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06-08-2007, 10:59 AM
MAPS-style projects for Norman envisioned

The Norman Transcript

By Carol L. Cole

Transcript Staff Writer

Quality of life projects for Norman were the topic Tuesday at a standing-room-only meeting sponsored by the Norman Chamber of Commerce.

Drawing inspiration from the successful Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Projects or MAPS, about 57 citizens showed up to talk about a kernel of an idea to improve life in Norman.

“We’ve got a wonderful example in front of us,” said Robin Allen, Chamber president, about the Oklahoma City MAPS projects that financed the Bricktown Ballpark, Ford Center, Bricktown Canal, Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library, renovation of the Cox Convention Center (formerly the Myriad) and other projects. “People know how positive it’s been for Oklahoma City.”

The meeting was chaired by Jim Adair. He emphasized that all the ideas are early-on and will need extensive planning and research before they could be considered by voters, if the city council chooses to send them forward.

“A very positive tone,” said Chuck Thompson about the atmosphere at the meeting. “I’m excited about the opportunities.”

Possible ways to finance projects were discussed, along with how the projects would fit in with other city and county needs, including a proposed vote for a quarter-cent sales tax that would support public safety needs and another for a county jail.

Supporters said the timing is never perfect, with other infrastructure projects like streets always needing attention. Norman also has potential costs for unfunded federal mandates on stormwater coming up.

“But we’ve looked at this for awhile and there always are,” Allen said.

Several subcommittees will be formed to explore the next steps including financing and projects the public might support.

Adair said they would work on coming up with a suitable name for the projects and hopefully wouldn’t call it MAPS.

“But we don’t want to call it NAPS or Norman Area Projects either,” he said.

One of the projects that has drawn support has been the possibility of a new city library.

“Anything the Chamber would like to promote would have to be accessible to the community,” Adair said.

“As a strong advocate for the continued improvement in downtown Norman, I’m excited to see the possibility of enhanced transportation alternatives such as Legacy Trail, pedestrian and bike paths and, of course, the hopeful inclusion of Front Street,” Thompson said.

Adair said the Chamber’s role in this would be to promote, encourage and support efforts to pass a quality of life package for Norman.

“It’s the city council’s job to do this or not do this,” Allen said. “It’s at the visionary project stage.”

Carol L. Cole


The Norman Transcript - MAPS-style projects for Norman envisioned (

06-08-2007, 08:57 PM
Interesting...not really sure what they could do. I guess it depends on how much is thoughts...

1) New street car system ( to be linked with OKC's light rail system) that would connect West, East, and Downtown Norman. Prime stops would probably be Postal Center, Lindsey/SE 12th, South Campus/NWC, Riverwind Casino, Interstate Drive (several stops along there), Brookhaven Village, Downtown both east and west sides, MNTC, Main Campus, Stadium, Campus Corner, North Campus/Westheimer Airport, UNP, another probably a couple others on the west side.

2) Rehab of all city parks with bike paths between most.

3) May not be one that can fall under this, but we need a lot of street rehab to take place.

I can't really think of much else to put in here that would be needed in a suburb that isn't already here.

06-08-2007, 09:13 PM
> that would be needed in a suburb

who you callin' a suburb?
Typical city think stereotyping, that's what that is. 8^)

06-09-2007, 03:23 PM
I'd like to see a grand new library come out of this, something downtown possibly in front of the courthouse with a plaza facing it and underground parking. Also major streetscape projects for Lindsey Street between I-35 and SE 12th and Main west of downtown across I-35 to NW 36th. A streetscape similar to what they've done downtown would be nice for these two major thoroughfares with wide sidewalks, landscaping, and better lighting. It would really help the image of the city, especially those coming from I-35 to OU and central Norman. A continuation of the bike path along the tracks from Robinson to south of downtown would be awesome and could tie into the OU campus and Duck Pond.

06-09-2007, 06:20 PM
I know i know...damn me for calling us a burb. :) My point in that we aren't going to do any Bricktown scale projects here. I like the beautification projects...definitely needed. Would definitely love something that would really get downtown Norman jumping. One thing on that one, improve downtown...but get rid of the angled-in parking there.

06-10-2007, 01:20 AM
Maybe keep the angled parking but MAKE MAIN 2 WAY!!! There is no need for Main and Gray to be one way streets.

06-10-2007, 08:50 PM
you are a "burb". crazy talk from our neighbors to the south i tell ya.

06-11-2007, 08:54 AM
Honestly, if traffic increases, angled parking on Main gets to be dangerous. Of course I would be all for making it "car only" parking, forcing van and pickups to use other parking areas. Nothing is worse that bein in a normal sized car with a pickup blocking your view, or the car driving in that lane when someone just backs out in front of you because they can't see.

06-11-2007, 02:48 PM
Nothing is worse that bein in a normal sized car with a pickup blocking your view, or the car driving in that lane when someone just backs out in front of you because they can't see.

I was rear-ended because of that last year. The jackass behind me wasn't paying attention when I had to slow to a stop because a Town Car couldn't see me and backed out from the parking spot. The cop didn't even issue the driver who hit me a ticket!

06-11-2007, 08:01 PM
Yeah, I think Norman, Edmond, Bethany, Yukon, MWC and other cities should seriously look at issues like this and perhaps raise the taxes to help pay for public transporation. It would make a light rail system in OKC much more feasible.