PlaniTulsa Wrapping Up Public Meetings

Friday, February 13th 2009, 9:27 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The final chance for Tulsans to be on the ground floor of planning the future their own neighborhoods is approaching.  PlaniTulsa will hold its final public workshops next week.

People in west Tulsa say they've been ignored in years past, but with PlaniTulsa they feel they have momentum and are expecting to see major changes on their side of town.

"Southwest Tulsa is, in many ways, a forgotten part of Tulsa," said Katie Davis of Tulsa.

If you're from west Tulsa, you know every nook and cranny in the area.  But, if you're not, you may wonder what makes it unique.

"West Tulsa existed before Tulsa and it really was a community in and to itself. And so, for many years it was forgotten just because it was west of the river and it was west Tulsa," said Katie Davis.

"It's just got a long tradition of hard working people, blue collar type people that have middle class values that have helped build up the city," said Webster Principal Phillip Garland.

But for years, this part of the city has deteriorated.  It's cut off by the river, I-44 and Highway 75.

"We have a lot of substandard housing, things like that now that need to be dealt with and a commercial area that was decimated by expressways," said Richard Ryan with the Southwest Tulsa Chamber.

PlaniTulsa workshops have allowed people in west Tulsa to have a say in what happens in the future.  They want to see the old become the new again.

The Red Fork part of town has many historic store fronts and it is also where a lot of people would like to see the redevelopment begin.

They also hope to build on the momentum surrounding their schools.  Clinton Middle School is being rebuilt and Webster High School is becoming a magnet school for broadcasting.

But, as much as people love their part of town, they say, it's not just theirs.

"Well, it's part of Tulsa and Tulsa needs to be concerned about the older areas deteriorating because we don't want a Tulsa that has a whole lot of areas that are just nothing but blight," said Richard Ryan with the Southwest Tulsa Chamber.

Next week's PlaniTulsa workshop for southwest Tulsa is at Webster High School.  It is on Tuesday the 17th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

There are two more meetings on Wednesday for north Tulsa and the Hillcrest area.  They are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Hawthorne Elementary and the First Evangelical Lutheran Church.