City Finds Parking Solution For Those Who Eat, Play Along Riverside Drive
The city of Tulsa is making a local park more accessible by adding scores of new parking spots along Riverside Drive.
The city says it is important not to take away space from the park with this project. They say there will soon be 120 additional spaces.
Parking problems are nothing new for Tulsa, and along Riverside Drive, the need for additional spaces couldn't be greater.
No one knows that better than Tom Dittus, who runs the Blue Rose Cafe.
"We'll see people pull in and look for a spot and then drive around and pull out," Dittus said.
Dittus said he pays a percentage rent to the Riverpark Authority, meaning the more business they get, the better the park makes out.
"So any more parking that we can get down in the area is good for everybody," he said.
During the week, parking isn't an issue. But on the weekend, you can hardly find a spot.
Dittus said it's costing him money, and joggers we spoke with said it's forcing them to park on the west side of the river, where there's fewer facilities and less lighting.
"I feel much safer because of the lights and everything, but if I can't park, then I go elsewhere and run," Christa Bailey said.
But the city is trying to keep those joggers and business on Riverside.
It plans to add 120 additional parking spaces in the coming weeks, by moving the center line of road over.
“This is a very economical solution, and that's the best part about this,” Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s Chief of Staff Jarred Brejcha said.
Brejcha saof it will add three different types of parking, which will stretch from Denver Avenue and Southwest Boulevard.
Along with parallel and angled parking, there will be a first for Tulsa drivers: Back-angled parking, where drivers will reverse on Riverside to back into a parking spot.
“I think at first there may be a little bit of a learning curve, but once people understand it, and the bike people understand it, I think that will be there preferred spots,” Brejcha said.
The city of Tulsa said because this is part of an ongoing project, it should only cost between $8,000 and $10,000.
The project is expected to begin at the end of May and be finished in four to six weeks.