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Thread: OKC Boulevard

  1. #126

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    I'm going to make a side note and it's something the urbanists on this board either miss or dismiss, I'm not entirely sure which.

    Your economic arguments that sprawl isn't sustainable because they cost more to build and maintain then the government takes in are ridiculous. Governments have one thing that nothing else in the world has. The power to tax. They can raise taxes and instantly raise revenues. If it was truly unsustainable, the government would simply raise taxes and boom just like magic the money is there.

    Sprawl may not be sustainable at current tax rates, but rates can always change. It's not like a family budget because the earners in the family can't demand more pay, a government can.

    It's why the country is $15 trillion in debt and we haven't collapsed, because worst comes to worst spending can be cut and revenue increased.

    Also there isn't a right or wrong here. It's more a matter of preference. Once both the urban/sprawl cheerleaders accept that, you'll quit arguing or trying to win.

    Just my $.02

  2. #127

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Seriously....Can we start a thread for all this called. "You hate suburbs!". "No, YOU hate suburbs!"?

  3. #128

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    I'm going to make a side note and it's something the urbanists on this board either miss or dismiss, I'm not entirely sure which.

    Your economic arguments that sprawl isn't sustainable because they cost more to build and maintain then the government takes in are ridiculous. Governments have one thing that nothing else in the world has. The power to tax. They can raise taxes and instantly raise revenues. If it was truly unsustainable, the government would simply raise taxes and boom just like magic the money is there.

    Sprawl may not be sustainable at current tax rates, but rates can always change. It's not like a family budget because the earners in the family can't demand more pay, a government can.

    It's why the country is $15 trillion in debt and we haven't collapsed, because worst comes to worst spending can be cut and revenue increased.

    Also there isn't a right or wrong here. It's more a matter of preference. Once both the urban/sprawl cheerleaders accept that, you'll quit arguing or trying to win.

    Just my $.02
    Technically we are $18 Trillion in debt because the standard operating procedure for decades has been to budget to spend more than they collect, then often spend more than they budgeted, also there is plenty of unfunded obligations not in that 18 trillion. Also expecting politicians to act in the long term interest of the country over their parties favored policies and risk loosing votes in the next election is a bit much to expect.

  4. Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    The only reason this thread veered into that territory is because some here understand that if the boulevard design completely sells out to the suburban interests driving it - and becomes an expressway providing mainly/only rapid ingress/egress - it could seriously hamper efforts to make the core a great, walkable place for those who choose to remain there beyond the 9-5.

    In fact, much of the recent "urban vs. suburban" heartburn was initiated by a poster demanding "a balanced approach" to development, which according to his words seems to be a fast lane from his house to massive parking structures fronting the street. There are other approaches that accommodate suburban arrivals without decimating the core and leaving it lifeless.

    Also, remember that we are talking about a few blocks of boulevard and 1-2 square miles of hoped-for quality urbanism in the middle of 600+ (incorporated) miles of unchecked sprawl. The urbanism movement in OKC would have to become many hundreds of times larger - for decades - to make even a dent in the urban vs. suburban balance, and nobody here is pushing for that in any way, shape or form. We just ask that the couple of square miles that make up downtown (0.3% of our city) be as good - meaning liveable/walkable - as they can be.

    The screeching demands for "A BALANCED APPROACH!!!" are particularly ironic when coming from anti-urbanists, who have had their way exclusively in this city for 60 years, and who will continue to hold most of the cards and enjoy vastly more available living options for the foreseeable future.

  5. Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    ^Exactly. Thank you

  6. #131

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    I've posted a more detailed analysis on this before (with numbers and everything), a few years ago, but the reason Oklahoma has bad roads is because of sprawl. Oklahoma has a lot more miles of paved 4 lane road, per person, than most states. We even have more when you compare to large area, low population states like Nebraska and Kansas. But our spending on road maintenance isn't proportionately higher than average.

    The more you sprawl out, the more you have to spend on roads, or the worse your roads will be. If you don't want higher taxes, then you can't cater entirely to suburbs and exurbs, or you accept bad roads.

  7. #132

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    The only reason this thread veered into that territory is because some here understand that if the boulevard design completely sells out to the suburban interests driving it - and becomes an expressway providing mainly/only rapid ingress/egress - it could seriously hamper efforts to make the core a great, walkable place for those who choose to remain there beyond the 9-5.

    In fact, much of the recent "urban vs. suburban" heartburn was initiated by a poster demanding "a balanced approach" to development, which according to his words seems to be a fast lane from his house to massive parking structures fronting the street. There are other approaches that accommodate suburban arrivals without decimating the core and leaving it lifeless.

    Also, remember that we are talking about a few blocks of boulevard and 1-2 square miles of hoped-for quality urbanism in the middle of 600+ (incorporated) miles of unchecked sprawl. The urbanism movement in OKC would have to become many hundreds of times larger - for decades - to make even a dent in the urban vs. suburban balance, and nobody here is pushing for that in any way, shape or form. We just ask that the couple of square miles that make up downtown (0.3% of our city) be as good - meaning liveable/walkable - as they can be.

    The screeching demands for "A BALANCED APPROACH!!!" are particularly ironic when coming from anti-urbanists, who have had their way exclusively in this city for 60 years, and who will continue to hold most of the cards and enjoy vastly more available living options for the foreseeable future.
    Isn't that why we have Friends for a Better BLVD. thread to discuss those things? I know I participated, but I created this thread primarily for new photos and updates to the BLVD. and the other thread can discuss the impact of walkability this will have on the area.

    BTW, I'm not directing this at you, just point this out.

  8. Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    It's a good point. Sorry to have participated in the madness.

  9. #134

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    As far as public health, that is a joke because Japan has incredibly dense urban cities, yet extremely poor health in a lot of areas and high suicide rates. Yes, I am aware they have longer lifespans than the US.

    In the suburbs of Dallas, health is great! People are walking around, always active, and as with a lot of the US, are eating healthier now.
    Wait a minute - so which areas in Japan have poor health? So in one breath you admit that the Japanese live far longer than we do (a good decade last I looked - may be off) - but then they commit suicide and are unhealthy because they've built extremely walkable cities with impeccable public transit? Huh? And suicide rates? Really? You know that suicide is still considered honorable by many in Japan, so that may, just may, have something to do with it? Or are you suggesting that the shinkansen's efficiency, safety, and reliability lead people to kill themselves?

    Just curious have you spent any time in Japan? And where? I spent a month in Kyoto, several days at a pediatric "obesity" clinic. I remember one of the faculty telling me on my first day, "you're not going to think these kids are fat since you live in America!" - and started laughing. What struck me about Japan is that EVERYONE - 80 year olds, are out and about, walking everywhere. My first night there, I had dinner with some of the faculty. We got done around 10 PM, and they were like okay, see you tomorrow! And left me to walk myself home. Which was unbelievable to me, until I realized that here in Kyoto, everyone does this. Everyone walks everywhere. At 10 PM on a school night, school-aged kids were out everywhere. That's when, after living in OKC for so long, it finally struck me that wow, there are places in the world where you can walk home and not worry about getting mugged, or ran over by an idiot driver who hasn't seen a pedestrian in his life. Everyone should visit Kyoto at least once in their lives, preferably in April.

    And where are these walkable, mixed-use suburbs in Dallas? I'm just curious, I really am, because I'd love to see them next time we go (which I'm not sure when that'll be, since we have no reason to go anymore).

  10. #135

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    nm.

  11. #136

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    I think we should rename this thread ODOT's Folly. They have totally ruined what hope there was for East Bricktown, made the entrance to the river ugly and confusing and given us back the homeless shelters we got rid of when we took I-40 down. Looking at what they've done so far, how can one hope any of the "boulevard" will be pedestrian or bike friendly? Every update I see makes it look worse and worse. And they've wasted millions in taxpayer dollars doing it. Time to get out of the 20th century in state planning and engineering.

  12. #137

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    I was told they don't have the monies to widen or even entertain the idea of pedestrian traffic. Besides, ODOT is not in the walking or biking business, what could we expect?

  13. Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stickman View Post
    I was told they don't have the monies to widen or even entertain the idea of pedestrian traffic. Besides, ODOT is not in the walking or biking business, what could we expect?
    The department of transportation is not in the business of how people transport themselves? That's your argument?

  14. #139

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    I'm not disagreeing with what people want or desire. Just stating the obvious.

  15. #140

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by betts View Post
    Looking at what they've done so far, how can one hope any of the "boulevard" will be pedestrian or bike friendly? Every update I see makes it look worse and worse.
    Worst part: It won't even meet their stated purpose of being better vehicular access.

    I entered downtown from the west on Crosstown Boulevard yesterday, and noticed: If the "grid" option had been chosen, that route would have deposited you right onto California, the heart of downtown and easy access up to Midtown via Western, Classen, Shartel, and Walker. The one they actually went with will swoop several blocks further south, before letting people exit, duplicating the I-40 access that already exists.

    We are getting a road that would have solved all of OKC's navigation needs... In the 90s when Midtown, Film Row, west downtown were ghost towns no one needed to access.

  16. #141

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    So I'm guessing this is going to be future of this thread? People like no1club who are are in a fantasy world moaning and complaining until me or someone else gets a picture and then we have a slew of people afterwards repeat what they have already said even though it's bs?

    Seriously, there is another thread on this that is extremely long. Take your complaints over there. That is why I deleted my response above. There is no need to discuss this here.

  17. #142

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    So I'm guessing this is going to be future of this thread? People like no1club who are are in a fantasy world moaning and complaining until me or someone else gets a picture and then we have a slew of people afterwards repeat what they have already said even though it's bs?

    Seriously, there is another thread on this that is extremely long. Take your complaints over there. That is why I deleted my response above. There is no need to discuss this here.
    Oh come on, you've never shied away before - so why now? I'd love to hear your ideas on how the quality of life in Kyoto could be improved by building unnecessary elevated freeways through the heart of the city.

    At least tell us where you spent your time in Japan? Seems like you had a much different experience than I did, so I'm just curious.

  18. Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    PluPan's point is that there is a thread already devoted to discussing design ideas/shortcomings related to the boulevard, and that this thread was intended to be for construction updates. He's right.

  19. #144

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    PluPan's point is that there is a thread already devoted to discussing design ideas/shortcomings related to the boulevard, and that this thread was intended to be for construction updates. He's right.
    Fair enough, but this thread has already taken on a life of it's own (of which pulpan was definitely a part of), so it's pretty rich to take that approach now. Ah well so it goes!

  20. #145

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stickman View Post
    I was told they don't have the monies to widen or even entertain the idea of pedestrian traffic. Besides, ODOT is not in the walking or biking business, what could we expect?
    Then they should not be trying to control the design of downtown city streets, also it would have been a lot cheaper to keep the grid between Walker and Western, they are spending on what they want.

  21. #146

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by AP View Post
    The department of transportation is not in the business of how people transport themselves? That's your argument?
    To be fair, that is correct. ODOT couldn't give a damn about how people transport themselves. They're in the business (racket) of transporting cars, not people.

  22. #147

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    2/11/2015

    ]
    For whatever reason, it escapes me right now, but I first saw these pics and thought they were 4-5 years old.

  23. #148

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    From ODOT

    Press Releases
    Monday, March 30, 2015

    Downtown progress ramps up as first in a series of three major OKC Boulevard projects commences

    Work to reconnect I-40 to Downtown Oklahoma City takes a major step forward Monday as work begins on the first project on the downtown portion of the Oklahoma City Boulevard. The $40 million project will include major railroad bridge work near the east end of the Oklahoma City Boulevard as well as construction of the Oklahoma City Boulevard intersection with Shields Blvd./Gaylord Blvd. The project will also further develop of the I-235 and I-40 connections to the Oklahoma City Boulevard on the east end of the corridor.

    The project was awarded to Allen Contracting and Shell Construction as part of a joint venture and is anticipated to take approximately two years to complete. Because a majority of the construction will be in the footprint of the old I-40 Crosstown bridge, only minimal traffic impacts are anticipated during construction. As part of the work, starting in the first weeks of the project Compress Ave. east of Shields/Gaylord Blvd. will be closed as well as a few parking areas south of Bricktown.

    This project marks the first in a series of three major remaining projects to complete the middle portion of the Oklahoma City Boulevard and its reconnection to the new I-40 alignment, I-235 and I-35. The final design on the remaining two Oklahoma City Boulevard projects, which run from Klein Ave. to E.K. Gaylord/ Shields Blvd., are currently being finalized with both projects anticipated to be up for bids in early 2016.

    The overall construction of the Boulevard includes a now completed $9 million project that constructed the west end connection of the Boulevard to I-40 and the current project on the east end of the Boulevard, which has Gaylord Blvd. closed to allow OGE and city of Oklahoma City crews to relocate utilities in the area. This ongoing Boulevard project is anticipated to be complete in late 2015.

    Serving as the final phase of the I-40 Crosstown relocation project, the purpose of the Oklahoma City Boulevard is to improve access to the downtown Oklahoma City Central Business District from the new I-40. The anticipated overall cost of the Oklahoma City Boulevard is approximately $80 million, which includes about $50 million for connections to the new I-40 alignment at the east and west ends and another $30 million for the central part of the new Boulevard. The completed Oklahoma City Boulevard will serve as a low-speed city street running through the planned convention center and central park area, connecting on the east end to I-235 and I-40 near Bricktown and on the west end to I-40 near Pennsylvania Ave. and Western Ave. Plans for the new four-lane Boulevard include on-street parking as well as inclusion of features to make it pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

    Through extensive coordination with the city of Oklahoma City and other partners, a comprehensive public involvement process began in 1995 with the initial planning of the I-40 Crosstown relocation. Public engagement continued through the years culminating with ODOT and FHWA re-examining the alternatives for the Oklahoma City Boulevard due to new developments in the area over the last 12 years.

    - Oklahoma Department of Transportation

  24. #149

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    How is I-40 not connected to downtown OKC? There are plenty of exits off I-40 that lead directly to downtown. So incredibly stupid.

    Downtown San Francisco isn't directly serviced by ANY interstate. Last I checked, SF was doing just fine.

  25. #150

    Default Re: Crosstown BLVD.(Construction Updates)

    Dallas is served by an interstate and last time I checked, Dallas is doing just fine; it is also growing faster than San Fran.

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