Pathways projects move ahead

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Recreational trails at FNC Park for pedestrians and off-road cyclists could finally be a reality this summer, followed closely by another set of bike lanes around Oxford and sidewalk extensions to get pedestrians to the city’s easternmost schools.
“The FNC Park walking and BMX trails are being advertised,” Mike Mossing, chairman of Oxford’s Pathways Commission, told other commissioners at the group’s monthly meeting on Monday. “Bids should be open on April 5.”
Mossing added that Phase 2 of the Pathways plan is in the hands of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. That plan was aborted last year when bids came in well over the $2.5 million available.
“Phase 2 is back at MDOT at the Office of Review and should be reviewed March 7,” Mossing said, referring to a series of new bicycle paths along Lamar Boulevard and other arteries. “There’s a Transportation Commission meeting on the 26th, so after that we could be where we are now with the FNC projects.”
Phase 2 plans include bike lanes on North Lamar Boulevard from Price Street to Molly Barr Road, on South Lamar from Baptist Memorial Hospital to Highway 7 and on College Hill Road from Jackson Avenue to FNC Park. Bike routes – not full-fledged lanes – will be added on South 18th and Bramlett Boulevard as well as on Douglas and Williams between Lamar and Bramlett.
Another project is being anticipated pending “Safe Routes to School” funding to enable students to walk or bike safely to Della Davidson Elementary School – and eventually to the yet-to-be-constructed new Oxford High School. It will include building a sidewalk and striping bike lanes along Sisk Avenue west of Highway 7 and the reconstruction of off-ramps at the Sisk/Highway 7 interchange.
Pathways Commission members met with several members of a Leadership Lafayette team to discuss their desire to outline a plan to post mileage signs on Oxford walking trails and both maps and mileage on favorite street-side pedestrian routes.
“We thought the mileage signs would give (runners or walkers) an idea how long they’ve gone or how long their total exercise route would be,” said class member Bill Turner.

Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@journalinc.com.