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With a host of major events today and Saturday, officials are urging residents to allot extra time to get where theyâre going due to an expected influx of vehicular traffic and the likelihood of numerous pedestrians.
The Viva StarkVegas Downtown Block Party is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. today on Main Street, and a host of activities are scheduled on the Mississippi State campus most of the day Saturday leading up to Saturdayâs season opening football game between the Bulldogs and the University of Memphis Tigers.
Heavy pedestrian traffic is likely downtown during tonightâs block party and at several restaurants and bars along University Drive today and during and following Saturdayâs MSU football game, said Starkville Police Department Chief David Lindley.
âSome of the crowds we are accustomed to seeing on Main Street are becoming more frequently present on University Drive, particularly around Maxwell Street,â Lindley said.
âPeople need to be careful when theyâre driving downtown and on University Drive to watch for pedestrians.â
Lindley said efforts are under way to improve lighting and a second crosswalk on University Drive near Maxwell Street to enhance the safety of the area.
Another area likely to see heavy pedestrian traffic on Saturday will be Russell Street around the Highway 12 intersection where the Comfort Suites Hotel is located directly across from the MSU campus.
âThe Russell and Highway 12 intersection is becoming an increasing concern for pedestrian safety due to the number of people who park on Russell Street and walk to the stadium on home football game weekends,â Lindley said. âWe will be monitoring the traffic in that area before and after Saturdayâs game.â
Bulldog fans heading to the MSU campus for Saturdayâs game need to be aware of a few changes that could affect traffic.
Three hours before kickoff, the f
following campus streets close and remain close until at least an hour after the game concludes:
â˘Â Creelman Street between Tracy Drive and Stone Boulevard.
â˘ Stone Boulevard from Extension Drive to Bully Boulevard.
â˘ Barr Avenue from Collegeview Street to George Perry Street.
In addition to the Block Party and MSU football game, this weekend is also an extended one due to Mondayâs Labor Day holiday. With national and state statistics showing that the Labor Day weekend has one of the highest vehicular fatality rates of the year, local law enforcement officers will be out in force.
âWeâll be calling out a few extra deputies,â said George Carrithers, chief deputy for the Oktibbeha County Sheriffâs Department.
âWeâve got a busy, busy weekend across the community. We want everyone to have fun, but be careful.â
Officers and sheriffâs deputies will be cracking down on alcohol-related offenses during the weekend, including drunk driving and underage drinking.
The extended weekend marks the final three days of the current âOver the Limit, Under Arrestâ campaign coordinated through the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety. Seat belt enforcement will also be a focus, Carrithers said.