marie Brandenberg, many cyclists and joggers News 25 spoke to will start to be more vigilant about their safety. Some people told News 25 they would use bike paths or lanes, but the ones available are not properly maintained. Duane Misco, a cyclist, says, "We don’t really have safe places to ride. The bike lanes on 605 and 609 are full of trash. They don’t sweep them that often."

The cyclist was killed Tuesday as she tried to cross Highway 90 at Beauvoir, a road so dangerous that many joggers and cyclists will go out of their way to avoid it. Casey Heustess, a Keesler Air Force Base employee, says, "I just don’t feel it’s safe enough. The traffic, you see them running red lights all the time. That’s why I do what I do, put my bike in the back of my truck, come on over on this side of the road. I don’t even like to run across the road. I’m a runner as well."

With so many people on the Coast living an active lifestyle, drivers need to be aware of joggers and cyclists, especially on busy Highway 90. Perry also says, "Speeding five miles an hour isn’t going to get you there any faster with the stop lights, so do the speed limit, slow down, and watch out for other people."

Heustess closes, "Stop at red lights obviously, and slow down at yellow lights and anywhere there is a crosswalk, or anywhere where people are out, especially during the weekend. Just slow down."

Categories: Local News, News

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