Proposed walking trail provides protected workout environment
Published 2:46 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014
If you’re one of the many people living in Picayune who enjoys a leisurely walk, or perhaps, a hearty jog in their free time, then you’ll understand the importance of the city’s proposed plan for the old Crosby Memorial Hospital site — which will include a walking trail, estimated a half mile in length.
For as long as its citizens can remember, many of the city’s walking paths have proven hazardous, causing those who employ their use to feel unsafe.
Although, for years the trail located along the median of Goodyear Boulevard has been a popular choice among walking enthusiasts, City Manager, Jim Luke acknowledges that the path places pedestrians very close to the flow of traffic.
It doesn’t help that the trail is poorly lit at night and is also littered with parking spaces, which force those using the path to dodge parked vehicles. This means, on nights of large city events, it is nearly impossible for sprinters to keep a steady pace.
According to Luke, city officials are keeping these vulnerabilities in mind as they make plans to rejuvenate the five-acre lot located in the heart of Picayune.
Grants Manager, Christy Goss clarifies that the area is intended to be a park, not a sports complex. Some citizens expressed concerns at the public hearing, specifically requesting “No play equipment or sports activities.” The idea is to reserve the site as a perpetual, family-friendly green space where citizens can go to relax and know they are safe doing so.
“There are other options available for those seeking playgrounds or sports related activities; we have Friendship Park, JP Johnson Park, and several others”, continues Goss.
The park will be enclosed by a wrought iron fence, which will regulate ingress and egress using two or three gates.
Goss further explains how this means adults who wish to walk the trail, and let their kids play in the open grass areas, can maintain a clear line of sight and take solace in the fact that the children won’t easily be able to leave the park.
According to previous stories in the Item, the city plans to resolve lighting issues in the area by installing ornate street lamps within the coming weeks.
People in the community are starting to get excited about the plans for the green space. Many employees of businesses along Goodyear Boulevard can already be seen utilizing benches at the site on their lunch breaks.
Julie McNeill, who works for the Pearl River County Tax Collector’s Office, just one block over from the lot, says, “This park is a great idea. Picayune has always needed something like this.”
While the city hasn’t chosen a name yet, “Crosby” is a strong contender when considering a good title that keeps in theme with the rich history in the area.
Goss says she expects work at the park will have made plenty of headway by the end of the year. “Once it gets started, this is something we want to keep growing.”
Any community clubs or private individuals who are interested in helping with the park efforts should contact City Hall for more information.