Neighbors Concerned About Illegal Parking, Crime Uptick Ahead Of Tulsa State Fair

Friday, September 17th 2021, 2:21 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Neighbors who live near the Tulsa State fairgrounds are worried about big crowds, more crime, and lots of trash during this year's fair.

That's because the fair announced it is not offering its free shuttle rides this year. 

These neighbors said this has been a problem for years and without the shuttle service, they're afraid it's only going to get worse. 

"You get out and do everything before 10 o clock," said Tommy Edwards.

Tommy Edwards said it's almost that time of year again: state fair season.

He's lived across the street from Expo square for more than 20 years and says parking is always chaos.

"You're going to have to deal with everybody parking on the side of the road," Edwards said.

This year, the fair is getting rid of its free shuttle service that would take people from satellite spots to the fair, and organizers say it's because not enough people were taking the shuttles.

That makes Edwards worry even more people will be parking in the neighborhoods.

"They're just looking for a place to park," Edwards said.

Edwards said he's seen a lot of crime recently, and the fair usually makes it worse.

"When the sun goes down, we've had some crimes of opportunity," said Christopher Steltzlen. "We're not real sure who the culprit is."

Christopher Steltzlen lives in the same neighborhood and said he and other neighbors are all worried about car break ins and other crimes.

"With the fair traffic, they need to be aware," he said. "Lock your car, move your purse to your trunk area."

Tulsa Police said they'll increase patrols like they always do.

"We're looking at the surrounding area and citizens there," said Capt. Richard Meulenberg, "with the high expectation there will be a lot more traffic."

Captain Richard Meulenberg said neighbors and fairgoers need to lock up and hide their things.

"Enjoy the fair follow the rules be nice to the neighbors letting you park," Meulenberg said.

The fair said another option for people going to the fair is to get an Uber or Lyft.

Police said they will be ticketing cars parked illegally on the streets and cars blocking driveways could be towed.

The fair starts on Sept. 30.