Jackson County

Starbucks may make major corner even more popular

KAREN NELSON 
 The gray van turning off of Ocean Springs Road, into the Rouses parking lot, is taking the first entrance off U.S. 90. The safer route that follows traffic guidelines is the second entrance, the one farther from the highway.
KAREN NELSON The gray van turning off of Ocean Springs Road, into the Rouses parking lot, is taking the first entrance off U.S. 90. The safer route that follows traffic guidelines is the second entrance, the one farther from the highway.

OCEAN SPRINGS -- A busy intersection in the city is about to get busier when the new Starbucks goes up at Ocean Springs Road and U.S. 90.

And there are some quirks about the intersection that make it dangerous to navigate sometimes.

The city and state are working on them.

The Rouses parking lot, where Starbucks will go, already is attracting traffic, as are drive-through eateries such as Taco Bell, Checker's, Raising Cane's and Little Caesars Pizza, and others such as Subway, El Saltillo and China Wok.

One traffic problem involves a U-turn on U.S. 90 and the other involves motorists taking a shortcut into the Rouses parking lot out of habit.

Here are two safety tips on navigating the popular intersection.

Problem: Traffic turning right (east) onto U.S. 90 from Ocean Springs Road needs to watch out. There is a double turn lane coming off U.S. 90 south onto Ocean Springs Road. A driver in one of those turn lanes may make a U-turn and head back to the Rouses parking lot entrances off U.S. 90 instead of going south and entering it from Ocean Springs Road.

As Alderman Jerry Dalgo explains, a lot of people on U.S. 90 are backtracking to the stores they've seen in passing. He said you don't think of eating until you see the row of fast-food stores, and the quickest way back is to U-turn. It's an easy collision with traffic from Ocean Springs Road. He said now that he's aware of the problem he sees near-collisions all the time.

Solution: It's coming in the form of a sign from MDOT warning the U-turn traffic to yield.

Problem: Drivers coming off U.S. 90 onto Ocean Springs Road, headed into the Rouses parking lot, like to take the first entrance. It's the quickest. It's a route even top city officials admit they've used.

But there is no turn bay and the double-yellow stripe on Ocean Springs Road means "don't turn." Worse, it's very close to the highway and stopping to turn can back up traffic.

Solution: Take the second (south) entrance into the parking lot off U.S. 90. It's safer.

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