Natchez Pilot Project Could Create Quite a Rumble

Highway 7 in Oxford, MS showing centerline and edge line rumble strips.

TUPELO– The Natchez Trace Parkway seeks public comments through December 20 on a proposal to install audible pavement markings from milepost 291-331 in Colbert and Lauderdale counties in Alabama, and in Prentiss and Tishomingo Counties in Mississippi. Research suggests audible pavement markings significantly reduce accidents.

Lane departures accounted for 91% of motor vehicle fatalities along the Parkway between 2014-2018 with 39 crashes resulting in 46 deaths. “Lane departure is the dominant traffic safety concern for the Parkway,” stated Central District Law Enforcement Ranger John Hearne. The fatality rate from lane departure crashes along the parkway almost doubles the national average of 52%. The Federal Highway Administration and parkway staff are considering the installation of raised pavement markers or rumble strips along the edges of the parkway. Although the public has suggested constructing a road shoulder or bike lane to improve safety, it is not a feasible alternative for the Parkway due to significant environmental impacts to natural resources, prohibitive costs, and adverse impacts to the protected design intent of the cultural landscape.

Comments can be submitted electronically at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/parkwaysafety

Written comments go to:

Superintendent

Natchez Trace Parkway

2680 Natchez Trace Parkway

Tupelo, MS 38804


If you have any concerns, please be aware that details of the entire comment period could be made public at any time - including addresses and phone numbers. Commenters may request to withhold personal information from public review, however, there is no guarantee.