Pathways Commission Discusses Faulty Intersection Signal Detection

On Monday, September 24, the Oxford Pathways Commission gathered for their monthly meeting at City Hall to discuss a few of the ongoing projects during a slow time of the 2018 season.

Although none of the topics were particularly pressing matters for the public, Pathways Commission Chairman, Don Feitel, added an item to the meeting concerning the intersection signal detection at University Ave and S 9th St.

Bike users have been experiencing difficulty tripping the signal sensor when trying to turn left, and can sit for several minutes before the light changes on its own. Committee member, Greg Surbeck, added that even his motorcycle sometimes is not able to trip the sensor.

The reason for the sensor not being able to be tripped is due to the fact that it is a metal sensor that requires a large metal object to be detected.

The commission proposed testing the other sensors around Oxford to figure out which is best for all modes of transportation. Once the commission determines the best method for intersection signal detection, the city could eventually implement the most practical method at every light.

Among the other topics discussed during the meeting was the Belk Blvd and South Lamar Blvd intersection, sidewalks on East Jackson Ave, and the decision for either a roundabout or a signal at College Hill Road and McElroy Drive.

The roundabout versus signal decision was a topic of interest but not heavily debated due to lack of information on the cities plans for the intersection.

“A study was shown that in the morning, a signal would be better,” Vice Chairman Kate Kellum said. “But in the afternoon the roundabout would be better.”

The city is still debating the study in order to put the best plan in place for residents and transportation users.

“An argument could probably be made for either one,” Chairman Don Feitel said. “I think the city is leaning more toward the roundabout there just in terms of long-term maintenance and functionality.”

The intersection at Belk Blvd and South Lamar Blvd will be closed this weekend for paving purposes. Once the paving is finished, the city will move forward with bike lanes on South Lamar Blvd heading towards the Square.

East Jackson Ave will be narrowing the roadway to build the sidewalks out so that they can build smaller retaining walls while continuing sidewalks on both sides.

The Pathways Commission will not meet again until October 22.