Council to vote on making Fishbone Alley pedestrian only

The City of Gulfport is actively working toward providing a safer experience for pedestrians visiting Fishbone Alley in downtown Gulfport.

“It was a place you would want to avoid. It was a place you would put your garbage in and that was about it.” Frankie Penn, the owner of Murky Waters, has watched Fishbone Alley evolve in front of his eyes over the past two years. In 2016, the City of Gulfport decided to transform the rundown alley into a centerpiece for culture, creativity, and cuisine.

Jess Waltman works next to Fishbone Alley. He said, “I think it serves everybody. I’ve done everything from Mardi Gras parades to free concerts down here. Anybody that wants to come can come. It’s just great to have something that’s so accessible.”

Fishbone Alley now hosts multiple events, bringing hundreds of people into the area year round. In order to assure those pedestrians safety, the city will present an ordinance to the council on Tuesday. If the ordinance passes, the city will officially prohibit vehicles from entering the area. “I think it is a good idea. We won’t have to worry about vehicles turning in there.”

Although the ordinance will declare Fishbone Alley a pedestrian only area, a sign has been up since its opening in 2016 ordering vehicles not to enter. Chris Vignes with the City of Gulfport Public Affairs said, “There is always something down there that we are looking for people to see and do. So, this will put into effect where its pedestrian only and just put it in place.”

The director of Gulfport Main Street Association tells News 25 removable posts have already been ordered to block vehicles from entering the alley. If the ordinance passes on Tuesday, News 25 is told it is only a matter of time before the bollards go up. “It’s been a great addition to the downtown area. You can’t really have a downtown area unless you have an alley.”