View Full Version : East Commuter Corridor Study



mmonroe
03-13-2015, 02:42 AM
Commuter Corridors Study | ACOG | Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (http://www.acogok.org/ccs)
http://www.acogok.org/Websites/acogok/images/Downloads2015/Central_OK_GO_Executive_Summary_FINAL_8.5x11_2-4-15.pdf

10351

What you're looking for is Street Car plan E1A, the magenta line with Transit stops at E. Reno/S. Sooner, S. Air Depot, SE 15th St./Midwest Blvd, SE 29th St./S. Douglas Blvd, Tinker Gate

Dubya61
03-13-2015, 08:57 AM
Thanks for put this on the forum, mmonroe.
Sorry, if I derail it with post #2.
I don't understand why Shawnee and Pottawatomie County aren't in this organization. They're fooling themselves if they think they're not part of the metro. I intentionally left who "they" are as vague. OKC and ACOG needs to realize it, too.

Dubya61
03-13-2015, 08:59 AM
And ... I'm disapointed that the transit corridors for Eastern OKC stop at Tinker AFB.

Dubya61
03-13-2015, 09:05 AM
OK. By now, I'm just ranting, but Shawnee (and one of the major tribes there) could only benefit from revitalizing rail -- it would go to historic (read that: Old) Shawnee and service the Citizen Pottawatomie area very well. Whatever. I can tell I'm getting mad about it by the increased audible volume of my keystrokes, so I better quit. Part of what makes me mad is what a former city official for Midwest City said to me in conversation: (words to the effect of) "Why would we seek out rail to OKC's CBD or Bricktown. It would only serve to reduce our sales tax revenue."

mmonroe
03-13-2015, 02:10 PM
I'll be real honest, most of the metro hates anything east of Bricktown and I honestly believe if it were not for already having the rail line and ROW... the east commuter corridor would have gone to the south through OKC limits and that would have been the end of that.

There seems to be this 60 year old battle going on with OKC vs MWC. Ever since Atkinson started this city it just seemed to piss off everyone related with OKC and we've gotten the short end of the stick ever since.

The only reason I can think that the rail line doesn't continue out to Shawnee is the commute time and length out there. If Shawnee and Midwest City would strike a deal, I could see good for both cities. I do know that this study is conducted in part of OKC working towards an inter-modal hub.

shawnw
03-13-2015, 03:40 PM
ACOG is not a new organization. It was started in 1966, and in 1973 due to I forget what federal mandate it became an MPO (metropolitan planning organization - of which there are ~400 nationally). Transportation was nowhere in the picture when it was started and I _thought_ that it didn't get it's mandate for surface transportation federally until MAP-21 was passed but that doesn't seem right. Who can correct me?

Anyway, the point is it's not ACOG's fault they don't include Shawnee.

Urban Pioneer
03-14-2015, 08:35 AM
Both Shawnee and Yukon were in invited to the table on day one. This process has been going on for awhile. I agree about Shawnee. Quite frankly rush hour traffic is terrible on I-40. It is only going to get worse.

mmonroe
03-14-2015, 09:39 AM
Isn't I-40 East (Cracks me up when friends from California are in town, they just call it "The 40") due to be widened a few lanes from Douglas Blvd out to Choctaw or something to that effect...

Spartan
03-14-2015, 10:03 AM
I'll be real honest, most of the metro hates anything east of Bricktown and I honestly believe if it were not for already having the rail line and ROW... the east commuter corridor would have gone to the south through OKC limits and that would have been the end of that.

There seems to be this 60 year old battle going on with OKC vs MWC. Ever since Atkinson started this city it just seemed to piss off everyone related with OKC and we've gotten the short end of the stick ever since.

The only reason I can think that the rail line doesn't continue out to Shawnee is the commute time and length out there. If Shawnee and Midwest City would strike a deal, I could see good for both cities. I do know that this study is conducted in part of OKC working towards an inter-modal hub.

It's nothing personal, it's just that MWC doesn't really have strong growth, strong planning, or good development. So it's hard to serve what is there with infrastructure, and even harder to guide what remains to be developed for lack of growth. Del City and the Sooner Road corridor are even worse - nice middle class tract housing - but it's really an utter mess of planning, poor design, and low expectations.

It is much more compelling, efficient, and sensible to do commuter rail north to Edmond, south to rapidly growing Moore/Norman, or west to Yukon. As for Shawnee/Pott County, it is too far out and too low density to justify the expense of commuter rail operating costs let alone capital costs.

mmonroe
03-14-2015, 10:27 AM
It's nothing personal, it's just that MWC doesn't really have strong growth, strong planning, or good development. So it's hard to serve what is there with infrastructure, and even harder to guide what remains to be developed for lack of growth. Del City and the Sooner Road corridor are even worse - nice middle class tract housing - but it's really an utter mess of planning, poor design, and low expectations.

It is much more compelling, efficient, and sensible to do commuter rail north to Edmond, south to rapidly growing Moore/Norman, or west to Yukon. As for Shawnee/Pott County, it is too far out and too low density to justify the expense of commuter rail operating costs let alone capital costs.

Not disagreeing. An unchanged reputation for crime doesn't help either.

Teo9969
03-14-2015, 10:31 AM
GOCART would need a ton of federal money to serve Shawnee…and I genuinely doubt that Shawnee will ever be populated enough to warrant connection to OKC via rail. Something like 25% of the city would have to take the rail into OKC everyday to justify the extension.

Yukon will likely happen when they see how beneficial it is for Edmond/Norman and their residents.

Teo9969
03-14-2015, 10:37 AM
But with the relatively cheap real estate that will exist on the Eastern corridor route, isn't there a chance that TOD moves quicker in this area?

Spartan
03-14-2015, 11:48 AM
But with the relatively cheap real estate that will exist on the Eastern corridor route, isn't there a chance that TOD moves quicker in this area?

Not good TOD.

The phenomenon of TOD is actually premised on real estate being substantively more valuable.

Contrary to what we thought a few years ago, it is actually possible for a passenger train to be badly planned enough to fail. Look at the Denton-to-Addison line.

mmonroe
03-14-2015, 11:52 AM
Teo9969, that actually is the one major point I brought up in a Facebook Group related to Midwest City.

With that amount of frequent stops, approx every 30 minutes, that has a potential to be a major change on the landscape. Hopefully the city gets with it and makes the adjustments to start capital improvements now.

Spartan
03-14-2015, 11:55 AM
Not disagreeing. An unchanged reputation for crime doesn't help either.

Well, I don't know about that. Crime is a relative boogeyman. I can say that MWC did some very proactive municipal planning to land the town center and some "downtown MWC" development. I'm definitely not knocking MWC, which in my opinion has done a better job than most of OKC's suburbs, which has kept it stable with some capacity for growth.

The reality is just that it developed in the "wrong direction" and ahead of its time, both due to proximity to Tinker. There are a lot of very high incomes at Tinker that drive through MWC daily, and have a choice to consider living there and taking the congested freeways out of their commutes. Most don't and instead live in Moore or Edmond, but nonetheless many do.

I think that this rail project can be a huge benefit to MWC and that area of the metro, but for the greater good of the GOCART system, I'm not sure it should be the first phase. Norman-to-Edmond has the potential to be a wildly successful line depending on the alignment and operation. I'm confident that they can do it right. Either way I don't mean to discourage anyone trying to improve MWC, which is working.

Teo9969
03-14-2015, 12:24 PM
Well, I don't know about that. Crime is a relative boogeyman. I can say that MWC did some very proactive municipal planning to land the town center and some "downtown MWC" development. I'm definitely not knocking MWC, which in my opinion has done a better job than most of OKC's suburbs, which has kept it stable with some capacity for growth.

The reality is just that it developed in the "wrong direction" and ahead of its time, both due to proximity to Tinker. There are a lot of very high incomes at Tinker that drive through MWC daily, and have a choice to consider living there and taking the congested freeways out of their commutes. Most don't and instead live in Moore or Edmond, but nonetheless many do.

I think that this rail project can be a huge benefit to MWC and that area of the metro, but for the greater good of the GOCART system, I'm not sure it should be the first phase. Norman-to-Edmond has the potential to be a wildly successful line depending on the alignment and operation. I'm confident that they can do it right. Either way I don't mean to discourage anyone trying to improve MWC, which is working.

My understanding is that Phase 1 of expansion includes all of the above:

North: Route 1 - Commuter Rail via BNSF to Edmond [$360M/$5M/1,970 :: High-end Capital Cost/O&M/Daily Ridership]
Route 3 - Street Car via Classen to 63rd/Classen (Hopefully to a similar station as Route 1) [$830M/$3.5M/3,300]

South: Route 2 - Commuter Rail via BNSF [$410M/$5.5M/3,060]

East: Route 4 - Street Car via Reno+Old Rail ROW [$440M/$2.5M/2,260]

Totals: $2.04B Capital Cost, $16.5M O&M,10.6k Daily Ridership

mmonroe
03-14-2015, 01:50 PM
Well, I don't know about that. Crime is a relative boogeyman. I can say that MWC did some very proactive municipal planning to land the town center and some "downtown MWC" development. I'm definitely not knocking MWC, which in my opinion has done a better job than most of OKC's suburbs, which has kept it stable with some capacity for growth.

The reality is just that it developed in the "wrong direction" and ahead of its time, both due to proximity to Tinker. There are a lot of very high incomes at Tinker that drive through MWC daily, and have a choice to consider living there and taking the congested freeways out of their commutes. Most don't and instead live in Moore or Edmond, but nonetheless many do.

I think that this rail project can be a huge benefit to MWC and that area of the metro, but for the greater good of the GOCART system, I'm not sure it should be the first phase. Norman-to-Edmond has the potential to be a wildly successful line depending on the alignment and operation. I'm confident that they can do it right. Either way I don't mean to discourage anyone trying to improve MWC, which is working.


I tried to choose my words wisely when I mentioned the phrase "reputation of crime". Crime can be a variety of variables but the reputation.. that is something that most people will mention in the top 3 of what they do not like about Midwest City. More to reality, it's a perception of crime that hurts our reputation than anything. Even with crime numbers getting better, the perception that it's not is still a very real thing in most peoples minds. Every other news story for crime seems to come from Midwest City, and perhaps that is a perception issue on my own part, that it just seems to be that every other news story on crime is originating from Midwest City.

Teo9969
03-14-2015, 02:19 PM
Perception of Crime is hard to undermine in any area that looks "poor"

Going East on Reno from Sooner Road, here are the land marks:

Car Wash/TV & Appliance store
Small Office Park
Antique Store
Newish State Farm Office (first plus so far)
Discount Tobacco Gas Station & Baptist Church
Apartments
Slew of 70s - 90s strip centers
Abandoned Whataburger + Lifechurch and Old Arby's
Dead Mall and Goodwill

etc. etc. etc. … For every 1 positive reinforcement seen, there are 5 to 10 red flags.

For a typical person from middle class and above OKC Metro area residents to feel safe and secure, they need to see Chili's, Chase, and Chevy Tahoes that are 2010 or newer. They need to see these things and their competitors all over. Well taken care of grass, and areas that have housing editions built 1990 or later (exceptions being places like Heritage Hills/Crown Heights, for obvious reasons), contemporary road signage, and gas stations like OnCue are also important.

That doesn't apply to every resident by any means, but it's a good barometer. TOD and gentrification in any manner along the Streetcar route will go a long way to making Midwest City more inviting to your average middle class OKC citizen.

zookeeper
03-14-2015, 04:16 PM
Let's not forget MWC took a blow when GM closed the assembly plant and put 2500 people out of work. That doesn't include the many jobs that supported the work force at GM. To be fair, that will damage any city the size of Midwest City, and bring development to a halt. I think it's a big reason we see mostly '70's, '80's and '90's architecture (as mentioned by TEO9969 above).

Quick edit....and they were good jobs. I just looked at the census from 2000-2010. MWC had a grand increase of 371 people during that decade. Ouch.

mmonroe
03-14-2015, 07:40 PM
There is a huge different between what is the "core" of Midwest City and the residential "outskirts" of Midwest City.

There is a transition in landscape in between Douglas and Post. Reminds me of Rogers AR when I worked for the LPGA. You had the old Rogers city area and then you had the Wal*Mart money area referred to as Pinnacle Hills. I rolled into town on the money side and was impressed with the aesthetics and infrastructure, then we made the drive to our hotel on the other side of town and well.. it reminded me of MWC in the mid '90s before the Town Center.

There are some very large and beautiful houses ($125-$800K) in Midwest City, and private one street gated housing communities are becoming the norm.
https://www.google.com/maps/@35.4518817,-97.3675153,785m/data=!3m1!1e3 (Have a look..)

Most of the "money" in Midwest City stays on this side of town too. I could complain about how they invest in smaller developments on that side and not in what I consider the "core" but the land holders around here are ridiculous too. The pricing is too much, which forces anyone with a reasonable amount of money to go with a cheaper option and most of the time that means building one of these "house office" type buildings that holds no value to the fabric of the community. You can go anywhere and see a house office, there is nothing unique to them. In 40 years they will be bulldozed and a new development will take their place. But we also have developers here that would rather hold onto their properties making money off the tenants without having to invest back into their properties when they start to go down and instead invest in other communities and their developments, essentially funneling money away from the community.

mmonroe
03-14-2015, 07:53 PM
...

A lot could be said if the city would just clean up the areas. (The whole, if you build it they will come feeling)

Even if the only thing they did were put in new street lights, new signage and moved the electrical pole ROW to behind commercial lots, i'd be happy.

Spartan
03-15-2015, 10:19 AM
My understanding is that Phase 1 of expansion includes all of the above:

North: Route 1 - Commuter Rail via BNSF to Edmond [$360M/$5M/1,970 :: High-end Capital Cost/O&M/Daily Ridership]
Route 3 - Street Car via Classen to 63rd/Classen (Hopefully to a similar station as Route 1) [$830M/$3.5M/3,300]

South: Route 2 - Commuter Rail via BNSF [$410M/$5.5M/3,060]

East: Route 4 - Street Car via Reno+Old Rail ROW [$440M/$2.5M/2,260]

Totals: $2.04B Capital Cost, $16.5M O&M,10.6k Daily Ridership

Interesting, I like it, but it seems to me that south is the obvious priority looking at those low-ball ridership figures. I didn't realize that the dialogues have chosen the existing RR ROWs? Is there a link to the GOCARTS study/proceedings?

If you study rush hour traffic patterns on Google maps for a length of time, you will notice that the worst congestion is experienced by commuters coming from the south in the morning and going back down south in the evening. Both 35 and 44 usually show up red, while most of the routes to Edmond, Hefner, and Deer Creek are really pretty clear of congestion.


Let's not forget MWC took a blow when GM closed the assembly plant and put 2500 people out of work. That doesn't include the many jobs that supported the work force at GM. To be fair, that will damage any city the size of Midwest City, and bring development to a halt. I think it's a big reason we see mostly '70's, '80's and '90's architecture (as mentioned by TEO9969 above).

Quick edit....and they were good jobs. I just looked at the census from 2000-2010. MWC had a grand increase of 371 people during that decade. Ouch.

That is still growth. I think MWC has an interesting "tale of two cities" within its boundaries. Toward the SW part of the city near I-40, things look pretty rough - although if you go deeper into some of the hoods, there are these really cute stone ranch/mid century houses that I've not seen concentrated anywhere else. Then toward Air Depot and points east of there, it's the fairly well-done Town Center and then large-lot, high-end subdivisions. Many hoods are probably losing population, and the fringes are growing slower (than Moore or Norman) because of lot sizes and topography, but the balance is still net growth - which is nothing to scoff at!

Teo9969
03-15-2015, 12:02 PM
Interesting, I like it, but it seems to me that south is the obvious priority looking at those low-ball ridership figures. I didn't realize that the dialogues have chosen the existing RR ROWs? Is there a link to the GOCARTS study/proceedings?

If you study rush hour traffic patterns on Google maps for a length of time, you will notice that the worst congestion is experienced by commuters coming from the south in the morning and going back down south in the evening. Both 35 and 44 usually show up red, while most of the routes to Edmond, Hefner, and Deer Creek are really pretty clear of congestion.

The link is at the very top of the page. It's the PDF.

bombermwc
03-17-2015, 07:32 AM
Perception of Crime is hard to undermine in any area that looks "poor"

Going East on Reno from Sooner Road, here are the land marks:

Car Wash/TV & Appliance store
Small Office Park
Antique Store
Newish State Farm Office (first plus so far)
Discount Tobacco Gas Station & Baptist Church
Apartments
Slew of 70s - 90s strip centers
Abandoned Whataburger + Lifechurch and Old Arby's
Dead Mall and Goodwill

etc. etc. etc. … For every 1 positive reinforcement seen, there are 5 to 10 red flags.

For a typical person from middle class and above OKC Metro area residents to feel safe and secure, they need to see Chili's, Chase, and Chevy Tahoes that are 2010 or newer. They need to see these things and their competitors all over. Well taken care of grass, and areas that have housing editions built 1990 or later (exceptions being places like Heritage Hills/Crown Heights, for obvious reasons), contemporary road signage, and gas stations like OnCue are also important.

That doesn't apply to every resident by any means, but it's a good barometer. TOD and gentrification in any manner along the Streetcar route will go a long way to making Midwest City more inviting to your average middle class OKC citizen.

So you managed to pick what most people think is the worst commercial strip in MWC and base your opinion of the city on that huh? But again, people say it's dead, but in that same stretch of road, the ONLY empty building is the mall. That TV & Appliance Center is the old K-Mart, which has had a tenant since K-Mart left (Anthony's used to be in the Fenton Nissan building on I-40). It's a long standing name in EOC and is still doing well. Hardly a company to scoff at. Further down the road you have an old Albertsons lot that was rebuilt as a Walmart NM and is much nicer than the old building. The old WalMart that's been converted to climate controlled storage (and is doing well), a Target that's being turned into Winco. How many stretches in other parts of OKC have so many old big box stores that have managed to repurpose and NOT be vacant for decades all while being a few miles OFF the interstate. I'd say that's a good picture of how MWC economic development is doing its job.

I can go anywhere in any suburb in OKC and in the city itself and find the same crap you've described. Even in precious Moore and Edmond, there is crap. Oodles and oodles of crap. But the perception of those towns is different. And most people don't realize how much money is in MWC. Yes, it's mostly on the eastern sides of MWC, but those million dollar mansions do exist in MWC, and they aren't low in their numbers.

And if you're going to talk MWC, you need to include some of the SE sector nearby because those people spend all of their money in MWC. Again, there's some crap out there, but there's also quite a bit of large expensive areas too..even as close as 44th/Douglas.

Spartan
03-17-2015, 07:47 AM
To be honest, that picture of MWC ED success that you just painted, sounds like a nightmare to most communities. It's enough to rethink the whole sprawl thing...

You're absolutely right that plenty of that old junky sprawl exists along Boulevard in Edmond or 12th in Moore. Really that's what all of 2nd Street in Edmond or 19th Street in Moore are destined for...

Teo9969
03-17-2015, 09:47 AM
So you managed to pick what most people think is the worst commercial strip in MWC and base your opinion of the city on that huh?

No, I didn't. I'd personally feel no less safe in Midwest City as I would in Yukon. I've not spent any much time in those places, and both are in my home metro area. I'm not talking about me. I'm talking about why the perception persists.


But . . . How many stretches in other parts of OKC have so many old big box stores that have managed to repurpose and NOT be vacant for decades all while being a few miles OFF the interstate. I'd say that's a good picture of how MWC economic development is doing its job.

I can go anywhere in any suburb in OKC and in the city itself and find the same crap you've described. Even in precious Moore and Edmond, there is crap. Oodles and oodles of crap.

I agree you can find oodles and oodles of crap in any suburb. That might be the best definition of "Suburban America": Oodles and Oodles of crap (This is hyperbole for anyone who just read this and finds themselves having a visceral reaction). Also, not sure anybody is looking to Moore as an example of the most desirable suburb to live in. I hear more people talk @%*^ on Moore than I do Midwest City by a long shot.

MWC problem is that there is a complete lack of density, even of the suburban nature, and that's alone probably worth 3 strikes. There's no road that even closely resembles NW Expressway, Memorial, Broadway Extension, etc. over a 3 mile distance. These are the OKC Metro area's middle class havens. These are the types of places where the middle class is going to spend their money.


But the perception of those towns is different. And most people don't realize how much money is in MWC. Yes, it's mostly on the eastern sides of MWC, but those million dollar mansions do exist in MWC, and they aren't low in their numbers.

And if you're going to talk MWC, you need to include some of the SE sector nearby because those people spend all of their money in MWC. Again, there's some crap out there, but there's also quite a bit of large expensive areas too..even as close as 44th/Douglas.

This ultimately aids my argument that MWC, especially the part most likely to be encountered by the average OKC metro citizen, looks old and not well taken care of. Every person could be a millionaire in Midwest City, but if the Western portion of Midwest City still looked like it did, the perception of crime would still be there.

I have nothing against Midwest City, and I hope it can find a way to flourish the same way Edmond and Norman do, because that only helps OKC (which is really all I care about). But if you want to know the answer to "Why do people think x about MWC", the answers are 100% obvious.

Land Costco, and all of the sudden perception changes real quick.