Oxford, Mississippi – The City of Oxford is pleased to announce on behalf of the Oxford Pathways Commission that The League of American Bicyclists has designated Oxford a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Bronze level. “The Pathways Commission worked very hard to earn this recognition,” said Mayor Richard Howorth. “And we are thrilled to have this designation, and will continue to work toward improvements for bicycling and pedestrian access throughout the community.”
The coveted award is given only to cities that have excelled in a two-step application process. The first step is an online application, followed by an extensive audit of the “5 E’s” of being a Bicycle Friendly Community: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation/planning. Oxford is recognized in the bronze category with cities like Austin, TX, Ann Arbor, MI and Denver, CO; and is the first city in Mississippi and one of only seven communities in the Southeast presently designated as bicycle friendly. This is a four-year designation that can be maintained by providing updates to the BFC committee.
Mike Mossing, Chairman of the Oxford Pathways Commission, partnered with Oxford City Planner Tim Akers on the initial application in January of 2007. After recommendations from the review committee with the BFC program, several members of the commission reapplied to receive this designation. "This is a great honor for the present commission and the many dedicated citizens who have worked for well over a decade to make Oxford a safe and inviting place to ride a bike. In revising the application for 2008 to include the opening of the Oxford Depot Rail/Trail and the Safe Routes to School Program, it was immediately apparent how far we had come. Tim and Mayor Howorth, City Engineers - David Bennett and Bart Robinson, Kevin McLeod of Elliot and Britt Engineering and Bennett Construction have done a fantastic job of translating the aspirations of the Pathways Commission into first-class facilities for cyclists, walkers and runners. The Oxford Cycling Club also played a huge role by providing a supportive and fun community for all cyclists," stated Mike Mossing.
The Pathways Commission was established in June of 2007 and has been tirelessly working to provide safer streets and enhanced access for Oxford cyclists.
The Bicycle Friendly Community program was established in 2003 and helps to promote May as Bike Month, Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day. Being designated as a BFC recognizes that a city has a desirable high quality of life and is working to reduce traffic issues by a more efficient means of travel – which is a growing concern with the increase in fuel costs. The designation also will afford new grant opportunities for Oxford.