Broken Arrow Residents Hope For South-Side Improvements

Tuesday, August 22nd 2017, 10:22 pm
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow wants to encourage more development in the city's south side.

Hundreds of people met tonight to hear what the city wants to do and give their input.

For an economic meeting there was standing room only.  

It gives you an idea of how important it is for the people living here that the city focus on improving the south side.

When it comes to building up Broken Arrow, increasing traffic flow is a must.

"We need additional growth in this area to justify the private investment," said Michael Spurgeon.

People living in south Broken Arrow want retail. 

"Neighborhood stores would be great," said Cathey McKay.

McKay, a 10-year resident, also wants nice places to eat.

"I would like to see good restaurants too, you know, ones that you can sit down and have a good meal," McKay said.

The Applebee's restaurant on Elm Street closed and a nearby Hobby Lobby moved north.

"I was disappointed in both of them. Especially Applebee's, we ate there all the time," McKay said.

But the city is already working to get business back.

"We've widened roads, we've increased the sewer system," Spurgeon said.

Spurgeon said businesses look at household income, traffic count, and proximity to neighboring business districts when deciding where to build.  

At 101st and Elm, 20,000 cars pass through a day, compared to 90,000 along the Broken Arrow Expressway.

To improve this intersection, the city is doing a study to get ideas to maintain and improve the economic viability of this area.

"We're going to get all the owners or their agents together to find out what their vision is," Spurgeon said.

The city has spent $50 million in the last decade to improve public safety and infrastructure.

City leaders believe south Broken Arrow is primed to grow in the next five years. 

"There's a lot going on in that area, so it be nice to see the rest of the city do well as well," said Johnny Thompson.

A lot of people left here tonight feeling optimistic and excited for the future of the city.  

Many said it's going to take public input and involvement to help the city grow this part of town.