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September 17, 2019, 08:29:51 am
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Author Topic: What next for Tulsa?  (Read 7008 times)
YoungTulsan
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2009, 10:45:16 am »

Screw the river and start doing the localized creek developments.  Do several different neighborhood projects and create numerous areas of critical mass.  The rest will fill in itself.

There were plenty of good ideas based on the idea of "look what we could do instead with that money" during the river tax debate.
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YoungTulsan
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2009, 10:53:32 am »

One of the things missing from your list is funding.

V2025 would not be possible today and is not likely to be renewed with the current state of the city/county relationship. Tulsans are more likely to approve sales tax increases than the surrounding suburbs because overall our sales tax rate is lower than in the suburbs, but I believe that we have reached voter fatigue in sales tax packages. I think that even the 3rd penny tax that we have relied on for so long will get harder and harder to pass.

The river tax actually would have passed in the City of Tulsa.  I believe it got 52% from Tulsans and the burbs drug it down because they felt it didn't directly benefit them as well.   After that, we passed the streets tax, which has sales tax components in it as well.  So the last 2 tax votes got a majority vote in Tulsa.  I don't see them as impossible.

All the river tax really needed was some accountability with the funds and it would have had enough confidence for the voters to pass it.  Creating slush funds and not committing the money to specific purposes just isn't the way to gain the publics trust.  Most people want to see something done, and even many conservatives are more liberal when it comes to local matters.
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TheArtist
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2009, 11:53:00 am »

Screw the river and start doing the localized creek developments.  Do several different neighborhood projects and create numerous areas of critical mass.  The rest will fill in itself.

There were plenty of good ideas based on the idea of "look what we could do instead with that money" during the river tax debate.

You could still do both with a quarter the money they were considering for that river vote. For the cost of doing 6 typical intersection widenings in South Tulsa or 1.5miles of I44 widening, you could do both the dams in Tulsa and the Pearl District Plan. Those things are not so much a factor of funding, but where we put our funding.

I do think the Pearl District Plan is one of those things that is above average, above and beyond the usual. That is the kind of thinking on a small scale that I am talking about on a larger scale for Tulsa. Even with the Pearl District Plan, its a start that could be put in many areas city wide. Its something exceptional and unique that can be grown.

The river will be done, and there will be stuff developed around it, and the parks features added to and expanded.  But rather than the same ol boring, general direction, comment of "lets improve the river, or develop parts of the river" get into specifics the how, and what, the exceptional and unique ideas that can inspire and rally people to move forward on them and become points of pride for the city.

Every topic and more that has been mentioned on here is often the similar refrain, fix the schools, more recylcing, transportaion, etc. etc.  Whats the end point? I am talking dream vision type ideas to become exceptional and unique. We plod along decade after decade in this city achieving average, sometimes a little more, often less.  I have never been happy with average.

OKC took their "river" and made a point of exceptionalism with it with all their rowing facilities and such. Ok, do the river in Tulsa, but what will be the points of exceptionalism? Fix the schools,,, but what will be the exceptional, the unique, the above average goal?

Recyling,,, how bout have a 50% recycling rate for the city? Not just, we need to recycle more but have a shoot for the stars goal. Though other cities have higher rates, I think 50% for Tulsa would be an above average goal lol.

"According to the EPA, the national recycling rate is just 30%. I wonder what Tulsas recycling rates are?" "Increasing materials recycling in the US to 60% could save the equivalent of 315 million barrels of oil per year. Yes, oil is needed to make petroleum based plastics and 315 million barrels means a potential savings of trillions of dollars. YES TRILLIONS! " National debt type numbers lol.

How bout set a goal for 90% of aluminum cans at first. May get more people into the recycling habit in general.

"The national aluminum recycling rate is currently at 51.2%, another $1 billion in recyclable cans end up in landfills annually. The average American drinks 370 beverages in aluminum cans each year; it only takes 60 days to turn the empty cans in your recycling bin into new cans on retailers’ shelves; recycling 40 cans saves the equivalent of one gallon in gasoline."



"Austin wants to achieve a "90% recycling rate" by 2040. The current reason Austin lags behind similarly progressive cities is, bluntly, a lack of municipal leadership. What's more, local activists say, city officials and business leaders are literally throwing away opportunities to create what could be a golden, green-collar niche market in Austin, based on practices like broadened construction and demolition recycling."


Just read an article about a city in Florida having the goal that it will be completely powered by solar power. Thats big, thats not average, thats exceptional. If we just do average we will be left behind. We talk about shifting some oil businesses to future energy source industries yet we ourselves dont have any goals for implementing or using those future energy industries ourselves? In recent news Oklahoma was one of the top states that has over the last decade INCREASED its carbon emissions,,, while the rest of the country on average has been decreasing.

Take all those listed main points we talked about needing to work on and find some point of exceptionalism we can work towards within them.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 12:03:39 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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bacjz00
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2009, 12:49:28 am »

Really a great thread going here.  I don't want bring the bummer brigade in here, but I can't help but share some thoughts. 

After over 100 years as an incorporated city, Tulsa has landed itself smack dab on the edge of "making it".  We're in a precarious position demographically, geographically and quite simply numerically (population). 

First, the fact that we haven't developed a true marketable identity to a more diverse demographic of people in over 100 years speaks volumes about the city.  My gut tells me that it cannot be changed until the overall demographic in Tulsa "naturally" turns over.  This city is overrun with white, middle-class, baby boomers who live vicariously through their families and their churches.  Is this a bad thing?  Not for them.  Is this bad for the overall viability of Tulsa as an attractive destination to the young creative class who will spawn tomorrow's companies and lead Tulsa into a future beyond oil and call centers? Absolutely.   

I know this view is probably unpopular (I'm sure many on here fit this description) and I'm certainly not trying to pick on the Joneses, Thomases and Smiths out there who have raised impeccable children, teaching them the importance of family and faith.  We need more people like that in most parts of the country.  Here in Tulsa, we have it in spades and while it doesn't breed intolerance purposefully, I believe it sends a certain message of "preference" that resonates well beyond the edges of our city boundaries.  Are there other cities that have succeeded with a conservative base?  Definitely.  But how many of those cities are the size of Tulsa now?  And how are they doing?     

Also, I realize that this is probably coming off as way more of a poltical message than I intend, so let me be clear.  This has nothing to do with Republicans versus Democrats.  This has everything to do with tolerance, diversity and education, in my humble opinion.  Changing the demographics in Tulsa will result in more creativity, more education for the masses and more entrepreneurs.  Aside from waiting it out, I don't have a quick-fire solution here. 

Geographically, Tulsa I believe has some things going for it and some things going against it.  On the positive, we have many many lakes within a short driving distance and I believe many of them have been marketed thoughtfully and represent a wonderful escape for those living in the city.  Folks who work hard also like to play hard and to me Tulsa has much to offer in this regard.

Sure there is always an oportunity to develop more shopping as those other cities have, but in the end, setting ourselves apart means embracing the uniqueness of our area.  Let's face it, west of I-35 and east of the Rockies, from Canada to Mexico, this country has little to offer in the way of truly unique or attractive geography (save maybe the Black Hills of SD and parts of the Wichita Mountains).  Tulsa, thankfully, is much further east.  In my opinion we should be more actively embracing the nearby hills, lakes and streams that are regarded by many as enjoyable paths to diversion from day to day life.   

The negative part of Tulsa's geography is the fact that in the end, we're still a plains city.  While we do have some lakes and streams in close proximity, we don't have a major ski resort or ocean beach within a half a day drive.    We're not alone there obviously.  OKC, Wichita, K.C., Des Moines, Omaha and even St. Louis pretty well fit in too.  However 2 of those cities I mentioned had the benefit of a much larger population boom due to the fact that a) They were settled much earlier than Tulsa and b) They were keys hubs of commerce as railroads literally transformed our country.   

A third city (OKC) cannot physically be avoided if you want to pass through the state of Oklahoma via Interstate highway.   And while that may not seem very important to some, you can never overestimate the importance of location.  Just ask your local real-estate agent.  Smiley

Also (a bit ironically too) the isolation that I mentioned earlier leads to unrestrained growth due to the seemingly limitless expanses of cheap land.  This turns into abundant affordable housing, which can be good but also leaves us with 100 square miles in South Tulsa that is so overly homogenous, I do believe we ought to go ahead and just open a strip mall museum. 

In the end we are left in a very small niche of cities who are trying to find out how to reach critical mass in an area of the country that has no geographic limitations to encourage density, which in turn is how you naturally attract more people!!!  And that brings me to the final issue of....

Population. 

Tulsa is slipping into a realm of the census that some people around here probably don't mind so much (I'm thinking baby boomers again here) but others see as an ever growing wall that keeps Tulsa from reaching that critical mass that I believe most on these boards are wanting to see.  And while population in and of itself isn't a symptom, I believe in today's world it CAN be a very real barrier in terms of marketability. 

In 1980, Tulsa was outdistancing areas of the country like Austin, Buffalo, Charlotte, Louisville, Birmingham and Alberquerque.  Today, we are struggling to keep enough people around the core of Tulsa to compete with Fresno, Dayton and Grand Rapids.  We have quickly found ourselves knocked from the area of low-end 1st tier/high-end 2nd tier into arguably the dreaded 3rd tier of US cities. 

Trying to reach critical mass while ignoring stagnant population growth numbers can't be done.  I'm not sure what the answer is here, but Tulsa has clearly done something to alienate the creative class and young entrepreneurs (who will always be the drivers behind innovation and growth).

Ideally speaking, Tulsa should be pouring historic amounts of monies into marketing for our city in an attempt to reverse the trend that, in my opinion, is only barely beginning to slow.  On top of that, we ought to be investing in the things that will attract the number one most important growth catalyst of any other...more people.  And not surprisingly, baptist churches, fast-food restaraunts and banks don't rank near the top of anyone's list.  Fortunately, cheap real-estate is a plus.  But honestly, I believe that is inadvertently targeting a group of people who don't necesarily seek to "innovate" or "create", but simply seek to "get".

So there's my rant.  I know I don't post on here often, but I read quite a bit. 

I'm sorry to William for not contributing more ideas or solutions in this post (which I'm pretty sure was his original intent), but I guess I wanted to get some of these things off my chest. 

Flame away.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 12:52:35 am by bacjz00 » Logged

 
waterboy
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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2009, 07:15:23 am »

Good comments. To me the most cogent remarks are about motivation and population. The populace here is stagnant both in numbers and in motivation. Everything else is based on those two factors. Make all the well thought out plans and proposals you want, and many here are quite good, they simply languish.

For every creative spark there are twice as many spark arrestors. New ideas are always welcome but seldom acted on in Tulsa. Whether this is a function of an aging population (baby boomers), or simply an old mindset is arguable. I think its the mindset personally. Old money, old political framework and old politics simply make for creaky growth regardless of age.

On the plus side, this forum and the leadership it provides is becoming apparent. I see Tulsa as a classic car being restored. The systems are old, the motor is big and thirsty and needs overhauling and it just won't run well on ethanol based gasoline. But it looks good, feels comfy and the style is undeniable.
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« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2009, 08:25:38 am »

Tulsa has has numerous plans and focuses over the past 3 administrations.  A constant stream of new brands.

Each took us in a different direction.  Developing east, developing south, developing the river, developing downtown, oil city, education city, art city, technology city.  As we sit in the middle of the intersection, trying to figure out which way to go, cars pass us from all directions.

Because we've kept changing focus as a result of the political pets and monuments to various leaders, we've become fatigued over the discussion of Tulsa's identity, and our citizenry has no singular clear focus.

This toxicity spills over into how we attempt to plan the city, how we deal with new opportunities and how we relate to each other on a local political level.  Fill a room with Tulsans and ask them what they believe our goals are, and you will get dozens of answers, diabolically unique answers, with no common thread.

Funny how you can see the big picture reflected in microcosms.  The Tulsa Chamber is an excellent example.  Re-branding itself with new goals every year or couple of years.  A new look and focus for each new leader.  New tag lines and slogans, dozens of committees with unique goals, logos and slogans of their own.  Churning and burning.

The more often we change focus, the less likely we are to embrace or even develop any common goal. 

I had a great professor that taught me "Each time you re-brand a product you kill the old product." 

Marketing and PR firms will push re-branding for almost anything because it allows them to build monuments to themselves, but only rarely does it really serve the client.

We've changed costumes so many times that we don't know who we are anymore.

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bacjz00
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« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2009, 08:39:43 am »

Well said Gaspar. 

The fact that this discussion continues to be had (i.e. What is Tulsa?  Where are we headed?) speaks volumes about where we've been (or not been) and how little we've accomplished from a marketing standpoint.  This city has been trying to discover its identity for many decades now.
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USRufnex
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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2009, 05:19:01 pm »

I'm not sure about how much of this can be attributed to an "identity crisis."  

Split personality would be closer to the truth.  

Tulsa's History from my perspective back in my mis-spent youth:  Lots of oil companies, deep divisions (racial/social/economic) in neighborhoods that really aren't that far away from each other ("Stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold!")... a traditional civic pride and sibling rivalry with OKC... some very crusty uppercrust arts/opera patrons... some very redneck good ol' boys... corporate evangelicals... Oil Capitol of the World... Buckle of the Bible Belt... Williams Center Forum w/ ice rink and quiche restaurants, the Admiral Twin, the City of Faith... art deco eye-sores, trust fund babies, children of the oil, Six Flags Over Jesus........

After moving back here from Chicago a couple of years ago, I had some pretty mixed first impressions:

Tulsans are needlessly territorial.  
Tulsans have a bizarro civic pride.... they take pride in hating everything about their city.
Too many cliques.  Too pretentious.  Too "comfortably cosmopolitan"?
There are some really cool, ethnic dives (grocery, restaurant, general merchandise) in some of them thar tacky strip malls....
A neighbor who went beyond the call of duty to help me when I had car problems... something that never would happen in a bigger city.
The surprising fact that I didn't really hate the Stepford Evangelicals as much as I thought I would... (annoying? yes.  any more annoying than the rest of the citizenry?  not really... at least IMHO).

What do I want for Tulsa?  I want the achievable.

I currently believe Tulsa should fulfill it's potential as a "niche" city.
I think TU should be in US News & World Report's Top 50 and the Tulsa metro population should be in the Top 50.... while emphasizing quality over quantity... and embrace it's own peculiar diversity/extremes....

I tire of a city that consistently makes the perfect the enemy of the good.

I could live in BA and still drive to downtown Tulsa (and park) within 15 mins...... I could choose to live downtown and commute to work in east Tulsa within 15 mins....

OSU-Tulsa is what it is.... an extension campus.  So, I want Rogers State in Claremore to be a serious 4 year state school and offer the same kinds of departments offered by Univ of Central Okla in Edmond.  I want Rogers County and Wagoner County to be more connected to Tulsa... and more suburban... I want Coweta to be a suburb of Broken Arrow... I want BA to start acting like a bigger city (more than one HS)... I want a city with most of the options available in a larger city, but also the small town/suburban options Chicagoland offers, only with much much shorter commute times....

I wish the city of Tulsa would cater more towards the $30k-a-year crowd of twenty-somethings and empty nesters in regards to future  mixed-use, walkable urban development rather than watch the construction of quirky luxury $350k lofts with 3000 sq feet and shared driveways....  

Oh...... and I also want a pro soccer team and a unicorn.   Tongue

« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 05:24:19 pm by USRufnex » Logged
waterboy
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« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2009, 06:11:44 pm »

You had me till the unicorn. I hate unicorns.

Some of my favorite posters on this thread. One worth keeping. Each generation of Tulsan's is different but we all share what you just wrote Ruff. Tulsans are cynics who won't settle for less than the best even if they can't afford it and don't need it. We are chauvinistic, class conscious and defensive. But we are southern genteel and helpful to a fault. Indeed, we could be the niche city that others would be attracted to if we would let go of our inbred pretension and just enjoy who we are. A mixed bag of evangelicals, libertines, libertarians, liberals, conservatives and well heeled oilies.

We can say "screw the river", over and over, rail over the slovenly indulgence of federal spending, then get ecstatic when federal money is proposed to accomplish "the river." We say convention center, our leaders say, Iconic Convention Center (+20%). We love to pay low wages then seem surprised when the city doesn't attract, or keep, young high wage seeking employees. We are a city of contrasts. Not too surprising that we look like something we're not.

I want to see Tulsa stop pretending to be the oil capital. In fact stop pretending to be anything particularly special. We will find out that others will determine our unique qualities in spite of ourselves. That means serving our citizens with good transportation, good education, representative government and being supportive of small businesses. The rest will just happen. No one in Chicago intentionally set out to build a reputation as "the city that works". They just make things work and others saw that. What we are will become apparent as well.

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EricP
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2009, 12:44:33 pm »

This must be epic thread week or something. I can't possibly say anything that hasn't been said. I wish everyone in Tulsa had the drive to make things happen that many of the posters of this forum do.

If only we all had the tools, resources and time to make all of these ideas happen in some way. Those are the things people like me need... and I am with you on being tired of people that live here badmouthing Tulsa. You know what easy thing people who live here can do to help? Speak kindly of it. That's something everyone has no matter their class, eh? A voice.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 12:49:39 pm by EricP » Logged

 
custosnox
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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2009, 01:52:25 pm »

This must be epic thread week or something. I can't possibly say anything that hasn't been said. I wish everyone in Tulsa had the drive to make things happen that many of the posters of this forum do.

If only we all had the tools, resources and time to make all of these ideas happen in some way. Those are the things people like me need... and I am with you on being tired of people that live here badmouthing Tulsa. You know what easy thing people who live here can do to help? Speak kindly of it. That's something everyone has no matter their class, eh? A voice.
Maybe if we came out in force, showed tulsa how it's done, we might get some more die hard tulsans to join in and make a differance.  There are many that step up to the plate, but they end up standing alone or in small groups.  We need to become a team and work together.  There are many views here, some conflicting, but all in all, they represent what makes Tulsa Tulsa and we have to learn to make them mesh to make the city work.
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« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2009, 08:02:59 pm »

Literally speaking...this is the next biggest thing for Tulsa.

http://oxblue.com/pro/open/oneok/oneokfield

Progress looking good.
 
If we can turn our Brady District and Blue Dome area into something beyond just the baseball, we'll finally have that neighborhood feel we've been wanting to return to the downtown area for so long.
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Conan71
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« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2009, 09:02:30 pm »

Literally speaking...this is the next biggest thing for Tulsa.

http://oxblue.com/pro/open/oneok/oneokfield

Progress looking good.
 
If we can turn our Brady District and Blue Dome area into something beyond just the baseball, we'll finally have that neighborhood feel we've been wanting to return to the downtown area for so long.

Despite the naysayers and naggers, this is the single best thing to happen to downtown since they finished the PAC and the whole Williams complex.  I'd give the BOK center a strong 2nd place on that.

Imagine what downtown would look like today if Williams, BOK, Oneok, and a few others had decided it was better to HQ out south.
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« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2009, 09:41:02 pm »

^^^"Imagine what downtown would look like today if Williams, BOK, Oneok, and a few others had decided it was better to HQ out south."

Don't know about all of them but I stayed at the Mayo during the construction of Oneok....

It added so much to the ambiance of the Hotel.... (sarcasm off)

There was a feeling that very little, if any, regard was being given the Hotel or the surrounding area.



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TheArtist
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« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2009, 10:03:44 pm »

Well, looks like we could possibly have a "museum district" in the Brady Arts district.

OK Pop Culture Museum
Philbrook/Atkins Museum
Cains Museum
Bob Wills Museum
Micky Mantle Museum
Fiddle Museum
Art-Deco Museum

Throw in the Cains, Brady Theater, Ballpark, BOK Arena, PAC, clubs and restaurants, art galleries and studios, the University... and who knows what else is coming down the pike. And you will have a marketable, national, destination.

The trick on the museums is just getting them done lol, and done right, not half arsed. Not sure if we will see the Micky Mantle Museum, but still have fingers crossed. Might be nice to see Kaisers, Bob Wills Museum in conjunction with the Cains Museum for instance. We could end up with little museums that are too specialized or limited in their appeal, but if they could be worked together somehow...  They could be wrapped into the OK Pop museum, but would kinda like to see at least 4 or 5 museums in the area.

Come to think of it, it would be neat to move the Asian art museum into the Brady Arts/ Museum District. I think something like that would do well along with the other stuff in that location. Perhaps the collection could be placed under the auspices of Philbrook or OSU Tulsa and have some high quality stuff added to it. I don't even think Philbrook has its Asian stuff out at the moment.

Isnt there a car museum in town too?

Again, another example of lots of potential, if we could just pull like things together into one spot, create some critical mass, and promote it lol.  

Frustratingly too, most of these things are going to take years, meanwhile other cities are moving along as well. But, if we are determined to actually make it happen, we would definitely have something worth the wait.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 10:09:28 pm by TheArtist » Logged

"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."-Chinese proverb. "Arts a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Mans spirit grows hungry for art in the same way h
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