New Bike Paths Help Oxford Go Green

Casey Neale & Austin Eagle

Oxford resident Eric Yates has always been an avid biker.  But now, the Oxford Pathways Commission is making it easier for this Ole Miss student to get out and ride instead of driving.

The commission’s goal is to keep the community connected through a number of walking and biking paths.

“With the new pathways, it definitely opens up more opportunities to bike to class,” says Yates.  “It gives us more options rather than driving, and therefore reducing our carbon footprint.”

Mike Mossing, chairman of the Pathways Commission, likes to hear that kind of enthusiasm.  An avid biker himself, Mossing has high ambition for the Pathway Commission’s impact and looks at Oxford from the viewpoint of what could be.

“I think in the long run… give people the idea that they don’t need a car for everything,” says Mossing.  “If people can just do little errands on a bike, I think it could make a big impact.”

According to Mossing, finding alternatives modes of transportation, such as biking, is one of the easiest ways to reduce our carbon footprints.  But to do so, Oxford residents need these modes to not only be easily accessible, but also practical, which is the primary objective of the commission.

Since it was founded in 2003, the Oxford Pathways Commission has opened a number of new bike lanes.  These include:

  • 3-mile stretch of bike lanes from Old Sardis Rd. down to North Lamar Blvd
  • 3-mile stretch of packed gravel for biking from Coliseum Dr. to the Thacker Mt. Trail

Safe biking paths such as these helped Oxford win the Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze Award in 2008, which was presented by the League of American Bicyclists.

Yates agrees that these pathways are a strong positive for the community.

“The city of Oxford is naturally a very liberal town in the fact that we take a lot of step toward going green,” says Yates, “And I think that these pathways will give everybody the opportunity to follow that path.”

With the help of the Oxford Parkways Commission, Eric Yates, and the rest of the Oxford Community, look as though they have found a path to helping reducing their carbon footprints.

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~ by cdneale on November 2, 2009.

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