Friday, May 14, 2021

New Construction on Sisk to Alleviate Traffic

The recent bike lanes added to Sisk avenue have alleviated some of the pedestrian concerns, but residents still don’t feel that enough is being done. / Photo by Jared Senseman
The recent bike lanes added to Sisk avenue have alleviated some of the pedestrian concerns, but residents still don’t feel that enough is being done. / Photo by Jared Senseman

New construction on Sisk Avenue may soon bring relief to some concerned residents.

Sisk avenue is one of the most heavily traffic oriented streets in the city. Twice a day, the traffic comes to a point where it’s not moving at all, while the rest of the day the road turns into what some people call a racetrack.

Alderman Jay Hughes, is one of those people.

“Sisk Avenue was and remains a major concern of mine, as an Alderman and as a resident and father,” Hughes stated in an interview.

“The biggest problems are the road being not much more than a parking lot traffic jam two times a day, and a race track the remainder of the day,” he added.

Hughes went on to say that they’ve taken steps to try and alleviate the problems in the short term, while they search for a long-term solution. He also added that the city needs to make a commitment to a plan soon, to avoid a tragedy before it’s too late.

“Planning is always better than reacting,” Hughes said.

Susan Watson, a long time resident of Sisk avenue, seems to agree.

“I have lived on Sisk Avenue for over ten years,” Watson said in an interview. “What I see on a constant basis is people using Sisk as a way to get through to North Lamar, or to the Square from the Highway 7 bypass, and they drive as though they are on that bypass.”

Watson also stated that seeing law enforcement impose any kind of penalty for speeding in the area, is an occurrence that’s all too rare.

“I rarely ever see the police and when I do it is to escort a funeral procession to the cemetery,“ Watson said.

“If the city doesn’t do something soon, the police will be doing that more often.”

According to Oxford Assistant City Engineer Reanna Mayoral, there are currently plans in the works to help with the traffic. Those plans include finishing the bicycle paths through the highway 7 intersection,

“The City is indeed working on a project to improve pedestrian and bicycle access through the Highway 7 interchange,” Mayoral said in an interview.
“Our plans are to construct new sidewalks and bike lanes through this intersection so that people can walk or bike from the Bramlett area neighborhoods to the schools, Conference Center, and businesses on the other side of Highway 7,” she added.

Mayoral went on to state that the city received a grant for the new construction plans from MDOT and FHWA, which will cover 80 percent of the costs, leaving the city to only pay 20 percent.

There are also plans in the works for a new road connecting between Sisk and Highway 30, slated for completion sometime within the next year.

“While this project will provide immediate relief for pedestrians, cyclists along with safety improvements, it does not address the problem of traffic volume on Sisk,” Mayoral said.

“There are plans to complete a new road to connect Highway 30 and Sisk Avenue in the next year. Once completed, the new road will provide an alternate route for people who live on the north side of town to reach the schools and businesses on Sisk Avenue,“ she added.

“The City is currently working with County officials, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and developers in the Oxford Commons to put all of the pieces together so that this road can be built in the next year. Long term, additional connector roads are planned for the area but their construction timeline will be driven by the development in the Oxford Commons and surrounding area.”
— Jared Senseman, Student Editor, HottyToddy.com

You can Email Jared Senseman at: jrsensem@go.olemiss.edu

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