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December 12, 2018, 06:16:39 pm
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TulsaGoldenHurriCAN
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« Reply #375 on: November 20, 2018, 10:32:06 am »

Yes! As has been noted by boosters on this forum for years, Tulsa has such great bones. Far better than OKC which is ostensibly "ahead" of us by most objective metrics. If nothing else OKC is an infuriating city to navigate.

What I believe we need to rally around is a 3 or 4 broad point plan for progressively improving upon our existing strengths while addressing one or two weaknesses. As I see it we need to continuously update our long-range comprehensive plans rather than spending millions and years developing plans then declaring victory and letting them sit on the shelf.

I think that needs to focus on:

1. Improving connections between the self-sufficient districts, namely Brady/Arts, Blue Dome, Cherry, and Brookside. Such actions will necessarily benefit the Deco, Cathedral, and Pearl districts and the Route 66 corridor. This can take the form of encouraging developments directly through incentives but should be primarily through improvements in placemaking (cheap and quick) and city infrastructure (expensive and slow.)

2. Coordinate State and city government, local business and non-profits in a 50 year plan to remake Tulsa Public Schools into the world's best. No shorter goal is worthy. The core misconception about education that most frustrates me is that the trajectory of the system can be changed on a short timescale. A student generally spends 12 to 14 years in primary education so a 50 year plan is ONLY 4 successive "student generations." Therefore, we must shortly establish the armature for success: inter-institutional coordination, research, and data gathering. Then have the boldness to incorporate the recommendations of such experts, the courage to see them through on an appropriate timeline, and the humility to admit mistakes and correct them.

3. Create and begin implementing a regional mass-transit plan. Our core city is at or near the density required to sustain a streetcar circulator. On the 5-15 year scale we should be looking to implement direct commuter rail connections to downtown: BA, Jenks, Bixby, and SS. Finally on the 10-30 year timescale a high-speed rail connection between OKC and Fayetteville through the downtowns and airports would help bring the region a significant competitive advantage and connect a region of almost 3 million people and a near $200 Billion GDP. I estimate all three would be a project in the range of $5-10 Billion with the Tulsa metro being on the hook for about half.

I don't agree OKC is better than Tulsa by most metrics... Public education there is worse. The core of the city was basically gutted as people flocked to the suburbs for many decades and OKC is far more suburban-centric than Tulsa. Tulsa has several good-to-great urban schools including Booker T Washington, Edison and Union.

Tulsa's core was better preserved with neighborhoods like Florence Park, Bryan-Mahr, Terwilliger and Maple Ridge (any many more) which were maintained from their founding days and never needed any kind of renaissance. Most all of the original neighborhoods in OKC went through some dark days and were left pretty patchy. They've corrected that in some areas but were far behind Tulsa to begin with in that regard.

East Tulsa is a lot nicer than the equivalent areas in OKC. East Tulsa actually feels like a busy well-utilized area in many parts whereas the similar areas in OKC just feel unsafe and rundown. I'm optimistic that the issues in East Tulsa can be corrected in time as populations stabilize and are able to buy in to the area.

I'm not a big fan of streetcars for low-density cities (esp. OKC with a measly 930 per square mile!). I get all the reasons they provide stability along the routes and boost areas and like that they provide mass transit options, but most everywhere I've gone in the US, they're used by tourists or virtually no one. Our entire infrastructure is car based and highly expensive permanent rail can't combat that. We need to be looking to electric buses and boosting transit times even faster than the BRTs will provide. Rail can work in a city with such atrocious commutes that people will park and ride (Dallas), but tough to see that working in Tulsa anytime soon. Not that we shouldn't be proactive, but people are willing to commute longer and longer commutes, easily up to an hour which includes anything from Bartlesville to Okmulgee. Tough for transit to compete when it turns a 5-10 minute drive into a 30 minute or more ride. Autonomous vehicles could potentially make people even more likely to live further out or in areas with poor highway access.

The main thing Tulsa could do to make public transportation a decent option for far more people is to eliminate most highways, especially the BA and IDL, but obviously that won't happen. Another thing is what is already happening: make the urban areas the best/coolest places to live so people want to move there for amenities within walking distance. No doubt Brookside, Cherry Street and downtown are far more interesting to live in than Owasso or south Tulsa. They are far more desirable for anyone wanting a place with charm or character and very competitive with school districts. It's a matter of boosting the schools even more to really boost the desirability. Obviously crime hotbeds like south of Brookside or near downtown need to be worked on also.
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TheArtist
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« Reply #376 on: November 20, 2018, 12:18:12 pm »

I don't agree OKC is better than Tulsa by most metrics... Public education there is worse. The core of the city was basically gutted as people flocked to the suburbs for many decades and OKC is far more suburban-centric than Tulsa. Tulsa has several good-to-great urban schools including Booker T Washington, Edison and Union.

Tulsa's core was better preserved with neighborhoods like Florence Park, Bryan-Mahr, Terwilliger and Maple Ridge (any many more) which were maintained from their founding days and never needed any kind of renaissance. Most all of the original neighborhoods in OKC went through some dark days and were left pretty patchy. They've corrected that in some areas but were far behind Tulsa to begin with in that regard.

East Tulsa is a lot nicer than the equivalent areas in OKC. East Tulsa actually feels like a busy well-utilized area in many parts whereas the similar areas in OKC just feel unsafe and rundown. I'm optimistic that the issues in East Tulsa can be corrected in time as populations stabilize and are able to buy in to the area.

I'm not a big fan of streetcars for low-density cities (esp. OKC with a measly 930 per square mile!). I get all the reasons they provide stability along the routes and boost areas and like that they provide mass transit options, but most everywhere I've gone in the US, they're used by tourists or virtually no one. Our entire infrastructure is car based and highly expensive permanent rail can't combat that. We need to be looking to electric buses and boosting transit times even faster than the BRTs will provide. Rail can work in a city with such atrocious commutes that people will park and ride (Dallas), but tough to see that working in Tulsa anytime soon. Not that we shouldn't be proactive, but people are willing to commute longer and longer commutes, easily up to an hour which includes anything from Bartlesville to Okmulgee. Tough for transit to compete when it turns a 5-10 minute drive into a 30 minute or more ride. Autonomous vehicles could potentially make people even more likely to live further out or in areas with poor highway access.

The main thing Tulsa could do to make public transportation a decent option for far more people is to eliminate most highways, especially the BA and IDL, but obviously that won't happen. Another thing is what is already happening: make the urban areas the best/coolest places to live so people want to move there for amenities within walking distance. No doubt Brookside, Cherry Street and downtown are far more interesting to live in than Owasso or south Tulsa. They are far more desirable for anyone wanting a place with charm or character and very competitive with school districts. It's a matter of boosting the schools even more to really boost the desirability. Obviously crime hotbeds like south of Brookside or near downtown need to be worked on also.


The main thing IMHO that we can do to help make public transit a realistic option is to change our zoning laws.  All the money in the world won't help if the zoning itself is for the auto and against transit.

Right now most of the city by far is zoned so that development will be auto centric not pedestrian/transit friendly.  We now have a few tiny islands that now "allow" for pedestrian/transit friendly development, but those tiny islands exist in an ocean of auto centric, anti-pedestrian/transit development zoning.  Any 8th grader could look at that and guess what kind of influence that ocean will have on those tiny islands. (Not very good for transit and pedestrians)

Again, those tiny islands that "allow" for transit and pedestrian development are NOT the same as having pedestrian/transit zoning.

We are getting development that is exactly what we are zoning for. Auto centric in most of the city (for we zone for that, and we get that ), and dysfunctional, little bit auto/almost kinda pedestrianish/sorta transity, crippled urbanism, in a few small areas.

We zone for auto centric development and get it.  If we want good pedestrian and transit centric development, we should do the same thing zone for it.  If it works for one, why shouldn't it work for the other? Not rocket science.  

The other option if your against "telling people what to do with their property" and "are for the free market to do its thing" is to get rid of the auto centric zoning city wide so that one isn't biased and favored over the other with unfair and unbalanced regulations.

I am fine either way.  Put transit and pedestrian zoning in those areas where we want it and auto centric zoning in areas where we want that.  Or, get rid of the auto biased zoning and make for a more level playing field city wide.  

Taking the half-arsed approach to pedestrian/transit development we are taking, is going to get us exactly that, half-arsed pedestrian/transit oriented development and half-arse used and overly expensive per use, transit.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 12:24:10 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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