"We keep hearing a constant droning about the "need" for river "development"; and now the Jenks deal is being waved around as a wonderful success story and illustration of why we should fork over some undetermined amount of cash to achieve it. I wonder if anyone has compared the commercial success and attendance figures of the Jenks deal to, oh say for example, the Walmart closest to Jenks. And living in the downtown area, I can tell you that the Home Depot at 11th and Elgin brings in a hefty number of people throughout the day, into the evening, and on weekends. So, if it's just a matter of attracting people to the area, of "revitalizing" the area (I didn't know it was dead), the sure bet seems to be a Walmart.
Oh yuck. Even though nobody is coming right out and saying it, I get the feeling we won't see any effort to establish a Walmart or some similar thing because there is a preoccupation -- almost to the point of being a fetish -- with being chic. "Oh, won't those people in San Antonio be jealous of US when they see OUR river thing is every bit as nice as theirs, and maybe better!" It's been a while since I've been to San Antonio, and I was there on business, not to see their river walk (which was nearly empty during the lunch hour I was there ... oops!), but as I recall (and don't quote me on this), their river was not a big ol' REAL river like ours, but more of a Six Flags Over Texas amusement park river. It seems the esthetic development of a big river would be considerably more expensive. And, let's face it, when you have to whip out a binocular to see the folks on the other shore, it sort of diminishes the esthetic quality of the experience.
All of these expensive projects get peddled to the gullible voters as a way to show the world how wonderfully chic and "progressive" we are. Just think how the world will look upon you with envy if you vote for the latest "progressive" project and allow your money to leave your pocketbook as freely as you allow your common sense to leave your brain. The majority of Tulsa voters (note: "voters") seemed to be so wrapped up in being chic that they readily put their brains on the shelf and fall for this enticement to immature egos.
Before we get too wrapped up in what Jenks did, I suggest we note the success of places like Brookside and Cherry Street. And the Woodland Hills Mall area makes the Jenks project look like a lemonade stand. No river at any of those places.
Whenever the weather is tolerable, the River Parks area gets considerable use just as it is. The bike path is nationally known.
If Tulsa voters could postpone their dizzying dreams of being the chic envy of the world, fix the roads and reduce the crime rate, I think that would do far more for the image of Tulsa as a desirable place than yet another expensive act of desperation at being "progressive".
If you don't believe me, take a look at Cleveland. All they have to show for their "progressive" projects is high taxes and a rapidly declining population (partly because of the high taxes)."