Downtown Biloxi officially picked up 200 new public parking spaces and two miles of bike lanes when Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich cut a ribbon this morning.
The city's Public Works Department, after considering years of studies, recommendations and the arrival of MGM Park, last week began re-striping Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Reynoir Street to add on-street parking and a bicyclist lane, similar to a realignment that occurred on Howard Avenue weeks ago.
"This is providing a solution to a challenge, and using ingenuity and in-house resources to do it," said Gillich, who applauded the efforts of the city's Public Works Department staff and laborers. "This the kind of common-sense and innovative solutions that people expect of us, and we're going to be seeing more and more of this."
Under the plan, the four travel lanes of MLK and Reynoir have been reduced to two 11-foot-wide traffic lanes, with on-street parking now offered in the outer eight-foot lanes and a five-foot bike lane between the travel lanes and parking spaces. The same concept was introduced on Howard Avenue weeks ago, and a bike lane is also in the works for the newly paved Veterans Avenue in west Biloxi.
"It's something that we had the right of way to be able to do, so we did it," said Dan Gaillet, the city's Public Works Director. Gaillet, who is also a traffic engineer, was responsible for creating the state's first federally funded bike path years ago for the City of Ridgeland, including the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Said Gaillet: "With the work on MLK, Reynoir and Veterans we have added about 3¾ miles of bike lanes in Biloxi, and we will continue to take advantage of other opportunities to make Biloxi a safer, cyclist-friendly city."
See photos from the ribbon-cutting ceremony
FoFo on the air with J.T.
Mayor FoFo Gilich was a guest on "The J.T. Show" on the SuperTalk statewide radio network this morning, as the show broadcast from MGM Park.
Among the topics in the nine-minute conversation: the success of the Biloxi Shuckers and MGM Park; the origin of the nickname "FoFo"; what it's like to be mayor; the Slavonian Lodge, the Hurricane Katrina recovery, and "that special place called Biloxi."
You can hear the show online -- the mayor comes on seven minutes into the 10 a.m. hour -- by clicking here.
Released by Vincent Creel, Public Affairs Manager, City of Biloxi