STARKVILLE, Miss (WCBI) – You might expect to run into heavy traffic in large cities like Atlanta or Los Angeles. A busy intersection in Starkville has traffic backed up for miles and local residents aren’t happy about it.
“Anytime that I’m trying to get anywhere in town or on campus, it reduces the time for me to get there just because of the traffic being so bad,” says Kherria Brown, who lives at The Pointe at MSU off Blackjack Road.
Blackjack Road was originally built as a farm-to-market road in the 1800′s but now there are thousands of drivers using it on a daily basis and traffic is becoming a nightmare.
“The road conditions are a little rough especially towards the edges. So there’s a lot of pockets, a lot of holes. Anytime we’re trying to get anywhere, not only is it hard because of the traffic but it can also be unsafe.” says Brown.
The newly built Apartment complex The Pointe at MSU added about 1400 people to the area. The Pointe Executive Director Lynn Flowers Brown says the traffic is inconvenient and potentially dangerous.
“It is my hope the county does something rather quickly with regard to not only the traffic but also the condition of Blackjack Road. I travel the road quite frequently and witness homeowners who are unable to pull out of their driveways due to the heavy traffic,” says Flowers Brown.
The round-about island between Oktoc and Blackjack Roads was designed to help regulate the flow of traffic. But some say the round-about is a big part of the problem.
“At those peak hours, everybody’s trying to go the same direction through the round-about. So it’s kind of pointless with the yielding because nobody can get anywhere when everyone’s going the same direction. This light is so close to the roundabout that it’s not really doing a good job of regulating anything,” says MSU graduate student Hallie Smith .
Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer says county leaders will have to figure out how to fund a project to ease the driving crunch. Currently, they’re working with county engineers to come up with a solution.
“We’re looking at the entire road. We’re looking at the point of beginning, really all the way to the point of ending where it terminates down there close to Hickory Grove Road as we look at trying to put together a plan or proposal to try to address and alleviate some of these concerns,” says Orlando Trainer, President of the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors.
But for now, motorists will have to do what they can to avoid the congestion.
Trainer says the traffic issue is simply the result of expansion and growth in this area. With another apartment complex being built just down the road, it looks like the traffic jams will not be going away anytime soon.