City Leaders Hope To Move Forward With Suggestions To Improve Downtown

Thursday, May 26th 2016, 10:58 pm
By: News On 6

Three weeks after a well-known urban planner visited Tulsa, the private and public sector seem ready to move ahead with his suggestions.

City and business leaders want to invest in his expertise in order to shape Tulsa into the downtown they say it deserves to be.

About 4,000 people call downtown Tulsa home - and those numbers are obviously growing.

Shops are coming in and districts are flourishing, but Jeff Scott with the Downtown Coordinating Council said, “There is a misconception that we have such momentum downtown that it carries itself. Well, it doesn't carry itself, and there are things that need to be done."

In early May, Urban Planner Jeff Speck traveled to Tulsa and made some suggestions to a sold out crowd - more bike lanes, narrower roads, two-way streets, and walkability.

5/4/216 Related Story: Urban Planner Outlines Plan To Make Downtown Tulsa More Walkable, Bikeable

The information didn't fall on deaf ears, and Tuesday, a newly formed steering committee unanimously decided they wanted to hire Speck to do a complete Tulsa study.

Scott said, "The purpose of this is not to sit on Tom Bakers’ desk, or Mayor Bartlett's desk, or anyone’s desk. It is to be out there and getting it happening.”

Speck’s study would look at all of downtown with a fine-tooth comb, analyzing streets, parking policies, signage, cycling networks.

"He sees things that I don't necessarily see, and it’s a real fresh look at what we do have and what we can do to improve," Scott said.

The cost for the study is $70,000. Scott said they hope to have the money come from a number of places, including area business owners and investors.

He said, "A collaboration of support so everyone has a buy-in into project and process."

Once Speck completes the study, his ideas will be put to use in projects already planned and funded through Improve Our Tulsa.

This is not a done deal just yet; it still needs to be approved by the Downtown Coordinating Council, which meets next week.