Kudos go to commission

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Oxford Park Commission released Monday that Oxford’s Complete Streets Policy is one of the top-scoring in the nation, reaching a core of 83.2 out of 100 by the Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition.

We congratulate the Oxford Pathways Commission for its motivation and hard work in making Oxford’s streets and sidewalks safer for all who use them.

The Complete Streets Policy provides guidelines for city planning officials when working with developers and city engineers when creating new roads and streets inside new subdivisions or residential and commercial developments. It requires developers and city engineers to think of all users of the roads, including bicyclists and pedestrians by providing bike baths and sidewalks when possible.

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The reason for having this type of policy in place is so Oxford can be proactive when new roads are built inside city limits. It ensures the roads can accommodate everyone who uses them, rather than trying to fix it after the fact.

Most Oxonians remember Phase 2 of the Pathways Bike Lanes project, where 11 miles of bike paths were added to some of Oxford’s main roadways, including North and South Lamar boulevards, College Hill Road and Old Sardis Road in 2012, and in some cases, well into 2014, especially on South Lamar Boulevard where the contractor wound up running into several roadblocks. Residents weren’t happy, nor where those who traveled the road daily.

But as the dust settled and the final striping painted, the bike lanes are now in and used by area bicyclists each day, creating more connectivity and transportation options for people living in the southern part of Oxford.

If the bike paths, sidewalks and multi-use paths are put in before development and made to connect with each other, all Oxford and University of Mississippi residents will benefit, and for this we are glad to see city officials continually working on making our Complete Streets Policy better as we grow.