- Cathy O’Connor
OKC projects enhance quality of life
Our Oklahoma City Planning Department has been updating our citywide bicycle and pedestrian plan to have a walkable, bikeable city for both leisure and transportation. Public Works has made great enhancements with more projects underway to build a connected and safe bicycling and pedestrian network. Bikewalkokc is Oklahoma City’s first master plan for cyclists and pedestrians, adopted by the City Council in the spring of 2018. The passage of MAPS 4 requires some adjustments and refinements to these planned pedestrian and trail projects.
One of our more significant pedestrian projects is the crossing signal just completed at NW 10th Street between Tulsa and Meridian. Funded with the Better Streets Safer City sales tax, this mid-block signal allows pedestrians, parents with strollers, people in wheelchairs and bikes to safely cross and access nearby residences, shopping and bus stops. Early in the planning, a determined engineer stood at the spot and counted more than 200 people trying to cross in a 14-hour period, most of whom had to move quickly to avoid four lanes of oncoming traffic. The new signal will enhance the safety and quality of life for thousands of residents in this area.
The SW 29th Street corridor between Harvey and Penn is undergoing planning for a street enhancement project with new and improved sidewalks and handicapped access to improve pedestrian safety, as well as trees, seating and markers for placemaking, which will enhance the new mural installed at Western and SW 29th. This work, made possible with funding from the 2017 GO Bond, will greatly improve safe access to bus routes, nearby schools and retail, all while making walking in the area far more attractive.
Finally, a significant pedestrian project is underway along Portland Avenue between Reno and NW 36th. This sidewalk project includes a new signalized intersection at NW 31st and Portland, allowing pedestrian access to Will Rogers Park and connecting a large neighborhood with one of Oklahoma City’s favorite parks. Another benefit is improved access to Will Rogers Trail, a segment of the city’s 88-mile multi-use trail that connects Lake Hefner to the Oklahoma River.
These and other projects are prioritized by our city to encourage pedestrian mobility, a healthier lifestyle and use of our city’s network of parks, trails, and sidewalks.
Learn more on the city’s planning department site. You can find information and maps of our trails at www.okc.gov/departments/parks-recreation/trails.