City of Hattiesburg to shorten 15 mph school zone on West 4th at USM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg is shortening the 15 miles per hour speed zone on West Fourth Street in front of the Southern Miss Campus and the Century Park student dormitories.

The current school zone stretches from the Frontage Road near Highway 49 to just past Reed Green Coliseum and Pete Taylor Park.

The plan is to shorten the zone, having it still start at the Frontage Road and stop at the ends of the new parking garage and Century Park at Golden Eagle Drive.

"I think the council and mayor still feel this is a very critical are because we want our students to be safe and the people who cross the street to be safe, "said Kim Bradley, Hattiesburg City Council President. "I think we all agree it's not much of an imposition for traffic moving through that 4th Street area. It only takes you a minute or so longer."

It's expected the change will take effect after the end of the current semester.

Also the City Council is exploring the idea of establishing a new ordinance that would require children under the age of 17 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. The city is applying for a safe city grant and one of the stipulations is for the city to have a child helmet ordinance.

A vote on the new ordinance was tabled at Tuesday nights meeting.

"We want to encourage our children to wear helmets to protect their heads in accidents," said Bradley.

Copyright 2011 WDAM.  All rights reserved.