April 18, 2012 - Oxford Township last week re-prioritized the list of safety paths it wishes to see constructed around the community should the necessary funding ever become available.
Projects considered smaller in size or greater in their potential to enhance pedestrian safety were moved up the list.
The new list is as follows:
1) Lakeville Rd. (south side) from Chinkapin to Grampian Drive.
2) Seymour Lake Rd. (north side) from Waterstone Drive to Fountain View.
3) M-24 (west side) from Gateway Drive to Market St.
4) E. Drahner Rd. (north side) from M-24 to Glaspie St.
5) M-24 (west side) from Market St. to Stony Lake Park.
6) M-24 (both sides) from the Oxford Village limits to Drahner Rd.
7) Seymour Lake Rd. from Carriage Lane to Seymour Lake Park.
8) Old railroad right-of-way from Drahner Rd. to Indian Lake Rd.
9) Ray Rd./Oxford Rd. from M-24 to Oxford Rd.
10) Dunlap Rd. (east side) from Seymour Lake Rd. to the Oxford Township hall.
Township officials then voted 4-1 to begin easement acquisition for safety path projects 1-4.
Supervisor Bill Dunn disagreed with the ranking of the old railroad right-of-way path. He thought it should be higher up on the list given Orion Township already completed its safety path along M-24 leading up to the historic stone railroad bridge over Indian Lake Rd.
Trustee Mike Spisz agreed this project would probably be relatively easy in terms of obtaining all the necessary easements, however, he wasn't exactly sure how vital this path would be to pedestrians.
"The question was how much would it actually get used at this point?" he said.
Ron Davis, director of the township Parks and Recreation Department, agreed with Dunn.
He suggested securing easements for the old railroad right-of-way now, then creating a safety path using a crushed limestone surface, which is universally accessible, yet less costly than asphalt.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.