View Full Version : Downtown bicycle system would be good for OKC

10-26-2007, 08:48 AM
Downtown bicycle system would be good for OKC - William F. O'Brien - Edmond Sun (

"As documented in a recent article in the New York Times, the city of Paris, France, now has a system in place that allows citizens and visitors to rent bicycles for one day or for one week that can be found at a thousand locations in that city. The bikes are situated at docking stations and can be rented by swiping a credit card on a machine located on the stations, and they can be returned to any of those stations as well. The borrowers are charged a deposit fee that is refunded to their individual credit card accounts when the bicycle is returned. Some visitors now are utilizing those bicycles to explore the French capitol in an individual way that could not be done in a car or on a tour bus.

A similar system, with docking stations being located along the Oklahoma River with its 13 miles of trails, and at places such as the Bricktown site where passengers will disembark from the River, would be good for Oklahoma City. Visitors would be able to pedal their way to amenities such as the Civic Center and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Oklahoma City residents could use the system as a way to explore Bricktown and see in greater detail the rebirth of downtown, the MidCity area and Automobile Alley."

I'm new to OKC and am considering purchasing a bike to ride around OKC on the other side of the cold weather, but the city doesn't immediately strike me as bicycle friendly. Any thoughts from cyclists or others?


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10-26-2007, 09:39 AM
Just getting ready to send this out! Good news for bikers Downtown.

Bike Rack Grant awarded to Downtown OKC Inc.
and Urban Neighbors

Downtown OKC Inc. and Urban Neighbors (the Downtown Neighborhood Association) were awarded an OKC Neighborhood Partnership Grant for a joint project to install bike racks in the Downtown area east of EK Gaylord. The grant was approved and presented at the October 23 Oklahoma City Council Meeting.

The City awarded a total of $20,000 for the project which was matched by the organizations with a further $33,000 in pledges of cash, volunteer and professional labor, services and in-kind donations. Downtown OKC Inc and Urban Neighbors plan to install 30-50 racks. The plan includes the commission of several unique themed art racks that will reflect the Downtown districts. The design, permitting and approval process will first take place during the winter with installation and launch party the spring 2008. Some benefits of bike racks include:

• Enhancing livability so that residents, workers, and tourists in Downtown and other nearby areas can easily cycle to enjoy the attractions of Bricktown, the Deep Deuce and the river.
• Offering an option for low-income workers to reach jobs in this area outside Metro Transit's hours of operation.
• Helping reduce pollution and parking pressures.
• Encouraging exercise and supporting fitness initiatives.

“The partnership on this grant project shows the broad community enthusiasm among Downtown residents, business and workers for this project,” said Brett Hamm, Downtown OKC Inc. president. “As more and more people choose to make their homes in Downtown Oklahoma City, we will need to add amenities such as these bike racks to accommodate them.”

Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. manages the Downtown OKC Business Improvement District (BID). The purpose of the Downtown OKC BID is to manage, promote, improve and maintain Downtown OKC and to implement programs to achieve the strategy of making Downtown Oklahoma City clean, safe and friendly for businesses, workers, residents and guests. The City of Oklahoma City contracts with Downtown OKC Inc. to execute its BID initiatives. For more information regarding the BID, contact Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. at (405) 235-3500 or visit Downtown OKC > Home (

10-26-2007, 11:04 AM
Thanks for posting our (UN's new grant). I've seriously thought about starting a bike rental company, but I don't have a space to do it out of. If we had a business incubator downtown (fell through a few years ago), then I could get real cheap rent to get it off the ground. Without it, Bicycle Alley or Schleigel's would probably put me out or anyone else wanting to try even though they don't rent currently, they'd get the idea quick enough.

10-26-2007, 05:37 PM
They have bikes to rent at the Chesapeake Boathouse to ride on the river trails. Haven't done it so I don't know anything about the quality or quantity of bikes just know they are there.

10-27-2007, 08:05 AM
Bike racks are good news. Hard to go anywhere without them. Thanks for posting the good news!

Bike lanes would be even better, but much more expensive!

I'm curious, does anyone here who works in central/downtown OKC, ride their bike to work? Please tell.


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10-28-2007, 03:44 PM
I want to see a regional bike trail system like what they have in Tulsa. I think the Oklahoma River bike/jogging trails are a good start but need to go along the entire length of the river from Lake Overholser all the way to the eastern parts of the county. I'd also love to see Norman's bike trail along the BNSF tracks extended northward to Moore and then Oklahoma City connecting to the river trails and into downtown. Connecting Edmond to north OKC and downtown via a new bike trail on the BNSF ROW would be awesome as well because that would mean more than 40 miles of continous trail! If we're going to do commuter rail along those tracks might as well do bike trails at the same time.

10-31-2007, 08:56 AM
Why aren't there more rental bikes in OKC? Do they have them in other cities? I'd hate to fork over $000's just to ride a few times per year, plus a rack for the car, have to store it in the garage, etc. Who knows about this?

10-31-2007, 02:28 PM
Bike lanes would be even better, but much more expensive!

I'm curious, does anyone here who works in central/downtown OKC, ride their bike to work? Please tell.

We desperately need bike lanes and sidewalks. My dream of riding my bike to work is not going to happen here. I do not feel safe on the roads here at all. The drivers here are ignorant, rude and HATE bicyclists and pedestrians. Some lady actually YELLED at me as I was crossing the road the other day to get out of the road. I was in a crosswalk....the sign said "WALK". I did a couple of group bike rides with Terry at Bicycle Alley and that was great, there is safety in numbers. I got rid of my car when I lived in Austin and rode my bike everywhere. I really, really hope that happens here. Soon. Before my hips get too old. I do see a couple people every day that commute by bike but they are braver than I am.

10-31-2007, 03:18 PM
Misty, there are several dedicated bike lanes in your neighborhood, as well as Midtown. I forget some of the street names they are on and I'm sure they won't get you all the way to your work. They are kind of hidden in these inner city neighborhoods. Although, I agree we need TONS more and that is hopefully in the works for new roads and resurfacing projects.

10-31-2007, 03:21 PM
I've used them and they are very, very limited. I can't find a safe enough route to get me to the office.

10-31-2007, 03:23 PM
Yeah, they need a bicycle lane down NW and NE 23rd and as well Lincoln in addition to Classen and all of downtown.

11-01-2007, 11:32 PM
Since I asked the question, I've been paying close attention to HOW I would ride a bike on the roads around where I live and work. I'm always driving up and down Classen. Classen would be really difficult to navigate. Even if I was to go sidewalk biking, there any numerous properties that just don't have sidewalks! That road isn't even pedestrian friendly. Now 23rd is another street I drive and that road would be an absolute death trap for any cyclist. Just too much traffic.

I think that we need a bike route to serve as a corridor running north/south within the city. Here's a google map of
my dream bike path. (,-97.511902&spn=0.144197,0.363579&z=12&om=1) From Bricktown to Lake Hefner though Midtown, Heritage Hills, Mesta Park, Paseo, Western Ave, Nichols Hills, and The Village.

Anyone else care to modify or create a different path? I miss something or send the route through a traffic hot spot? You can use "my maps" on Google maps to create your own route.



11-02-2007, 12:01 PM
That looks pretty good. The only thing I would change is to make the path go north on Shartel since there is already a dedicated bike path on that road. Also the google map is a little out of date in that it does not show Classen Blvd. that goes from Belle Isle to Western. If somehow your path could go from 50th and Shartel to Classen on the other side of Western north to Grand Blvd throug Nichols Hills the way you have it I think the path would be safer and cheaper.

11-06-2007, 07:42 AM
Bike racks mark another sign of downtown growth

By Steve Lackmeyer
Main Street

Evidence continues to mount that downtown is destined to become something bigger than a 9 to 5 weekday destination for Mr. and Mrs. Suburbia.
One might expect that Oklahoma City needs a grocery store in Deep Deuce or Midtown before downtown can be declared a residential community.

But a closer look shows that the "community” is already taking hold. Bicentennial Park, once home to a small contingent of vagrants, is now better known as downtown's unofficial dog park. The city even posted a depository for dog waste.

Then there is the latest triumph for the fledgling Urban Neighbors organization — a grant for placement of bike racks around downtown. The downtown neighborhood association, teamed up with Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., will soon install up to 50 bike racks throughout downtown thanks to a $20,000 OKC Neighborhood Partnership Grant. That money, along with $33,000 in cash and in-kind pledges and donations, will be used to design, build and install racks that will match the various downtown districts.

OK, so we're not seeing a downtown grocery yet. But these small changes are sure signs that the downtown community is taking hold.

The big question that remains to be answered is what will this downtown community look like? To date, the downtown neighborhood has consisted of mostly renters — valued residents who care about their community, but who face little risk if downtown goes to pot.

The next wave of new residents — dozens of new downtown homeowners — will have a lot more to lose and will almost certainly make their presence known. So will this next wave be the much-heralded creative class, more conservative retirees and empty nesters or a busy batch of young professionals? And how will they shape the downtown of the future?

Next year we'll begin to find out.

Speaking of the creative class, the debate continues over whether the use of the "F-word” by Wayne Coyne at the dedication of Flaming Lips Alley in Bricktown was an important turning point for giving the city an edge in the creative community or simply a crass exercise in profanity.

At least a dozen readers called in response to last week's column about the utterance — two voicing their support of the Flaming Lips and even Coyne's language. The other callers were split — some

11-08-2007, 06:39 AM
Ok, how did they get funds for this project? As far as I can tell, almost no one actually bikes to work in this city. There is no need.

The hope in the article seems to be that by adding bike racks, we will get an urban grocery store?!@?

Alright, adding bike racks might encourage people to bike to work. But there are so many other factors that go into the bike to work decision. Primary being safety. If there aren't decent bike lanes available, no one will use the bike racks.


11-08-2007, 07:26 AM
OKCCrime, we got the funds from a grant. It was a matching grant meaning that UN had to raise the same amount of funds in either monetary donations or in-kind donations or pledges such as donations (including time or labor). The other stipulation was that the money had to be used on a fitness project east of the Broadway Ave. railroad tracks in downtown. This grant was to promote better fitness and to reduce crime in this area (which was a low income area/higher crime area before all these new developments were under way). 2007 will probably be the last year this small area can qualify for the grant, because of all the new expensive developments. Either way, it is a good thing for downtown OKC. There are more people who bike to work than you think, many park their bikes inside, etc. Not to mention thousands of new downtown residents will soon be living downtown within the next few months to a year.

11-08-2007, 07:49 AM
Metro, yes, I understood that the funds came from a grant. I should have been more specific with my question. I wanted to know on what basis this particular use of the funds was justified. Your response "promote better fitness and to reduce crime in this area" was what I was looking for. I'm skeptical that bike racks will accomplish these objectives. I would love to see the text of the grant to know which data and statistics were referenced to support the claims. Will there be any follow-up to determine if the objectives are met?

Don't get me wrong. I think getting matching funds is great and applaud those involved for the time spent. It is just that as a new OKC resident (urban dweller) who is actually in the process of deciding to buy a bike or a second car, bicycle racks don't do a whole lot to sell me on the former option. But, I will admit that the availability of racks is part of the issue. However, I can't even find any city-provided material on which roads actually have bike lanes. Furthermore, the bike lanes that I have seen, aren't even marked.

Sorry, I'm just frustrated that I can't put together all the pieces necessary to live the 'urban lifestyle' that everyone seems to what to promote in this city.


11-08-2007, 09:31 AM
It's just one step towards making OKC more bike-friendly.

11-08-2007, 12:34 PM
OKCCrime, I'm not completely aware of all the details the bike grant entailed as I was not the project manager of that project. I can tell you it is a start in the right direction. Bike lanes are a project we want to work on in the near future, perhaps you can join our organization and help us with that project and get some bike lanes downtown and in the inner city. There are a few, but not NEAR enough of them.

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11-08-2007, 12:36 PM
Metro, I don't believe Urban Neighbors applied for the fitness grant (I think that one was called Get Moving OKC). I believe the grant Urban Neighbors & Downtown OKC applied for (and got) is actually the Neighborhood Partnership Program grant. It's for physical improvement or public safety enhancement projects. Any neighborhood in a low to moderate income neighborhood is eligible to apply. For more info contact the Neighborhood Alliance 528.6322 or get in touch with me.

11-08-2007, 12:53 PM
You could be correct Misty as I was not apart of the grant recruiting on that project as I mentioned above. Either way, I still think it is a step in the right directon and we hopefully plan to get involved with persuing bike lanes in this city in the near future.

Oh GAWD the Smell!
11-09-2007, 12:09 AM
Bike lanes and bike racks? Those would be nice, but I think the main reason most people don't ride a bike to work is the smell.

We've got no showers in the building, and there's no way I'm going to stew in my own juices for 8+ hours after a bike ride.

I guess people need to convince employers to invest a bit more too (NEVER happen where I work).

I'd LOVE to ride a bike to work.

11-09-2007, 06:30 AM
Really good point. If I had a long distance to get to work in the morning, being sweaty all day long would make me uncomfortable, not to mention other people.
I think I could probably get away with relatively short distances as long as I headed in before it got hot.

However, your point gives me a really good idea. If the city wants to encourage ride to work, it should purchase membership at the YMCA for anyone who agree to ride to work at least 75% of time. There is a really nice downtown location, not to mention all the locations around town.


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11-09-2007, 08:20 AM
I agree OhGAWD, my employer would never go for showers, however there are many downtown that would and/or already do such as Devon, SandRidge and all the major downtown employers either already do, or would if we had bike lanes and a big push to be more biker/pedestrian friendly.

11-10-2007, 07:08 AM
How about promoting a ride your bike to work day of the week (or month). Should do some research on our city officials to see if any of them are cycling advocates. Then pitch the idea to them.


OKC Rides
12-09-2007, 01:05 PM
My husband and I have started a bike rental business in Oklahoma City, OKC Rides. The website is OKC Rides ( Please visit our website for pricing and contact information. We are just getting started and welcome any suggestions and/or advice. Thank you.