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Bus fender-bender causes change

After a minor wreck involving an Oxford-University Transit bus and an illegally parked car on the University of Mississippi campus, university officials have blocked off vehicle traffic from the loop around the Kennon Observatory building.

On Wednesday, a bus was trying to get out of the loop when it clipped the back of a parked pickup. No one was injured and the parked vehicle was empty; however, it did give cause for university and transit officials to discuss ways to prevent it from happening again.

The loop has become a popular area for students to get dropped off. Some have been parking, which is not allowed.

Mike Harris, head of parking and transportation for Ole Miss, said the university has closed off the loop to bus traffic only.

“We have too many buses trying to get in and out of there,” he said Thursday.

A Cobra security guard will stand at the loop entrance to block any vehicles from entering until the university installs electric gates. Bus drivers will have remote controls that will open the gate when they arrive to pick up students.

“The gates have been ordered,” Harris said.

Harris expects some backlash from the public since the area had become a major drop-off area for students.

“We know we’ll get some backlash from people who can’t drop off and pick up there,” he said. ‘But it’s the right thing to do — the safe thing to do.”