Oxford Pathways Commission Pushing for a Bike-Friendly Town and Campus

The Oxford Pathways Commission commits to increasing transportation in town by encouraging residents to bike and walk more.  The commission does this by providing education and different modes of getting around town, such as bike lanes and sidewalks.

Greg Surbeck, Pathways Commission member, wants to target the youth with more biker and pedestrian education.

“The big thing is simply getting more people out. If you get a five-year-old to ride, they can ride the rest of their lives,” Surbeck said.

According to People for Bikes, this trend is true.  It reports that children who bike recreationally do so more often, especially if the pathway is clear and safe.  People for Bikes also reported that children who ride bikes regularly during the week are less likely to be overweight.  Pathways Commission stands behind this.

“There’s any number of reasons [to ride bikes]. For one, it’s just simply healthy,” Surbeck said.  “We know the benefits of walking and biking.  It gets people out of their cars, which makes it less crowded.”

Many students on campus are dedicated to bike-riding.  Students who ride their bikes on campus must register the with the Department of Parking and Transportation, but luckily, registration is free and valid for four years.  This is helpful because many students who bike do so daily.

Jarrius Adams, a junior at the University of Mississippi, has been riding his bike on campus since freshman year.

“[I ride] every day.  Sometimes on the weekends, I don’t really ride [my bike].  I normally drive around Oxford.  But every day to class or anything on campus, I ride.  It’s so much more convenient,” Adams said.

A bike share program on campus makes it easier for students to enjoy the leisure of biking without actually owning one.  While most of the hubs are on campus, one is located on the Downtown Oxford Square.  To utilize this service, students must download the Bicycle Share app.

Students receive two free hours of bike time every day.  On home football game Saturdays, the bike share program is shut off to preserve the longevity of the service.  The bike share program allows students to take advantage of the biking experience on campus.

“Me and a couple of friends, late at night around 10, got some bikes and rode around campus in the dark.  They have a bell and lights, so it was a lot of fun,” Adams said.  “I’ve seen a lot of people use them.  I think a lot of people really like it, and I think it’s a really good idea to get people active.”

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