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Brookside improvements bound to cause traffic troubles

Brookside is getting a makeover over the next few months, but beauty doesn't come easy.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says 5:00 traffic is always a little heavy down Peoria, but during an upcoming project, it will be down to one lane each way.

Some business owners are looking foward to the Brookside improvements, even though it will mean the usual construction headaches.

"I'm all for it," says Jeff Stunkard with the Purple Glaze. "Even though we're going to have to make some sacrifice here and there for traffic, but I think it will be worth the sacrifice."

After 6 years in the pottery business on Brookside, Jeff Stunkard has an eye for aesthetics and says the neighborhood provides a unique benefit to Tulsa.

"I think it's important to have this area - entertainment district in Tulsa - and in order to keep it attractive, you've got to put forth the time and money to it," says Stunkard.

This will be one of the last projects on the list of the 2001 3rd penny package.

A new traffic light will be put in at 33rd Place, which is notoriously difficult to turn out of.

Decorative paving is planned for several crosswalks.

And curb extensions will go in where you see striped areas. They're meant to look nice, but they also have a practical purpose.

The city's Henry Som de Cerff says, "Hopefully the bumped out crosswalks will encourage the traffic to slow down as they drive through this area."

Jeff Stunkard agrees, "Patrolling this area alone might net the city a substantial amount of money because people drive through here 40, 50 miles an hour. It's dangerous."

Traffic is sure to be slower during construction at least, as there will be lane closures, although the city is hoping to keep things moving as smoothly as possible.

"During construction we should maintain one lane southbound and one lane northbound at all times," says Som de Cerff.

There's a meeting Tuesday at 7:00 PM at Trinity Methodist Church at 37th and Peoria if people have questions about the project.

Construction all starts Monday and will take about 6 months.
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