Widgets Magazine
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35

Thread: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

  1. #1

    Default OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Unfortunately we have been again by some bad press on this issue. We really need to do something about this asap.


    Cambridge, Mass., top city for walking
    United Press International
    Published: March 4, 2008 at 12:05 AM

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 3 (UPI) -- Cambridge, Mass., is the best place in the United States to hoof it and Oklahoma City the worst spot for the leisure activity, rankings issued Tuesday show.

    Prevention magazine and the American Podiatric Medical Association said in a news release they had based their rankings on 14 criteria -- including the percentage of adults who walk to work, the number of parks per square mile, use of mass transit and percentage of adults who walk for fitness.

    After Cambridge, the other most walker-friendly cities are New York; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Chicago; Washington; Honolulu; Trenton, N.J.; Boston and Cincinnati.

    Almost as bad for walkers as Oklahoma City are North Las Vegas, Nev.; Gadsden, Ala.; Davenport, Iowa; Mount Pleasant, S.C.; Enid, Okla.; Laredo, Texas; Springdale, Ark.; Clarksville, Tenn.; and Lafayette, La.

    The fitness magazine and foot doctors said walking is the most popular form of exercise, with 87.5 percent of Americans indulging in the pastime.

    Their survey checked out more than 500 U.S. cities.

  2. #2

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    In other news, water is wet.

    I just hate to see us at the very bottom. That stinks.
    ...this shortest straw has been pulled for you

  3. #3

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Of course our major urban sprawl doesn't help. And we don't have mass transit. Let's face it, Cambridge isn't exactly Oklahoma City. It's a small little place where it's easy to walk. We're talking apples and oranges here. But I agree that it's bad to be at the bottom. It won't hurt if we get a new central park, and all the new sidewalks planned won't hurt either.

  4. #4

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Cambridge is probably helped by the fact that it is home to one of the most famous and prestigious universities in the world, Harvard. If you haven't been there, it isn't very big and everything is close knit. They have a lot more money floating around than OKC and they are part of the Boston metropolitan area which last time I checked was top ten in size. Oh yeah and they have mass transit. Apples and Oranges. OKC could use some help though.

  5. #5

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Quote Originally Posted by betts View Post
    Of course our major urban sprawl doesn't help. And we don't have mass transit. Let's face it, Cambridge isn't exactly Oklahoma City. It's a small little place where it's easy to walk. We're talking apples and oranges here. But I agree that it's bad to be at the bottom. It won't hurt if we get a new central park, and all the new sidewalks planned won't hurt either.
    Plus, we're just different culturally and socially. A 'large chunk', pun intended, of OKC residents simply don't want to walk. If walking becomes so difficult, as a result of obesity, that you can no longer shop for groceries without the assistance of a scooter, maybe you should consider a lifestyle change; and that doesn't include using a scooter to help you get around!
    ...this shortest straw has been pulled for you

  6. #6

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    with 87.5 percent of Americans indulging in the pastime.
    What are the other 12.5 percent doing? I don't know about you guys and gals but I walk every day - I mean indulge. What I really hate most about these "studies" is the criteria they use. I can see checking the number that work for fitness or to work, but parks per sq mile, mass transit and who know what the other 10 criteria were.

  7. #7

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    There are a lot of cities in this country with urban sprawl that aren't at the bottom of that list. It's not a matter of comparing Oklahoma City to Cambridge - it's a matter of comparing Oklahoma City to other cities that don't share a spot at the bottom of the list.

    We have work to do. I hope the increased sidewalks will touch my area as we have none. Out-of-towners talk about it every time they vist. We're so used to not seeing them I don't even notice anymore - until I go somewhere with sidewalks and realize how nice they are to have in your neighborhood.

    When I'm in Dallas, I don't drive downtown. I stay in Plano and when I need to go downtown I take the Red Line DART. I would dearly love to see something similar here one day. I agree with their including mass transit in the study because when you get to one end of the line - you have to walk.

    There's no conspiracy against us, for a lot of reasons I'm sure we deserve to be at the bottom of that list.

  8. Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Yeah, THE worst is not good at all.

    Alot of it is cultural and will be very, very difficult to change.

  9. #9

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    I'm sad to say this doesn't surprise me.

    But it's also something that needs to be corrected. For the life of me, I can't understand why they allow all those new housing tracts without sidewalks. So, that's a change that should be implemented right away.

    However, the even bigger need is to for some sort of limitations on the absurd sprawl that plagues the Metro. In most the areas of growth, there simply isn't place worth walking to.

  10. #10

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    There's no way that Oklahoma City will ever come close to the top of this list, I am sorry to say, but yes, being at the bottom is very bad.

    I think the thing that hurts Oklahoma City the most in this respect is that there literally is absolutely 0 places where you can live and never have to drive anywhere, if you chose not to. Downtown could be on its way to being that district. I'm not saying that anyone living downtown would go carless. That's not going to happen. I'm just saying that even in some of the most sprawling cities in the country, there are self contained neighborhoods and districts where you can walk from your residence to work, to the store, to restaurants, and to shops if you chose to. We do not even offer that option at all. It's impossible.

    This is often the point I try to make about downtown housing and why it's important. Not necessarily because I'm trying to make driving out to totally evil, but because a city of our size should at least offer the option of living in a pedestrian oriented neighborhood. I mean, at least ONE option for that lifestyle would be a major improvement and would inconvenience no one currently living amongst the sprawl. There are a lot of people in this world that prefer that lifestyle and it does our city no service that we can't even offer that to what would be a very small, but significant, percentage of prospective and current residents.

    And, really, offering such a neighborhood within our city's broader layout could be a great attraction to some as it would be an option for people wanting a pedestrian lifestyle, but also a very convenient place for them to drive when they wanted. Now, that kind of mix is VERY hard to find.

  11. #11

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    I really do think OKC falls to the bottom of this list for 2 reasons. It is the largest city in America that was largely built after the invention of the car. In short, it is the most "modern" city on the list. Places back East and on the West Coast were largely developed when walking was the only way to get around. Cities that were developed after 1900 are way smaller than OKC where walking is an option. Even Kansas City and Dallas were formed before there where other options. Not making a excuse, just trying to figure out why. I do agree though that downtown OKC has the best chance of becoming a true live-work-play neighborhood.

    I would like to know what the other 10 criteria were. I'll bet there is something in there about how much government spends on foot surgery with the impication being that more surgery equals more walking. This study was done by the American Podiatric Medical Association after all.

    P.S. I looked up the study and here are some of the other criteria they looked at:

    Other criteria included various walking-friendly attributes such as low crime rates, mild year-round temperatures, the number of cultural attractions, participation in recreational sports, and pet ownership.
    This leaves 5 mystery criteria that they don't identify. The moral of the story is, drive to mailbox but own 2 pets. In fact, I have 3 cats so if someone wants to buy some pet-offset credits let me know. (just kidding - I don't have any pets)

  12. Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    low crime rates and the number of cultural attractions???

  13. #13

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Quote Originally Posted by solitude View Post
    There are a lot of cities in this country with urban sprawl that aren't at the bottom of that list. It's not a matter of comparing Oklahoma City to Cambridge - it's a matter of comparing Oklahoma City to other cities that don't share a spot at the bottom of the list.

    We have work to do. I hope the increased sidewalks will touch my area as we have none. Out-of-towners talk about it every time they vist. We're so used to not seeing them I don't even notice anymore - until I go somewhere with sidewalks and realize how nice they are to have in your neighborhood.

    When I'm in Dallas, I don't drive downtown. I stay in Plano and when I need to go downtown I take the Red Line DART. I would dearly love to see something similar here one day. I agree with their including mass transit in the study because when you get to one end of the line - you have to walk.

    There's no conspiracy against us, for a lot of reasons I'm sure we deserve to be at the bottom of that list.
    OKC WILL have this someday, it's not a matter of if but when and that is why we need to start planning ASAP. MAPS III and mass transit should be a high priority for Mick Cornett and the city now that the Ford Center election is over. Continued investment in neighborhood sidewalks, streetscaping our urban and semi-urban districts like along Western (Crown Heights) and Classen (Asian District), Broadway north of 13th, and the OUHSC/State Capitol area, is very important. The NW 23rd Street streetscaping is a great example to follow and should continue past the Capitol to the east and past Classen to the west. Also what they did in Capitol Hill along SW 25th is nice. Areas like the Triangle/Maywood Park district and eventually Core to Shore are being developed with pedestrian in mind, and Bricktown is for the most part a pedestrian-friendly environment, could be better though.

  14. Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Some parts of the city are better than others. There's a site called Walk Score that rates your address based upon what it finds in your area that you can reasonably walk to, on a 1 to 100 scale. My neighborhood picked up a 78; the house where my parents lived, a bit more suburban, got a 43, which I suspect is probably typical of much of the metro area.

    Walk Score - Helping homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods.

  15. #15

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    If you want more walking in Oklahoma City, figure out a way Clay Bennett can charge people for it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    bornhere - you need to let it go. The election is over.

  17. #17

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Quote Originally Posted by bornhere View Post
    If you want more walking in Oklahoma City, figure out a way Clay Bennett can charge people for it.

    Well if the people want it, I'm sure they'll have no problem paying for it. What's best for the city has been left in the hands of voters. If the result is YES, be mad at the citizens of OKC, not Clay Bennett.
    ...this shortest straw has been pulled for you

  18. Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Sidewalks were not a priority in Oklahoma City until recent times when former Ward 2 Councilwoman and Ward 6 Ann Simank began to raise the walkability issue. Last year, Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman intorduced ordinances requiring sidewalks along arterial streets as well as neighborhood streets in new developments and that sidewalks be introduced in areas of infill development and other instances where new constuction takes place on major streets. This is a great improvement, but it will take about one hundred years to get sidewalks along side all the streets where they are needed.

    It's not that people don't walk, there are plenty of well trodden trails along streets like Western and Pennsylvania between NW 50th street and downtown, there aren't enough sidewalks. The most popular shopping venue in Oklahoma City, Penn Square, is virtually inaccessible on foot. The areas on both sides of NW Expressway between May Avenue and Pennsylvania would be great locations for new sidewalks.

    The only way that OKC will get the sidewalks, rail mass transit or any of the desirable pedestrian aminities often discussed on this forum is by putting pressure on our Mayor and City Council members, and you don't do that by just posting dissatisfaction on OKC Talk, but by taking an active roll in planning and governing the city and by getting involved in local elections. The boards and commissions populated by concerned OKC citizens that volunteer their valuable time to serve on these bodies meet all the time and their meeting schedules are posted at okc.gov. The next round of City Council elections is 2009.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  19. #19

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    I agree with you about walkers in OKC. I live on Portland and there is a well worn track on my property. My question to all of us (me included) is why we don't use the bus system more. I just found the route between my house and work and will start using the bus as soon as busy season is over. I was in Pittsburgh in December and used the bus system to get from downtown to one of the suburbs where my great-aunt lives. Everybody uses the bus, there is no stigma to riding the bus. My great aunt never learned to drive a car and got around just fine. Right now, I am not sure we have enough ridership to even consider a light rail system. I would love to have one but it may come down to it being our civic duty to start using the bus system whenever possible to change the mindset of our citizens so that when and if we do get a light rail it will become successful and not just a very expensive public subsidy.

  20. #20

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    The Old Downtown Guy pretty much nails it.

    Someone else you might talk to in this regard is the Neighborhood Alliance at NW 36 & Classen.

  21. #21

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Quote Originally Posted by windowphobe View Post
    Some parts of the city are better than others. There's a site called Walk Score that rates your address based upon what it finds in your area that you can reasonably walk to, on a 1 to 100 scale. My neighborhood picked up a 78; the house where my parents lived, a bit more suburban, got a 43, which I suspect is probably typical of much of the metro area.

    Walk Score - Helping homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods.
    Cool link. My central Norman neighborhood got a 75, but I'd consider Norman (around campus) to be one of the most walkable places in Oklahoma. Of course that has a lot to do with OU being here and the smaller size of the city. Tackling all of OKC is a nearly impossible task but targeting certain districts like downtown and the ones I mentioned before (Crown Heights, Asian District/OCU, OUHSC, etc.) is the way to start, and we already have. Hopefully Chesapeake's big new project along Western will be pedestrian-friendly.

  22. Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Quote Originally Posted by windowphobe View Post
    Some parts of the city are better than others. There's a site called Walk Score that rates your address based upon what it finds in your area that you can reasonably walk to, on a 1 to 100 scale. My neighborhood picked up a 78; the house where my parents lived, a bit more suburban, got a 43, which I suspect is probably typical of much of the metro area.

    Walk Score - Helping homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods.
    I got a 94 for my place in the Park Harvey.

    90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.

  23. #23

    Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Woo Hoo!!! I got a big 'ole 6 for my suburban abode. Yea, me!!

  24. Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Ouch. Even my parents house in east Edmond got a 42.

  25. Default Re: OKC is NOT walker friendly...

    Quote Originally Posted by FritterGirl View Post
    Woo Hoo!!! I got a big 'ole 6 for my suburban abode. Yea, me!!
    Wow...And here I was thinking that my 15 was going to be the lowest.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Why I am voting No.
    By Kerry in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 342
    Last Post: 03-03-2008, 09:43 PM
  2. Possible Sonics announcement tomorrow
    By JWil in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 11-06-2007, 05:03 PM
  3. Need help finding summer writing program
    By MadMonk in forum Politics
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-12-2007, 12:15 PM
  4. OKC the Big Friendly??
    By metro in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 05-01-2007, 01:05 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO