OXFORD, MS (abc24.com) - The next time you're in Oxford, grab your bike and helmet. The city wants to see more people getting around on two wheels instead of four. Oxford just launched a multi-million dollar plan to make that happen.
"The more people who bike or get out on foot to travel, the better off we all are," said Kate Kellum. "There's more parking, less traffic and we're safer."
Not only is Kellum an avid biker, as a member of the Pathways Commission, she's helping lead the charge to expand Oxford's bike paths. The group is deciding what to add and where.
There's currently one paved bike trail in the town. It's an old railroad track about a mile long that the city paved a few years ago. Now there are plans to add 13 more miles of bike lanes around town.
"It's complicated," said Mike Mossing, commission chair. "It's not just one 13 mile stretch. There are a bunch of key connectors that are going to get people from where they live to where they work to where they go to school to where they go to the library."
Ole Miss students and Oxford's professionals will be able to bike almost any where north or south of campus and the downtown square.
"If we can get people around with a 20 pound bike instead of a 2000 pound vehicle it all makes sense," Mossing told abc24.com.
It does come at a steep cost, somewhere between two and three million dollars.
"To put a bike lane on the side of the road is about $40 per linear foot," said Mossing. "We're having thirteen miles. It adds up."
Most of the project will be paid for with a grant from the Federal Highway Administration. Construction bids are due by mid-November 2011. Work will start in January 2012.
They want to put the first riders on the trails by next Spring 2012.