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November 19, 2017, 06:25:19 pm
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Author Topic: Downtown Tulsa Walkability Presentation - March 23, 2017  (Read 2673 times)
Bamboo World
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« on: February 28, 2017, 12:40:29 pm »


5:30pm - 8:00pm

Cox Business Center

free admission

http://downtowntulsaok.com/event/walkable-city-presentation/

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MostSeriousness
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 03:58:37 pm »

With Jeff Speck's name being thrown around in every topic a few months back, surprised there isn't more discussion here.  Cheesy
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 02:26:31 pm »


Reminder:  This downtown Tulsa walkability presentation begins soon, at 5:30pm today.
 
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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2017, 10:25:19 pm »

I  couldn't make it.  Let me know if there is a posted recording.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2017, 10:30:45 pm »



I  couldn't make it.  Let me know if there is a posted recording.


Yes, here:  http://www.feedbacktulsa.org/portals/121/Issue_4745

The feedback survey period ends May 1, 2017.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 05:32:02 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
Conan71
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2017, 10:34:54 pm »

How is Jeff Speck these days?  I'd love to make a career of being paid $70K or so a year per municipality to espouse my ideas on walkability to small groups of people. Sounds like a great gig if you can get it.

I have nothing against the guy.  I find it incongruous a city like Tulsa which will never espouse real walkable development pays someone like Jeff a nice dufflebag of money to give his opinion on what we are doing wrong with development, only to ignore his recommendations.  I'd love to be reimbursed like that for all the time I've spent giving my opinion in various forums of how bad their developemnt ideas are and how we could do better.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2017, 10:42:00 pm »



How is Jeff Speck these days?  I'd love to make a career of being paid $70K or so a year per municipality to espouse my ideas on walkability to small groups of people. Sounds like a great gig if you can get it.

I have nothing against the guy.  I find it incongruous a city like Tulsa which will never espouse real walkable development pays someone like Jeff a nice dufflebag of money to give his opinion on what we are doing wrong with development, only to ignore his recommendations.  I'd love to be reimbursed like that for all the time I've spent giving my opinion in various forums of how bad their development ideas are and how we could do better.


In the case of Tulsa, I think most of his fees came from private sources.

Yes, I know -- PonderInc and I gave many or most of the same ideas to the City of Tulsa at no charge, and we have been giving away the ideas for years.  In my case, it has been for decades.  But ... if the City actually implements Speck's suggestions, it will be worth his $70,000 fee, imo.

*Edited: Enough with the name calling.

Moderator:  Please do not edit my posts without an explanation of the original text (which I now don't remember what it was and unfortunately didn't save a draft copy of the original), compared to the edited version.

The only names mentioned in my original reply were Conan71, Jeff Speck, PonderInc, Tulsa, (and my own name, Bamboo World).  There was no name-calling in my post.  What do you mean?

Conan71 made a comment about a consultant's fee, which I thought was a bit snide.  As I recall from last night, Jeff Scott (not name-calling, and correct me if I'm wrong) announced at the very beginning of the presentation that most of the consultant fee came from private sources, not public.  In my opinion, the presentation was excellent, and I hope the City of Tulsa will implement the suggestions for downtown.

As always, I try to make my posts here as accurate as possible.  If you find something I have posted to be untruthful, then please PM or email me about it.  I make mistakes sometimes in my posts, but I try to correct them as quickly as possible whenever they're brought to my attention (and admit to the mistake, even if I have to eat crow in doing so).

Did someone complain about my original post?  Was someone offended?  What was the name-calling?  Please explain.

This is important to me because posting here takes time.  Townsend seems to find the forum depressing (again, not name-calling, but Townsend started a topic about the forum being depressing).  I don't find Forum discussions to be depressing because there is so much going on in Tulsa that I can't keep up with all of the topics.

But I sure as hell don't want to spend my time replying to TN Forum posts, only to have an un-named moderator edit them without letting me know beforehand.  Exactly what text was edited, and why?  Please reply here, PM, or email me.  And please do so right away, because I want to know what's going on.  This is super-annoying to find out my post has been altered somehow since last night.
 
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 03:58:42 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
cannon_fodder
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 07:32:14 am »

Unfortunately, most of the fees are not for the ideas we have been espousing for years on here (including many of the exact same examples).  A lot of the money is for the data, analysis, and pretty package that backs them up.  Civil engineers, traffic engineers, and design teams contribute (there is 250 pages of traffic engineering studies).  As do the groups that put together the study itself and publish it.  But, if that's what it takes to get the City to actually pay attention - then so be it.

They said last night most of the money was from private sources.

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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 08:57:54 am »

I think his big picture ideas are something we've all known for awhile.  But as has been said, if it gets the city to actually implement these things, it's $70,000 very well spent. 
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 04:21:27 pm »



They said last night most of the money was from private sources.


That's what I remember, too!  And that's the point I was trying to make in my reply to Conan71 last night.

Now, today, I'm discovering that a moderator somehow edited my post since last night, and I don't know why (or how, exactly, because I didn't save a copy of the original), which is not depressing to me, but it's VERY irritating that a TN Forum moderator would do that!

I began this topic for a reason:  It's to inform others about what I think is one of the very most important studies on walkability for downtown Tulsa by the world's foremost expert (in my opinion) on walkable cities!  It's not about name-calling!  And I really don't begrudge the $70,000 fee.  It's probably worth every penny, if the City actually follows through with the recommendations.

Moderator:  Please explain quickly why my post from last night was altered, and how (which phrasing was edited).  This walkability study for downtown Tulsa might not be important or of interest to you, but it is to me.  Otherwise, I wouldn't have started this thread.  What's going on, and why is a moderator lurking or stalking my posts on an events thread that hasn't gotten many hits?  Why did a moderator spend time and effort altering the original text of my post?
  
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 04:40:01 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
cannon_fodder
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 07:06:46 am »

Feedback wanted:

www.feedbacktulsa.org
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2017, 08:43:33 pm »



I'd love to make a career of being paid $70K or so a year per municipality...


Surprise!  According to Michael Overall's March 27, 2017 Tulsa World article, it's $75K (or so).  Until yesterday, I thought it was $70K or so.  Once again, Bamboo World was wrong!  According to Overall, the Downtown Coordinating Council has paid the walkability expert Jeff Speck 7% (or so) more than Bamboo World thought he would be paid.


...Sounds like a great gig if you can get it.


Yes, sir, especially with that 7% (or so) fee increase!


I have nothing against the guy.  I find it incongruous a city like Tulsa which will never espouse real walkable development pays someone like Jeff a nice dufflebag of money to give his opinion on what we are doing wrong with development, only to ignore his recommendations.  I'd love to be reimbursed like that for all the time I've spent giving my opinion in various forums of how bad their development ideas are and how we could do better.


For the most part, I agree with you, Conan.  I think there is a VERY high likelihood that the author and city planner Jeff Speck's report will be placed on a shelf to serve as a rather expensive, $75K (or so) dust collector.  But I really do hope I'm wrong.

I found Jonathan Belzley's comment posted on the FeedbackTulsa survey (at 12:19pm today) to be very telling and true:

Quote

While I appreciate the investment in Mr. Speck's study, these findings have been recommended by knowledgeable civic leaders for many years in Tulsa. The city planning staff has known these. There is a chasm between the planning staff and engineering services that must be bridged. Let's invest in educating the engineers to think about ROI as opposed to annual budgets and bond measures. Thanks for helping to make Tulsa a city of the future!


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Conan71
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2017, 09:26:48 pm »

Surprise!  According to Michael Overall's March 27, 2017 Tulsa World article, it's $75K (or so).  Until yesterday, I thought it was $70K or so.  Once again, Bamboo World was wrong!  According to Overall, the Downtown Coordinating Council has paid the walkability expert Jeff Speck 7% (or so) more than Bamboo World thought he would be paid.

Yes, sir, especially with that 7% (or so) fee increase!

For the most part, I agree with you, Conan.  I think there is a VERY high likelihood that the author and city planner Jeff Speck's report will be placed on a shelf to serve as a rather expensive, $75K (or so) dust collector.  But I really do hope I'm wrong.

I found Jonathan Belzley's comment posted on the FeedbackTulsa survey (at 12:19pm today) to be very telling and true:



Interesting.  One of my former neighbors is on the planning staff and is very conversant in walkability concepts.  For the most part, I believe that staff is mostly in tune with what the purported metrosexual preaches.  Iíve simply never figured out why it is if the oligarchs who have run the city for decades donít take the advice of the paid consultants and paid employees, then what are we paying them for?  Yes I caught the earlier comments about Mr. Speck being paid from private funds.  City planning employees are not.  No ill wishes on the planning staff, nor many in INCOG.  There are many bright and progressive minds in planning and zoning, yet we keep making the same mistakes over and over with planning, zoning, and development.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 11:23:11 pm »



Iíve simply never figured out why it is if the oligarchs who have run the city for decades donít take the advice of the paid consultants and paid employees, then what are we paying them for?


Nor have I ever figured out why the City of Tulsa keeps on paying consultants (and keeps on paying City employees to listen to those paid consultants), and then almost never implements the recommendations of the paid consultants.

Here's an example, and it pertains to the subject of walkability and to Federal civil rights legislation dating back to Bush 41's administration:  wheelchair accessible curb ramps.  In August 2014, the City of Tulsa brought in Kristi Avalos, an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) expert from Houston, to give a two or three day seminar about ADA compliance (and I don't think she worked for free).  The seminar was for City employees, contractors who build streets and sidewalks, design professionals, and others who are interested in or responsible for public works projects such as sidewalks, crosswalks, etc.

I attended only one day of Avalos's seminar.  It was about eight hours of training, as I remember.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think attendance by City employees in certain departments was required.  In addition to many contractors who construct public sidewalk and paving projects, I saw dozens of City employees there.  Some were from the planning department, some were from public works, and Mayor Dewey Follett Bartlett Jr was there, also.  I don't know the pay scale of all the City department heads and various employees, but the mayor's salary was about $100K in 2014, as I recall.  That's about $50 per hour for each hour the mayor was there, and the mayor isn't the highest paid City employee.

I looked for Avalos's seminar PowerPoint on the City's website a few minutes ago, but I couldn't find it.  She showed photos of recently constructed projects in Tulsa as examples of how NOT to design or build sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks, etc.  Avalos showed images of the non-compliant and dangerous roundabout at 10th & 11th & Elgin, and I heard some of the contractors in the room laugh and say, "We told the City that design wasn't going to work, but they forced us to build it like that, anyway."  

She showed a photo of the ridiculous bollards and rough pavement at 11th & Peoria, and I heard the contractors laugh again and tell her, "Yep.  We said that wouldn't work, either."  But once again, the City forced the contractors to build the intersection with the dangerous curb ramps and stupid bollards, anyway.  Since 2014, the bollards have been removed and the curb ramps have been re-built, AGAIN.

Many of Avalos's comments were about curb ramps and how they should be designed and constructed in pairs on all four corners of standard intersections, so the ramps will lead pedestrians directly into the crosswalks.  But Avalos really didn't need to tell City officials about best practices for curb ramps, because the City already had developed its own standards for curb ramps, years before Avalos's seminar.  In my opinion, Tulsa's standard details for curb ramps are very good.  The problem:  Tulsa doesn't enforce or implement its own municipal standards.  Time and time again, I see new curb ramps built that direct pedestrians into the middle of intersections, sometimes not leading to a crosswalk at all, such as the angled ramp on the southwest corner of 5th & Boulder, which was constructed a few months after Avalos's seminar, and many years after Tulsa had developed ADA-compliant standards.


Yes I caught the earlier comments about Mr. Speck being paid from private funds.  City planning employees are not.  No ill wishes on the planning staff, nor many in INCOG.  There are many bright and progressive minds in planning and zoning, yet we keep making the same mistakes over and over with planning, zoning, and development.


Bingo.  That's the rub, Conan.  I have more examples to help illustrate your (and my) point, but I'll save those for another time and another post ... hopefully a post that a moderator won't feel compelled to edit for some unknown reason, without any explanation.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 12:06:16 am by Bamboo World » Logged
PonderInc
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2017, 01:25:45 pm »

From my experience, I think Tulsa is finally starting to "get it."  Even Engineering Services is starting to advocate for bike lanes and "multi-modal" streets.  Plus, there are some great folks at INCOG and the Planning Dept.

Our major roadblocks to transformation:
 
* The TMAPC - Old geezers galore. Status Quo. Rubber stamps.
* The Major Street and Highway Plan (Which is always used as a starting point for street design, lane widths, etc, and is horribly outdated.)
* The AASHTO "Green Book" for city street design - which designs every street for highway speeds.  (Should use NACTO Urban Street Design Guide instead)
* The use of Level of Service (LOS) as a starting point for street design/planning analysis.  As Jeff Speck pointed out, great places are usually a D or F LOS for cars... because they are an A for people.  We like our streets to have a high GPA, and it freaks people out when you say your streets will go from an A to a D. 

A couple things give me hope: 
* The DCC sponsored the study, and many of their members donated to it. This will make it less likely that DCC members will fight against the proposed ideas.  They will probably be a fairly strong advocate for the changes b/c hopefully they will have had time to be educated by the process to understand the reasoning behind the proposals.

* The mayor's administration is totally behind this study, and the proposals that have come from it.  They have 4 years to work on implementing this.

* The TMAPC doesn't really have much influence over what happens downtown.

I really do think the tide is changing.  Go Tulsa!

(And, yes, it's a good thing to have a professional gather all the data to prove what we know to be true about walkability.)  People are going to soil their pants when they first hear about reducing the number of lanes/widths and replacing stop lights with stop signs.  They will fear this without experiencing it.  But the data proves that we simply don't have the traffic numbers to justify our massive downtown streets.  I can't prove this to them, even though I know it's true--but Speck's team can.

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