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Thread: Friends for a Better Boulevard

  1. #1426
    CaptDave is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    I agree JTF - I have changed from my initial thoughts on this street. I was 100% sure the roundabout concept could work at Western, Classen, and Blvd but after thinking about the property boundaries I began to think this may not be the best design. Then I was driving around the area in question and looked eastward down California where the connection to I40 would be and I had a epiphany. The view down California toward Myriad Gardens could be developed into an iconic street for motorists arriving to downtown from the west. Then let's build the boulevard described by Mayor Cornett along the SW 3rd right of way but extend that all the way to Exchange where we can eventually run the streetcar to Stockyards City. With the $30 million we won't spend on an unnecessary bridge over Western, we could create two very special streets that would be grand entrances to downtown AND still accomodate all the vehicular traffic along four main east-west streets (Sheridan, California, Reno, and SW 3rd/Boulevard). Every option the city and ODOT has presented forces us to close major E-W streets thereby causing the traffic problems they are trying to solve.

    It is very clear that forcing a through movement where one is not necessary is causing every problem encountered in this process. The "Confluence" problem is created by the "transitional" segment of the design Stantec was instructed to analyze. Stantec clearly has the expertise to do an excellent job, so why not give them freedom to really evaluate the fully restored street grid option?

  2. #1427
    Just the facts's Avatar
    Just the facts is online now Kerry Decker
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptDave View Post
    Then I was driving around the area in question and looked eastward down California where the connection to I40 would be and I had a epiphany. The view down California toward Myriad Gardens could be developed into an iconic street for motorists arriving to downtown from the west. Then let's build the boulevard described by Mayor Cornett along the SW 3rd right of way but extend that all the way to Exchange where we can eventually run the streetcar to Stockyards City.
    Pure gold right there.
    Third Place

  3. #1428
    Sid Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    I've always wanted to see 3rd extended east too to create a new street wall in Lower Bricktown.
    It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. -Albert Einstein

  4. #1429
    heyerdahl is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptDave View Post
    The view down California toward Myriad Gardens could be developed into an iconic street for motorists arriving to downtown from the west. Then let's build the boulevard described by Mayor Cornett along the SW 3rd right of way but extend that all the way to Exchange ...

    With the $30 million we won't spend on an unnecessary bridge over Western, we could create two very special streets that would be grand entrances to downtown AND still accomodate all the vehicular traffic along four main east-west streets (Sheridan, California, Reno, and SW 3rd/Boulevard). Every option the city and ODOT has presented forces us to close major E-W streets thereby causing the traffic problems they are trying to solve.
    This is the solution that solves both the transportation issues AND the economic development issues.

  5. #1430
    Sid Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Is there enough ROW on 3rd?
    It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. -Albert Einstein

  6. #1431
    Just the facts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by sidburgess View Post
    Is there enough ROW on 3rd?
    For a good protion of it is the old I-40 right of way. Only the last 4 blocks would need widening and we wouldn't want to keep any of the metal industrial buildings anyhow. There are a couple of 2 story brick buildings that could redeveloped.
    Third Place

  7. #1432
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Shadid seems to get it.
    Four other seats are coming up for election, should there be four candidates willing and available who also get it.
    Not suggesting wrestling a seat out from under any incumbent is ever a cakewalk, but the math sure is.
    1 gets it seat + 4 new gets it seats = 5 gets it seats.


    Just laying this down and walking away, because I am merely an observer, not an OKC voter.

  8. #1433
    Dubya61 is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptDave View Post
    The view down California toward Myriad Gardens could be developed into an iconic street for motorists arriving to downtown from the west. Then let's build the boulevard described by Mayor Cornett along the SW 3rd right of way but extend that all the way to Exchange ...

    ... we could create two very special streets that would be grand entrances to downtown
    I know that there are much more thoughtful and scientific ideas behind what the boulevard should be, but to me the idea of an iconic boulevard conjures up images of a parade route. Neither an elevated nor a depressed boulevard fits that image. I want the OKC Boulevard to host the parade that celebrates the NBA Champions Oklahoma City Thunder. I want a St Patrick's Day Parade, Hallowe'en Parade and a Gay Pride Parade to run down the boulevard. I want the parade route to be CaptDave's SW 3rd St and it can join up with the Stockyards City Christmas Parade.
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  9. #1434
    CaptDave is offline Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidburgess View Post
    Is there enough ROW on 3rd?
    There are presently two traffic lanes with on street parking on SW 3rd from Lee to Western, and two traffic lanes to Exchange. There will be enough land between Lee and Walker to transition from the standard city street right of way to the much wider "boulevard" to the east. From a satellite photo, it appears to be sufficient space to accomodate automotive traffic and streetcar along that axis. The businesses in that areas do not appear to depend on street parking for their customers.

  10. #1435
    CaptDave is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by sidburgess View Post
    I've always wanted to see 3rd extended east too to create a new street wall in Lower Bricktown.
    I like this as well. I think it is likely once the boulevard is in place. Hopefully Harkins will find a way to better relate to the new boulevard if there isn't enough space to build between the blvd and theater. The planners and engineers have done a good job in this area given the constraints of connecting the street level to the interstate ramps. I think JTF's spiral idea is very cool but have no idea if it is feasible at that location. I think we are beyond the point that could be incorporated though since there is so much ramp already built.

  11. #1436
    CaptDave is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Oh - I failed to state this clearly - we would still have Reno running between the California and SW 3rd Streets. If someone really wants a through street - we already have one. The Project 180 upgrades along Reno are very nice and could be extended all the way to the Farmer's Market District. If for some reason it is too difficult to run streetcar down SW 3rd all the way to Exchange, it could run down Reno to Exchange. I think development would explode along these three axes if our city leaders will set the conditions for it to happen.

    Additionally, it would enhance, rather than degrade, the infrastructure used by the existing businesses in the industrial area west of Shartel. One of the lamest rebuttals I have heard during this entire discussion claims FBB supporters want to run the light industrial businesses out and nothing is further from the truth. There is no reason a nice street with a streetcar cannot run through an area such as exists east of the Farmer's Market.

  12. #1437
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    So who among you guys are running for which wards? That's the only question left at this point.
    Gone to the ballpark. Go Tribe!

  13. #1438
    jamesg is offline Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    The biggest problem that I see with the current proposed design is the ghettoization of the area between western ave. and the park; and the proposed boulevard and the new I-40 alignment. All the current proposals for this area make it hard to reach and awful for future development. Specifically, there are currently 6 north/south streets into this area (Western, Classen, Shartel, Lee, Walker and Hudson). Of those 6 three will be cut off by the proposed "bi-way", Classen, Shartel and Lee. That will make it more difficult to connect to the area from the north. Of the 4 east/west streets (SW 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th) two will be cut by the proposed raceway (I mean boulevard), SW 2nd and 3rd streets. Keep in mind that there will be NO access to this area from the east because of the park. As a result the Boulevard half of the streets into this area will be cut. In order to develop this area the grid needs to be restored.
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  14. #1439
    LandRunOkie is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    One thing that just passed is the official notice of the city's election next year.

    Wards 1 (Gary Marrs), 3 (Larry McAtee), 4 (Pete White) and 7 (Skip Kelly) are up in 2013.
    Ward 1 is staunchly conservative from the voting maps I've seen. The other incumbents have certainly left the door ajar for an urbanist candidate to challenge. Here's the ward map. I would be on board with Sid if he decided to run.
    Do people have to live within the ward they're running for or just within city limits? It would be hard to find qualified candidates who will work for 12,000/year in the NE/SW/far SE part of city.

  15. #1440
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Pete White has definitely punted on this issue, but overall he should have been better than that. I hope he runs for reelection, the others I hope we can get rid of, I just don't see how.

    Yes, you absolutely have to live in the ward.
    Gone to the ballpark. Go Tribe!

  16. #1441
    Sid Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by LandRunOkie View Post
    Ward 1 is staunchly conservative from the voting maps I've seen. The other incumbents have certainly left the door ajar for an urbanist candidate to challenge. Here's the ward map. I would be on board with Sid if he decided to run.
    Do people have to live within the ward they're running for or just within city limits? It would be hard to find qualified candidates who will work for 12,000/year in the NE/SW/far SE part of city.

    You must live in the ward you represent. And thanks for the nod, but I'm not qualified to run. For more information: City of Oklahoma City | Council Election Cycle
    It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. -Albert Einstein

  17. #1442
    Larry OKC is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    City Council has never been willing to challenge Couch.

    He's been very astute in terms of lining up support on these big issues long before it gets to the council meetings.
    Therein lies the problem. He should have been replaced several years ago instead of being given raises. The last one was unanimously approved. Can't imagine Councilman Shadid voting for it so maybe he wasn't present for that vote.

  18. #1443
    Larry OKC is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by catcherinthewry View Post
    I did some follow up and have been told that Stantec was actually given no initial restrictions, hence the 40 wide ranging initial options including return to grid options (although probably not as soon as some may have wanted).
    Unfortunately, that isn't true, there were several restrictions reported in the paper recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by catcherinthewry View Post
    The reason that return to grid was not considered was that it was a federal mandate to replace the old I 40 with a "boulevard" that would act as a bypass if it were necessary to shut down the new I 40. Neither ODOT, nor the city nor any evil, shadowy entity could change that mandate. So you need to redirect your anger at the Federal Highway Administration and away from city staff/leadership.
    I would like to see documentation on this. If no Boulevard were to be build there are multiple "bypasses" one can use to get around a closed I-40. Even if the "mandate" did exist at some point, mandates can be changed.

    ON EDIT: Hutch gave a very good response to this

    I do recall back when this was in the planning stages, then Mayor Humphreys was against keeping the current alignment as it was too expensive to maintain (over $1 million/yr). Then when the route was chosen, he wanted to keep the old crosstown as a "business route". The logic was missing as most of the damage done to our highways is by semis, mostly semis would be taking the business route. If we couldn't afford the $1 maint before, how could we suddenly afford it now???

  19. #1444
    Just the facts's Avatar
    Just the facts is online now Kerry Decker
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by sidburgess View Post
    You must live in the ward you represent. And thanks for the nod, but I'm not qualified to run. For more information: City of Oklahoma City | Council Election Cycle
    Maybe you could setup a puppet regime and wield power from behind the curtain.
    Third Place

  20. #1445
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by Just the facts View Post
    Maybe you could setup a puppet regime and wield power from behind the curtain.
    I'm not that smart. Or wealthy. ;-)
    It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. -Albert Einstein

  21. #1446
    Just the facts's Avatar
    Just the facts is online now Kerry Decker
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by sidburgess View Post
    I'm not that smart. Or wealthy. ;-)
    No problem there. All we need is Spartan to label you a junta or cabal. The rest will take care of itself.
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    Third Place

  22. #1447
    Tier2City is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    In light of the issues that emerged last night I'd really encourage people to first re-read Steve's Flashback piece from December 1998 (http://blog.newsok.com/okccentral/2012/07/29/flashback-route-chosen-for-new-interstate-40) when the I-40 relocation route was chosen. It's also worth reading Steve's piece from the end of July this year that gives some important context about downtown in 1998 (http://blog.newsok.com/okccentral/2012/07/27/context-1998).

    With that in mind if you're going to watch just 6 minutes of the video from last night (now up on the City's home page at http://okc.gov) then watch Blair Humphreys' questions between 0:57:00 and 1:03:30. You can see Eric Wenger making it very clear that the boulevard must be an emergency I-40 bypass (I guess it would be I-440 under the AASHTO interstate numbering system?) is a Federal Highway Administration requirement. You can also see David Streb very grudgingly admit that return to the grid would be possible since the Environmental Impact Statement has to be revisited but David continues to push the agreements between ODOT and Council from that time. I'm sure David can't be happy with Blair's questions - those "agreements" or "commitments" were between Neal McCaleb and Blair's father!
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  23. #1448
    ljbab728 is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Steve posted this entertaining video commentary by Sean Cummings on his blog.

    Sean Cummings on the Boulevard | OKC Central

  24. #1449
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    Quote Originally Posted by Just the facts View Post
    Maybe you could setup a puppet regime and wield power from behind the curtain.
    That's not running for office is it? That seems more akin to being hired as a city manager or something like it.
    Just the facts likes this.

  25. #1450
    LandRunOkie is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Friends for a Better Boulevard

    How cool would it be if Unfrsakn could get some HD footage of the same area down there, for the record?

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