HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg-Petal-Forrest-Lamar Metropolitan Planning Organization met today to discuss various plans to improve transportation in the local area. The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) works with the Mayors of Petal and Hattiesburg, along with Board Supervisors from Forrest and Lamar County.
“The MPO overall is a transportation planning board,” Christine Brown, MPO division manager said. “The whole purpose is to get Hattiesburg, Petal, Forest and Lamar together so they can develop transportation through the entire area that is comprehensive, cohesive, and connected. The MPO portion actually gives an opportunity for government entities to work together to develop transportation in our area.”
The Board discussed a bicycle pedestrian pathway plan as well as alternative routes throughout Hattiesburg, Forrest and Lamar County which falls under their Long Range Transportation Plan. The proposed routes would help the flow of traffic, especially in the event of a major emergency.
“The purpose of the feasibility study is to provide an alternative connector between east and west north and south,” Brown said. “During 2005 when Katrina came through, there was gridlock in the city of Hattiesburg and Forrest and Lamar counties, therefore it was determined that we need to try to figure out how to get people through our city to avoid gridlock in case of additional emergencies.“
The MPO encourages the public to attend to offer their ideas and input regarding community transportation planning. The next meeting will be held January 28 at 10 a.m. at the Hattiesburg Train Depot.
Meetings for the Long Range Transportation Plan will be held February 18th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Breland Community Center and February 19th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Train Depot.
Interactive discussion can be found online at http://mississippitransportationplan.mindmixer.com/