Tulsa's Mingo Road named one of nation's 10 ugliest

Thursday, March 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A group of city planners and architects are horrified by the aesthetics of the arterial roads running through south Tulsa _ but one stood out to them as particularly bad.

Tulsa's Mingo Road was named one of the 10 worst streets in all of North America, a distinction that will be published this week in PLANetizen.com, an online trade magazine about urban development.

The group described Mingo road as ``the epitome of suburban planning gone horribly wrong,'' but said most of the major arterial roads in south Tulsa ``are absolutely horrific and would be excellent contenders'' for the 10 worst list.

Mingo is a north-south thoroughfare that parallels U.S. 169. It was singled out for its ``huge parking lots'' and ``lack of greenery except for weeds.'' The experts also referred to the city's ``cheaply built storefronts that resemble shoe boxes.''

The Web site chose the 10 worst streets based on urban sprawl, and South Mingo was chosen for its abundance of strip malls, parking lots and fast-food chains.

The group that compiled the list favors a retro style of city planning that favors older areas of town.

George Brenner, the Tulsa chairman of the Sierra Club, said urban sprawl is eating up the countryside around the city and creating a hostile city environment.

``These areas are designed for cars, not for people,'' Brenner said. ``You can't build a community out of turn lanes and parking lots.''

While Mingo may not be the most attractive byway on the continent, Colle Sikes doesn't think it's one of the ugliest, either.

She works at Miller Swim School and has driven Mingo almost every day for the past four years.

``It's not so bad except for the traffic,'' she said. ``And when they get through widening it, it's going to be terrific.''

The other nine roads ranked ugliest in America by PLANetizen.com were:

_ U.S. 40 in Maryland.

_ U.S. 192 south of Walt Disney World in Florida.

_ North Breazeale Avenue in Mount Olive, N.C.

_ Calgary Trail in Edmonton, Canada.

_ Red Deer Highway between Calgary and Edmonton.

_ Buford Highway in suburban Atlanta.

_ Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Atlanta.

_ Telegraph Road in Detroit.

_ Route 61 in southeast Pennsylvania.