Pathways: Sisk Avenue in progress

Oxford StockBy Errol Castens/Daily Journal
OXFORD – More steps toward Oxford’s Complete Streets program for vehicles, bikes and pedestrians are near completion, and others near launch.

Phase II of the Pathways Project, which adds several miles of bike lanes and shared-lane markings, is nearly ready for acceptance by the city. Even near completion, the contractor met yet another delay where part of the shoulder and bike lane pavement had to be replaced on South Lamar Boulevard.

Assistant City Engineer Reanna Mayoral told Pathways Commission members on Monday that the contractor hopes to have the project ready for handoff to the city in “a couple of weeks.”
The University of Mississippi has signed on, Mayoral said, to the city’s proposal to install crossing signals at Jackson Avenue and All-American Drive to enable safe crossing for pedestrians (and cyclists who wish to walk their bikes) from the university campus to Oxford Mall.

“We had a great meeting with the university (officials) … and they were all excited about the signals going in,” she said. Another signal is slated later for Jackson Avenue at Home Depot Drive.

Engineer Jeff Williams, who is overseeing pedestrian-friendly reconstruction of the Highway 7/Sisk Avenue interchange, said exit ramps from the highway will be remade from Y-shaped to T-shaped to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross more safely.

Williams said the project will be contracted next spring. MDOT requires sidewalks on both sides, he said, even though Sisk has only one sidewalk west of Highway 7. Told that dual sidewalks are part of the Complete Streets program, Chairman

Mike Mossing replied that Complete Streets recognizes context in applying rules.

As the discussion moved to other areas that are challenging to pedestrians, Commissioner Roger Kuhnle noted that North Lamar Boulevard lacks sidewalks in several places north of Price Street. Mossing noted there are no sidewalks on either side in the pedestrian-heavy stretch between Price Street and Handy Andy, a popular barbecue restaurant.

“We have a lot of vision for what the North Lamar corridor could be, but we’ve got to find the money for the vision,” Mayoral said.

errol.castens@journalinc.com