Oxford Borough officials discuss Active Transportation Plan03/14/2023 12:26AM ● By Steven Hoffman
The official kick-off meeting for the Active Transportation Plan (ATP) was held on March 6 before the Borough Council Meeting. The ATP is a supplement to Oxford’s soon-to-be completed Comprehensive Plan. The two documents, combined, will shape policy and identify strategies for implementing infrastructure improvements to enhance sidewalk and trail connectivity, ADA accessibility, public transportation and the borough’s overall multimodal transportation network.
Between March and September of this year, the Borough of Oxford will work with McMahon, a transportation engineering, planning, and design firm, to assess existing conditions in the borough and identify ways to improve their multimodal infrastructure. This project is funded in large part by a $25,000 WalkWorks grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.
Anthony Valencia and Brian Donovan from McMahon Associates explained the concept of the plan to Borough Council.
ATP basically means any human-powered way of getting around, and includes: biking, walking or rolling. Active transportation planning also includes addressing access to public transportation. This is because many people will use a human-powered way to get to a bus stop and, ultimately, the use of active transportation often replaces or reduces the amount of motor vehicles on the road.
Oxford is already a very walkable community and for the most part residents can walk or roll many places. The ability to walk, bike or wheel somewhere: lowers fuel consumption and costs, reduces congestion, vehicle emissions and air pollution; and facilitates opportunities to exercise and socialize. Walking, biking, and other forms of human-powered mobility improve overall health, well-being and quality of life in the borough.
By developing an Active Transportation Plan, the borough will have a structured, facilitated means to identify and discuss the needs of the Oxford community and gaps in multimodal connectivity. McMahon will help the borough identify projects and policies that will improve the infrastructure and make walking, biking and wheeling through the borough more safe and convenient.
The borough will also identify where public transportation services are needed most and how they can work with their regional partners to improve access to public and shared transportation services. An adopted ATP will identify and prioritize projects to improve connectivity and outline strategies to fund infrastructure improvements. It will also make the borough more competitive when applying for grants.
Valencia and Donovan discussed how best to get the community involved in the plan. Both emphasized that the plan should reflect and address the needs and desires of the community.
Valencia said, “We need and want the input of residents, business and property owners, and all of our community stakeholders.”
Donovan is hoping to work through local borough events or First Fridays to distribute information and surveys to the community.
“We will also hold several public meetings as well,” he explained. “It is important for the community to have a ‘buy-in’ in order for this to be successful.”
Interested persons can call 610-932-2500 for more information.
In other business, Carey Bresler, the director of the Oxford Library, told council that a bilingual book walk is being scheduled. Anyone interested in helping or donating is encouraged to call Carey at 610-932-9625.
Council continues to work on the Subdivision and Land Development and Zoning Ordinances Revision. Borough manager Pauline Garcia-Allen said that it is a 12-to-15-month process.
Council President Kathryn Cloyd said the ACOLA (Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs) Working Group meeting was very well attended.
A number of Special Event Applications were approved. These include the following:
- A Special Event Application for the Oxford Chamber of Commerce for Movies in the Park for June 16, July 21 and Aug. 18. All movies will begin at 8:30 p.m.
- A Special Event Application for the Oxford Chamber of Commerce for the Covered Bridge Motorcycle Ride on May 21 with a rain date of June 4.
- A Special Event Application for the Oxford Chamber of Commerce for the Memorial Day Walk at 10 a.m. on May 29
- A Special Event Application for the Oxford Presbyterian Church for the Apple Festival on Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Council also approved a motion for an SSM proposal in the amount of $13,400 to update the borough’s stormwater ordinance in compliance with NPDES MS4 permit requirements.