Riverside Drive Closure Prompts More Traffic In Neighborhoods

Monday, July 13th 2015, 9:43 pm
By: News On 6

Major changes in Tulsa's traffic patterns started Monday. About noon, the barriers went up and Riverside Drive between 24th and 41st shut down.

Near 21st and Peoria is where traffic quickly began to back up.

For many drivers, having to deal with turning onto Peoria along with the traffic from road construction further along 21st, just isn’t an option.

"This is the first day and obviously we are sitting here at 21st and Owasso just watching folks cut through," said Paul Zachary, City of Tulsa engineer.

That is exactly what happened.

Take a look at this three minute time lapse of the traffic.

Related Story 7/12/2015: Stretch Of Tulsa's Riverside Drive Closes Until 2017

“Normally, we just have a few cars from the people that live in neighborhood. This is going to be a parade before long," neighbor Linda Brantley said.

Drivers seemed confused and many simply ignored the 25 mph speed limit.

"We have children playing.  They don't know what to do with the roundabouts.  It's a mess," Brantley said.

The City calls this unacceptable and says there will be more signs or police presence if needed to stop drivers from cutting through.

"We are going to have to let it normalize.  I think a lot of people are going to remember they had to cut through the neighborhood to try and get back on Peoria which wasn't any easier," Zachary said.

Along Peoria, the City is asking residents to be extra cautious with the extra traffic and only cross at signaled crosswalks.

At  41st, local traffic is still allowed for a few blocks north for those living in homes and apartments there.

"If we can keep 41st to 36th and make that local traffic, where people aren’t doing this on 35th or 34th, we will keep it as open as we possibly can," Zachary said.

City engineers also plan to meet with public works Thursday afternoon to discuss and answer any questions regarding the Riverside detours.