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November 18, 2017, 12:32:50 am
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Author Topic: Five ways to make Tulsa special.  (Read 3532 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2016, 07:00:05 pm »

Consider this. I asked for contributions a few weeks ago about where you would take visitors to Tulsa, namely what it was that makes us special from a local's perspective. I got three comments. CF was able to list some but either I am intensely unpopular on this site or the locals just don't think there's much to do here. I hope its the latter but I suspect its both! We are more than downtown and river development.

I don't dislike you.  You are a fellow old-timer. Grin   My interests are not typical of the modern urban crowd.  I go to the airport to hang out with friends.  I got over hanging out at bars after I got out of the Navy.  I like museums and am aware of some of them but I don't have anything out of the ordinary to offer to visitors that other folks here can offer.
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Ed W
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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2016, 09:07:38 pm »

Five things:

First, forget bike lanes. Let's educate both motorists and cyclists to use the existing road network. It's much less expensive than building new infrastructure. If you really MUST do something, reduce the speed limit city wide to 25mph, making all of Tulsa safer for bicyclists and pedestrians and also allowing the use of neighborhood electric vehicles.

Second, make a commitment to first class schools staffed by respected and well paid educators. It costs money. Get over it.

Third, fix the d@mned streets. Really. It's embarrassing. The city looks third rate.

Fourth, muzzle some of the yahoos in state government whose comments are worthy of some intellectually challenged third graders. Sure, it's not strictly a Tulsa issue, but people outside this state think it's run by a bunch of drooling inbreds.

Fifth, develop the various Route 66 alignments to draw tourists (and their money) to a city that grew up in the heyday of both the Mother Road and Art Deco.
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2016, 07:50:50 am »

I don't dislike you.  You are a fellow old-timer. Grin   My interests are not typical of the modern urban crowd.  I go to the airport to hang out with friends.  I got over hanging out at bars after I got out of the Navy.  I like museums and am aware of some of them but I don't have anything out of the ordinary to offer to visitors that other folks here can offer.

I try to remember how I treated old-timers when I was under 40. Mostly with respect though I found them humorous. Still lots of good advice. Your experience is probably how most over 50 are living. We've condensed life into the things and people we really enjoy and have settled comfortably among them. That has implications for marketing and development.
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2016, 08:06:47 am »

Five things:

First, forget bike lanes. Let's educate both motorists and cyclists to use the existing road network. It's much less expensive than building new infrastructure. If you really MUST do something, reduce the speed limit city wide to 25mph, making all of Tulsa safer for bicyclists and pedestrians and also allowing the use of neighborhood electric vehicles.

Second, make a commitment to first class schools staffed by respected and well paid educators. It costs money. Get over it.

Third, fix the d@mned streets. Really. It's embarrassing. The city looks third rate.

Fourth, muzzle some of the yahoos in state government whose comments are worthy of some intellectually challenged third graders. Sure, it's not strictly a Tulsa issue, but people outside this state think it's run by a bunch of drooling inbreds.

Fifth, develop the various Route 66 alignments to draw tourists (and their money) to a city that grew up in the heyday of both the Mother Road and Art Deco.

I really like the way you think. We are such a cheapskate state. Just over the border in Texas a starting teacher can make $20,000 more per year. Even in budget struggling Kansas to the north starting teachers make $7,000 a year more than here! And its all the way down. We love our low pay scales.

When I got my drivers license, all streets within the downtown area were limited to 20mph. Of course cars were big and clunky but still you didn't find higher speeds until the arterials. Now drivers reach 35 within one block from a grade school. Speed, cellphones and bad roads make Tulsa driving crazy. Add in the ignorance about merging, yielding, red lights, etc and I'm surprised insurance companies aren't doubling their rates here.

Here's a vision: mass produce BMW Isettas converted to electric drive and limit all non commercial travel in the downtown area to bikes and Isettas. They can be parked at lots around the downtown area free for use by anyone. An Isetta is about the same size as a bike so it seems fair to have them share the roads. I'm such a socialist.
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Ed W
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2016, 02:13:29 pm »

The Isetta or a Fiat "Topolino" were the Smart Cars of their day, not all that different from a NEV though they were probably a little faster. Two or three would fit in a standard parking space. I could see limiting vehicle access to downtown as London does with congestion pricing. It increased use of public transportation as well as walking and cycling. Imagine a ring of parking lots outside the IDL with transportation inside the loop dependent on other modes. Sure, some would see it as a PITA but all of a sudden those surface parking lots downtown look much more attractive for infill development.
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2016, 03:58:19 pm »

We're geniuses! Now checking on Fiat dealerships.
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« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2016, 07:02:02 pm »

This is simply my opinion, but I've figured out what we need.

1. Most bike lane per capita than any city in the country.

2. Best city public schools in the country.

3. Invest in soccer. The other major sports are too established. This gives us a sports culture.

4. Tear down some highways. Start connecting neighborhoods.

5. Make the University of Tulsa a public school.

Do those five things, we become something special. 2/5 are education for a reason.

1.  I agree Tulsa has tremendous potential to be one of the top bicycling cities.  I would add completing the river trail loop should be a priority, with the missing sections being Jenks Riverwalk to Turkey Mountain, along Avery Drive to Hwy 97 and along the Levee to Newblock Park.  

2.  Completely agree the city or local charitable organizations need to step up to fund city schools because the state is failing us.

3.  Soccer seem to be the most easily attainable pro sports franchise for Tulsa.  I would love to see a stadium where Home Depot is located.

4.  YES especially the east leg of the IDL and create a new Blvd in its place

5.  Never going to happen but TU should be closer to 10k students with more research and medical facilities, more similar to Vanderbilt or TCU as a private university that is an economic engine for its city/region.  Amending the law that OU or OSU can't offer the same 1st and 2nd year classes as TCC would be a better solution so those campuses can grow.  Or whatever is protecting Langston, TCC and/or NSU.  Grow the downtown OSU campus to 10k students with the bulk of all OSU research being done in Tulsa.  Grow the OSU medical center and health sciences center.  Grow the OU midtown campus to 5k students with housing and additional buildings.

I'll also add making the open space west of Chandler Park into an urban wilderness preserve would help take some of the load off Turkey Mtn and open up an even larger wild area for hiking and biking.  No other cities in this part of the country would have the same kind of recreational options so close to the city.

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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2016, 09:32:46 am »



Third, fix the d@mned streets. Really. It's embarrassing. The city looks third rate.

Fourth, muzzle some of the yahoos in state government whose comments are worthy of some intellectually challenged third graders. Sure, it's not strictly a Tulsa issue, but people outside this state think it's run by a bunch of drooling inbreds.




Streets.  Unbelievable in the 21st century that we would be at this point.


People outside this state have a better recognition of reality than the voting majority inside the state.  That's why we are right "up" there with Mississippi and South Carolina as laughing stocks.   Example - the toothbrush was invented in Oklahoma!  How do we know?  If it had been invented anywhere else, it would be called a 'teethbrush'....






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« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2016, 10:08:08 am »

5.  Never going to happen but TU should be closer to 10k students with more research and medical facilities, more similar to Vanderbilt or TCU as a private university that is an economic engine for its city/region.  Amending the law that OU or OSU can't offer the same 1st and 2nd year classes as TCC would be a better solution so those campuses can grow.  Or whatever is protecting Langston, TCC and/or NSU.  Grow the downtown OSU campus to 10k students with the bulk of all OSU research being done in Tulsa.  Grow the OSU medical center and health sciences center.  Grow the OU midtown campus to 5k students with housing and additional buildings.


TU should (and will) remain a private university. Oklahoma needs at least 1 good private university. The idea of TU becoming a public university and that being a good thing is laughable. TU is growing but at a slow steady pace. You cannot just get closer to 10k students like that is just some choice they decide one day.
Being in one of the lower populated states in a mid-sized city with limited local choice of students who meet the academic criteria makes it tough to grow fast. TU is a bit more like Rice and SMU (very small private universities close to urban core) than TCU/Baylor/Vanderbilt. Furthermore, all of those schools are in much larger metro areas.

Still, TU is expanding all of the time with practically an entire newly renovated campus with more being added all of the time. TU is one of the few great institutions that has thrived in Oklahoma, practically rebuilding the entire campus with a 20 year plan from 1990-2010. The student body is the best it has been, the endowment is extremely high for a university of 4000 students with a very good academic reputation and the athletics have been very successful overall for a while now (have won more titles in American Athletic Conference than any other school since joining - Did the same in C-USA). TU is improving the entire area (see the "West Park" development at 6th and Lewis which is about to expand yet again!). The campus is gorgeous with harmonized architectural styles. In government hands, the university would look like the hodge-podged campus in Norman or the tacky cheap metal-topped government building looks of Stillwater or NSU.

Someone thinks TU would be better off in the Oklahoma state governments hands!? Let OSU, TCC, Rogers, NSU and the other state schools keep doing what they do under continuously diminishing state funding. OU, as an exception, is doing well as a public university. TU does not need government funding or management and we should be extremely thankful we have at least 1 good private university in this state. Sure a 4-year public university in the Tulsa metro would be great, but it should be OSU-tulsa, RSU or OU-Tulsa.
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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2016, 10:32:58 am »

Tulsa never being granted the right to a four year public university by the State Board of Regents seems to be predicated on the same thinking that OKC generally gets preferable treatment over Tulsa.  There is no reason to have this mishmash of higher learning other than Tulsa being crapped on by the power structure in OKC, as it always has been.
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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2016, 10:48:33 am »

Tulsa never being granted the right to a four year public university by the State Board of Regents seems to be predicated on the same thinking that OKC generally gets preferable treatment over Tulsa.  There is no reason to have this mishmash of higher learning other than Tulsa being crapped on by the power structure in OKC, as it always has been.

As discussed above, it is codified in State law. I have heard it was TCC & Langston protectionism that lobbied for the deal, but OKC. So while I agree with your major premise, I don't think it applies here.

Re University of Tulsa, I have heard strong rumor that they think they need to grow to 5k undergrad students (from ~3500) to make the top 50 University list.  The idea being that you can't offer the wide range of programs and have the research budget they want to see in order to crack the top 50 without more kids. That and more students means more professors and researchers, publishing, lecturing, and talking to colleagues about where they work. Which helps the overall reputation.
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« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2016, 10:52:07 am »

Tulsa never being granted the right to a four year public university by the State Board of Regents seems to be predicated on the same thinking that OKC generally gets preferable treatment over Tulsa.  There is no reason to have this mishmash of higher learning other than Tulsa being crapped on by the power structure in OKC, as it always has been.

And unfortunately the only way to change that is to elect leaders from Tulsa that will be able to push that agenda in OKC and get past the local interests protecting TCC, Langston and NSU.  

I'd be curious to know GT Bynum's take on this issue. 
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« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2016, 11:06:35 am »

OSU Tulsa needs a gathering place sized funding campaign for buildings and endowments and needs those laws changed.

OSU Tulsa being freed of those stupid laws and allowed to become a full four year PHD granting research university is the single biggest boost this city needs. TU is going for quality over size and that's fine, but Tulsa really needs a real public university. It's stupid that a metro area this size doesn't have one. The Oklahoma City metro has two.
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« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2016, 11:09:23 am »

As discussed above, it is codified in State law. I have heard it was TCC & Langston protectionism that lobbied for the deal, but OKC. So while I agree with your major premise, I don't think it applies here.


This goes back to the establishment of UCAT, now OSU Tulsa.  UCAT offered year 3 and up courses, TCC offered 1000 and 2000 level.  The original idea was to help protect OU and OSU which I always thought was ridiculous.  At least when this was applicable to me in the mid 1980’s, kids who were bent on the idea of going away to Stillwater or Norman would not have been dissuaded by an upstart four year public university in Tulsa.  

It is interesting this was not a law that applied to UCO Edmond nor any other four year schools scattered throughout the state if the logic truly was to protect other institutions.

It would have made far more sense to allow a four year school in Tulsa than the 12 or so rural universities throughout the state.  That’s a lot of infrastructure cost we all associate with decentralized services.  But universities, like prisons or funding for a 100 student school district, was some of the only pork an influential legislator could bring home to their rural district.

Oklahoma is a great study in inefficiency and sprawl.

As an aside to this rant, we really should celebrate the idea that Tulsa does have a great law school at TU and that OSU and OU both have very good medical programs here in Tulsa.
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« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2016, 11:13:21 am »

we should be extremely thankful we have at least 1 good private university in this state. Sure a 4-year public university in the Tulsa metro would be great, but it should be OSU-tulsa, RSU or OU-Tulsa.

Completely agree and TU is a huge asset for Tulsa.  I think a few things would make it even better:
1.  Expand to at least 5k students
2.  Expand research programs and facilities
3.  Expand health sciences options with the partnership with OU including having a future university hospital
4.  Maintain a competitive athletic program while continuing to update facilities
5.  Continue to improve the surrounding neighborhood with more of an emphasis on 11th Street creating a mixed-use "Campus Corner" area

OSU and OU should both be 4 year universities in Tulsa that complement, not compete with, TCC and Langston.  OSU should build up its downtown campus as an urban alternative to Stillwater with a good variety of undergraduate and graduate programs and a focus on science and engineering.  OSU should also be doing the bulk of its research in Tulsa.  The OU campus should also have a variety of programs but with its focus on health sciences (in partnership with TU), education and arts&sciences at the midtown campus.
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