Analysis: North Hills a Problem

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Meridian's new Comprehensive Report has analyzed the city's traffic problems and North Hills Street may be number one.

The year 2000 Daily Traffic Count conducted by the Mississippi Department of Transportation showed 19,000 cars a day travel that route. But the comprehensive plan forecasts that number to rise to nearly 26,000 per day in 2005 and leap up to 35,000 in 2010.

Obviously, North Hills Street as it is today can't handle the flow. Residents living on the street have trouble getting out of their own driveways in early morning and late afternoon.

City engineer Monty Jackson said the administration has a plan to address the congestion problem.

"Right now, we're negotiating a contract with a consulting engineer to help us design improvements to North Hills Street. We've got a project designated between 10th Avenue and Highway 39 and a project that we hope to do this next year," Jackson said.

Jackson concedes that there is not a street in Meridian with a traffic problem comparable to North Hills.

"I know there's people that have problems in other streets, but it seems like that right now North Hills Street is the demanding place that needs some attention," said Jackson. "We've got other streets that are growing to the point that we know there's going to be some needs in the future. 20th Street might be one of them. But right now North Hills Street, I think, is the number one road in the city that needs to be some improvements done to."

As far as the residents of the North Meridian area are concerned, the work can't be done quickly enough.