New Plan Aims To Better Connect Downtown Tulsa Districts

<p>Many of the districts in downtown Tulsa&nbsp;are spread too far apart, especially for pedestrians,&nbsp;but there is a new plan to better connect them.</p>

Monday, November 23rd 2015, 11:23 pm

By: News On 6


Downtown Tulsa's many different districts have a lot to offer people who live there and a lot for those who visit.

But many of those areas are spread too far apart, especially for pedestrians; but there is a new plan to better connect the Brady and Greenwood districts.

There is no arguing the Brady and Greenwood districts are booming, unfortunately, a lack of walkability has caused some to miss hidden gems, like the John Hope Franklin Park, but that’s about to change.

Program Officer with the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Aaron Miller, said, “Streetscaping has really built up this neighborhood. It has made it feel warm and inviting and welcoming.”

The view of Guthrie Green from Cincinnati and Cameron is top notch, but that stops once you try to venture across Cincinnati.

Traffic whizzes by and crosswalks are all but absent, so the area will get a brand new streetscape, paid for by portions of property and sales taxes in the Brady District.

It will bring pedestrians directly and safely to John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park and the front door of the Greenwood District.

John Hope Franklin Executive Director, Jocelyn Lee Payne said, “Tulsa is becoming a walking city, and we appreciate that and we are happy to be on one of the most busy connecting places and busy thoroughfares of the city.”

The sidewalks along Cameron will be widened with dozens of streetlights and trees; angled parking spots will also be included.

Payne said, “So, if we get them down this pretty lighted street and to the intersection of Cameron and Detroit, then they get to play dodge car.”

But not anymore. With the plan, there will be street lighting on the corner and brand new crosswalks, making it easier and safer for people to get to the park.

“It is a shame people don’t realize when they're visiting the Guthrie Green, that they are only one block away from this treasure,” Miller said.

There are plans for similar streetscaping all the way down Brady and along Cheyenne, eventually connecting to the BOK Center, but the details are still being ironed out.

“In order to attract more tourists and new residents downtown, walkability is the key factor,” Miller said.

The park has a number of events and performances scheduled for the months ahead.

Construction on the connector is set to begin around January and be wrapped up by the end of April.

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