Turkey Mountain Parking Lot To Reopen, Relieve Traffic Troubles

Sunday, March 22nd 2015, 9:03 pm
By: News On 6

As spring begins to take hold, places like Turkey Mountain are packed with trail users enjoying the warmer weather.

That's causing lots of traffic issues around Tulsa's urban wilderness area.

There easily could be 30 or more cars parked on the side of busy Elwood and 61st Street.

The River Parks Authority hopes that reopening a parking lot could help with congestion.

“It's a great day to be out here isn't it?" Nick Mendez said.

Mendez and his friends hit every trail they can find at Tulsa's Turkey Mountain.

"Turkey Mountain on a beautiful day is like the best chicken pot pie you've ever eaten on a cold day," Mendez said.

Biking up to the top of these trails wasn't the challenge for Mendez, it was finding place to park.

"I don't even go down to the new lot because I know it's going to be full I usually scour the parts up here," Mendez said.

The main parking lot below was overflowing this weekend, and busy Elwood had people parking cars on both sides of the road.

That's why the River Parks Authority is reopening a parking lot that used to serve as the main trail head entrance.

“We're super happy about that we can have actual parking up here instead of the side street stuff," Mendez said.

River Parks hopes the new lot will give 40-50 new spaces for trail users to park their cars.

“That'd be a time saver," Brady Glover said. “It gets to be a hassle sometimes whenever you're parking like a half a mile down the road and having to walk across and stuff like that."

Ken Childress lives right next to Turkey Mountain and remembers when the old lot was the only place to park almost two decades ago.

"This was just a gravel lot, and as I recall it was quite a bit smaller than it is right now... size that it is right now," Turkey Mountain neighbor Ken Childress said.

He said people heading to the mountain sometimes park in his neighborhood and welcomes the reopening of the old lot.

"So that's huge, we're getting a lot of use here," Childress said.

Trail users can't wait until the lot finally opens.

River Parks hopes to have the lot open sometime next week.