Bill Leighty, 4/17/2013 - 12:28pm "It is not entirely accurate to state that “no one has publicly expressed a need for major changes to Riverside Drive.” For the past three years, I have been advocating for major improvements to Riverside Drive at both the TMAPC and Transportation Advisory Board Meetings, most recently at the last TAB Meeting held on April 2nd of this year.
I have brought this up time and again to anyone who will listen, but most often to members of what we used to call the Public Works Department and more recently to representatives of Engineering Services.
The overall condition of the roadway north of I-44 is deplorable. While some CIP improvements have been scheduled for the 31st to 41st section, no work is scheduled at the moment. The bigger problem as I see it is the lack of a long term strategic plan for the entire corridor.
River Parks is an incredible asset to the City of Tulsa and Riverside Drive is the doorway to the park. Many major cities around the world have signature streets and thoroughfares. A well planned and executed Riverside Parkway, with a well-lighted and landscaped center median could be that signature road for Tulsa. In my view, it is inexcusable that the upcoming Fix Our Streets package fails to address this long overdue and neglected main arterial.
Like most of the neighborhood groups, I oppose any substantial widening and I favor traffic calming measures that would reduce not increase the speed of traffic on Riverside. What is needed is a "Complete Streets" redesign of multiple dangerous curves to make it safer and the addition of lighting and landscaping amenities to compliment the park.
I have encouraged the leadership of Engineering Services to work collaboratively with staff member of the City of Tulsa’s Planning and Economic Development Department to begin work on a long range strategic plan for the entire corridor that could be implemented in phases as funds become available.
Just because most people have not been listening does not mean that no one has been expressing the need to make improvements to Riverside Drive, because I have, for quite a long time.
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