City installs new traffic bumpers to promote safety

City of Starkville crews on Tuesday began installing concrete bumpers along Ernest H. Jones Jr. Drive to replace worn out delineators separating the walking lane from the traffic lane (Submitted photo)

Ryan Phillips
Staff Writer

Those living along Ernest H. Jones Jr. Drive near the intersection of West Main Street should soon see new improvements to the walking lane as the city looks to promote safety in the area.

City crews on Tuesday began installing new concrete traffic bumpers along the walking lane as a more permanent replacement for plastic delineators that line the path.

City Engineer Edward Kemp said the road is a primary route for many schoolchildren, who use the walking lane of the road to go to nearby schools.

“This is a primary route for kids, particularly for the Long Street and Carver Drive areas, walking both to the high school and to Armstrong,” he said. “It’s utilized quite a bit. If you look at the way the street grid is laid out, there’s no other real connection from the north to central part of town, with the exception of Reed Road and Raymond Street or downtown, so this is almost a direct route and the shortest route.”

Kemp said the city doesn’t have the available space to build new sidewalks and the delineators have become worn with use, so the city is looking to be creative in utilizing the space in the most efficient way possible.

Work on the project began on Tuesday and depending on various factors, should be finished by the end of the week if not sooner.

Nelson King, a 23-year-old senior civil engineering major at Mississippi State and engineering intern for the city of Starkville, said there will be between 60 and 70 bumpers put out on the stretch of Jones Street beginning at Greensboro Street and going to West Main.

“It’s really just going to add to the safety of this street,” King said. “We originally tried some different bumpers and they didn’t hold up too well and hopefully this will be a more permanent solution.”

Kemp praised the efforts of Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn, who has been active and vocal about safety in his ward.

“It’s a primary vehicular route too, it’s a bus route and we’re trying to balance that,” Kemp said. “It being a primary vehicular and pedestrian route, with our limited space we have had some challenges. But it’s been all (Vaughn). Attempts by the Starkville Daily News to contact Vaughn before press deadline Thursday were unsuccessful.

Kemp then bragged on his intern, King, who also took an active role in the traffic planters on Critz Street.