Downtown Tulsa Streets Among Last To Be Plowed

Monday, March 3rd 2014, 5:20 pm
By: News On 6

As is often the case, downtown Tulsa streets are among the last to be cleared. By Monday evening the streets were pretty clear, but, that was not the case for early commuters.

City crews say they first clear streets around hospitals, police and fire stations and schools, if they are in session, then they move to the streets that are heavily traveled and have higher speed limits.

Downtown is already a slow speed area and not as heavily traveled as, Riverside Drive or 71st and Yale.

Getting into downtown Tulsa was a little tricky for some drivers. There was some slipping and sliding on Denver going north into downtown.

One person got stuck on Sixth Street and needed a little push from a good Samaritan to get going again.

One couple was headed to City Hall and said the closer they got, the worse it was. They said they highways were fine and were surprised how bad downtown streets were.

Street crews say clearing and treating streets takes time because the street system is massive.

"If everything goes perfect, it takes 10 to 12 to 14 hours to get one pass on every street, city wide. That's one pass on one lane and we've got 1500 lane miles," said Paul Strizek with the City of Tulsa.

He says after taking care of streets around hospitals and police and fire stations, they treat the heavily traveled areas where the speed limit is higher. The highest speed limit downtown is 30.

"So, it's already a low speed situation, as opposed to a freeway or 71st street, where people go faster than 25 miles per hour," Strizek said.

Plus, he says the salt doesn't work as well until it gets above 10 degrees, but, just a few hours after rush hour, going North on Denver was no longer a problem, as the sun and traffic helped with melting.

Separate of streets, companies had people shoveling and salting the sidewalks.

Some of the east-west running streets in downtown will stay snow packed longer because they're always in the shade. There could be some re-freezing overnight, but, city crews said by Wednesday, when the temperatures get above freezing; all this will be a distant memory.