Kiln hot over traffic

KILN - Barbara Kaiser lives about 6 miles north of the Kiln Library, where a transportation planning meeting was held Tuesday night.

She'd like to pull a Rip Van Winkle and snooze for a few years until the area's transportation problems get cleaned up.

"I see old roads that have been good for a long time, since I moved here, but now the population growth is overburdening them," Kaiser said. "The one traffic light we have in Kiln is definitely overburdened."

The Hancock County meeting for discussion of the Gulf Coast Area Transportation Study is the second of three this week. Tonight's finale will be in Gautier.

Kaiser could single-handedly talk about many facets of the picture in Hancock County. The meeting, which features stations with maps, displays, surveys and comment cards, let people walk between them after the introductory welcome.

A question-and-answer session erupted at the start of the meeting, which had 30 people attending. The questions mainly focused on the road that runs in front of the library and through Kiln's single traffic light. An MDOT representative took some venting from folks frustrated with the backed-up traffic on Mississippi 603, which is also the southern part of Mississippi 43 that goes to Picayune and connects Interstate 10 to I-59.

He said he'd go back to Jackson and relay their frustrations, saying that fixes like better traffic signals or turn lanes could help traffic flow better.

Kaiser, 55, has lived in the area for 20 years and spends much of her time in the community. She expressed interest in a Diamondhead-to-Bay St. Louis connector and wants an easier way to get to Gulfport.

Bicycle-pedestrian paths are part of the planning, as well. Until about 10 years ago, she liked to ride her bike to get around locally. An accident forced her to stop temporarily.

"Then I didn't have anywhere safe to bike after my accident," she said.


If you go

Tonight is the final meeting to discuss the Gulf Coast Area Transportation Study.

When: Doors open at 5:30 p.m., meeting starts at 6.

Where: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Student Center, 2300 U.S. 90, Gautier.