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November 20, 2017, 01:22:44 pm
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Author Topic: Why not knock down the north side of the IDL?  (Read 10753 times)
deinstein
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« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2008, 06:33:40 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by perspicuity85

quote:
Originally posted by deinstein

-It would connect OSU-Tulsa with the Brady District.

-It would not separate downtown from North Tulsa, and thus encourage development beyond the I-244 boundary.

-It's in horrible condition and is just more tax dollars going to waste for years to come.

-You already have a detour taking the I-444/75 route on the east side of the IDL.

-The only people this would be a pain for is commuters coming on I-244 heading towards Sand Springs/Stillwater...and they can just deal with the extra two minute commute.

Thoughts?





A variation of what you're proposing has already been studied by the city.  Two years ago, the city investigated suppressing the north section of the IDL, and allowing the streets to pass over the freeway, the way the rest of I-244 is designed.  What became of the study?  Who knows?  It was probably put on the backburner after the $1 billion figure for maintaining existing city streets was released.  Personally, I think all freeways in urban areas should be designed with the city streets going over them.  The natural streetscape is better preserved, and traffic exiting the freeway goes uphill while reducing speed from 65 miles an hour to a dead stop.  To me, the uphill exit makes service roads such as Skelly Drive safer.



Interesting, and I agree.
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deinstein
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« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2008, 06:35:55 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by MH2010

Haven't been to one in years. Are you so small minded that you think the only "cool" local restaurants are in midtown?



Are you still talking?
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MH2010
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« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2008, 07:27:58 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by deinstein

quote:
Originally posted by MH2010

Haven't been to one in years. Are you so small minded that you think the only "cool" local restaurants are in midtown?



Are you still talking?



Oh look! The ignore button.....
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booWorld
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« Reply #48 on: August 04, 2008, 09:29:37 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by perspicuity85

Two years ago, the city investigated suppressing the north section of the IDL, and allowing the streets to pass over the freeway, the way the rest of I-244 is designed.  What became of the study?  Who knows?  It was probably put on the backburner after the $1 billion figure for maintaining existing city streets was released.  Personally, I think all freeways in urban areas should be designed with the city streets going over them.  The natural streetscape is better preserved, and traffic exiting the freeway goes uphill while reducing speed from 65 miles an hour to a dead stop.  To me, the uphill exit makes service roads such as Skelly Drive safer.


I agree, but short downhill entrance ramps can be a problem if they are too steep and don't give enough merging lane.  The ramp on to west-bound BA around Toledo west of Yale is an example.

Wherever there is grade-separated traffic, there's the need for bridges at intersections.  With a sunken expressway, the bridges are usually narrower but longer.  The bridges over an depressed expressway would carry the lighter street traffic at slower speeds, but they would deteriorate over time and would require maintenance.  However, it's probably easier to shut down a less busy street for bridge repair than it is to divert expressway traffic.

But why do we need expressways forming a loop around downtown, anyway?  Is it really necessary for traffic to roar through the heart of city at 55 mph or faster?  I remember when the posted speed limit on the IDL was 50 mph.  I think Tulsa ought to try boulevards and more parkways in the city.  This would slow traffic down to 35 or 40 mph for a few miles, and most of the intersections could be at grade.  Signalization would cost money, but there would be huge savings in bridge construction and maintenance costs, plus most of the cut and fill earthwork would be eliminated.

Boulevards and parkways can carry lots of traffic before they are undesirable as pedestrian commercial streets with restaurants and shops along the sidewalk facing the roadway.  I think that John Fregonese said during a PLANiTULSA presentation last month that 20,000 vehicles per day was the approximate limit for that type of commercial street.  I'd rather see more boulevards running through the city than grade-separated expressways.  In the very core of the city, it would be nice to have parallel through routes at no more than quarter-mile intervals.  

IMO, the traffic which has no intention of stopping in Tulsa should go around on a loop road and/or pay a toll to take a quicker and easier route.  If highway traffic truly reached crisis levels, it would be great if the City operated the loop highways and through expressways as toll roads -- the toll amounts could vary to encourage traffic away from congested areas as needed.  (And I want to emphasize that I don't believe this is needed in Tulsa currently since there are no extreme traffic problems here -- so please no one reply that this would be a tinier version of the nightmarish Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.)  It was suggested that Skelly Drive become a toll road and that the Creek Turnpike become free or that its tolls be reduced to encourage traffic away from Skelly.  Local traffic which didn't want to pay the fee could use the access roads adjacent to Skelly.

I know people who avoid using the expressways and actually prefer the slower surface streets to get around Tulsa.  It doesn't matter to them that trips take a few more minutes.  Aesthetics aside, one of the advantages of Tulsa's roadway system is that we have a well-defined, easy-to-use street grid with a few expressways cutting through it.  That's what makes getting around Tulsa relatively quick and convenient for a city of its size and density.  Removing the north leg of the IDL wouldn't change the overall situation very much.
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Red Arrow
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« Reply #49 on: August 04, 2008, 10:26:42 pm »

Flood control may be a problem for sunken expressways around Tulsa.

I avoid the Creek Tpk from Jenks to Memorial going home from work. It can take 5 minutes or more to get on the Turnpike. Then there is about 4 miles of go fast. Then there is near gridlock on southbound Memorial. It's actually about the same time to go through Jenks and take Delaware Ave to 121st Street. Going to work the Turnpike works out well at the time I use it.
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deinstein
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« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2008, 10:36:33 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by MH2010

quote:
Originally posted by deinstein

quote:
Originally posted by MH2010

Haven't been to one in years. Are you so small minded that you think the only "cool" local restaurants are in midtown?



Are you still talking?



Oh look! The ignore button.....



Later.
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deinstein
Guest
« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2008, 10:37:38 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Red Arrow

Flood control may be a problem for sunken expressways around Tulsa.


Has the south part of the IDL ever had problems with that? That's a reasonable concern.
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Red Arrow
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« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2008, 11:23:06 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by deinstein

quote:
Originally posted by Red Arrow

Flood control may be a problem for sunken expressways around Tulsa.


Has the south part of the IDL ever had problems with that? That's a reasonable concern.



I don't know about the IDL in particular. There are several low spots around town that make the news whenever we get a lot of rain. Downtown may be enough higher than the river to allow storm drainage even from a sunken expressway. It would need to be considered.
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