In 2010, the Mississippi network created a complete streets fact sheet and distributed it to municipalities and advocates throughout the state. This effort was accompanied by extensive outreach to build support for complete streets street-scale improvements. Since then, the cities of Oxford, Hernando, Columbus, Pascagoula, and Tupelo all passed complete streets ordinances. The Mississippi Transportation Commission, following the lead of these cities, unanimously passed a resolution in April 2011 that requires the Mississippi DOT create a policy to “consider the development of multipurpose trails and/or wide-paved shoulders during the planning phases of all new highways and the re-construction of existing highways in or near communities with areas of high demand for recreational facilities.”
This resolution will help move Mississippi toward a more integrated biking and walking network and, in turn, allow more children to walk and bike to school and in their daily lives. Dick Hall, Central Mississippi Transportation Commission chairman and Mississippi network partner, stated in a press release, “…our staff will now be required to evaluate the possibility of incorporating construction of either a multi-purpose trail or dedicated pathway adjacent to new road construction or reconstruction of existing highways. This is a big step for cyclists, runners, and walkers in Mississippi. Currently our state is not as well equipped as some others in catering to the needs of pedestrian and cycling transportation—with this resolution, future generations of Mississippians will benefit from the policy we put in place, and I’m proud to take part in establishing this initiative.”
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