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Frontage roads: Going one-way?

By Staff
TRAFFIC PATTERNS On this section of North Frontage Road, a two-way stretch meets a one-way stretch. Mississippi Department of Transportation officials say the confusion could be eliminated by making both frontage roads one-way from one end to the other. Photo by Carisi McCain / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
June 2, 2002
Getting to your favorite store on North and South Frontage Roads can be a bit of a problem especially if you're from out of town.
Jean Ray of nearby Gilbertown, Ala., comes to Meridian about twice a month with her husband, Guy, to shop at places like the new Wal-Mart Supercenter and Bonita Lakes Mall.
And, she said, just getting to the parking lot can be an adventure.
That confusion, coupled with the expected growth of Meridian, has caused officials with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to begin thinking about changing the roads to all one-way streets.
Similar change in Jackson
Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said a similar change was made in Jackson more than 20 years ago, and it has helped move the traffic more efficiently.
The frontage roads that run parallel to Interstate 20/59 in Meridian had been two-way until last year. That's when MDOT officials changed South Frontage Road in front the new Wal-Mart Supercenter and Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse to carry eastbound traffic only.
North Frontage Road was changed to carry traffic only west in front of such businesses as Western Sizzlin' Steak House and New South Ford-Nissan.
What's in store for Meridian?
Hall said MDOT officials have been "seriously talking" about changing the streets to all one-way.
Local reaction
Kenny Granger, general manager of Western Sizzlin' on North Frontage Road, said the one-way change in front of his restaurant has inconvenienced customers.
Craig Hitt, president of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, said traffic on the frontage roads has been confusing since the new Wal-Mart and Lowe's opened.
Accepting the change
Hall said the change would take some getting used to, but would be beneficial.