I’ve covered downtown development for more than a dozen years. In that time, I’ve heard one discussion after another about various eyesores downtown and potential solutions. Not once have I heard mention of the most obvious eyesores to be found pretty much everywhere downtown – our parking meters. To the left is what we see right now. They’ve not changed much – regular old meters on ugly poles installed decades ago. Maybe, just maybe, city crews brushed on a new coat of silver paint on the poles. And that’s it.
Ward 7 Councilman Skip Kelly has been challenging the status quo with these meters. He asked a good question over the summer – why is parking banned at some meters between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.? The restrictions were placed years, if not decades ago. City staff did an analysis of traffic patterns and guess what? The restrictions weren’t needed at all.
The photo on the top of this post shows a parking meter along Dewey Avenue just south of Main Street. The photo to the left shows another parking meter on the same block with a new cover on the pole. Is there any question as to which one looks better?
I don’t know who is installing these covers, but I’m curious as to whether we might see these covers added throughout downtown?
And is there any chance of painting the meters black so they match the poles? I’ve got more questions coming soon.
You guys sure are quiet today.
So, will Tronox survive?
Just a reminder Taste of Bricktown is tonight!
Metro had a good reminder at OKC Talk – sorry I didn’t post this sooner (I’ll be there):
3rd Annual Taste of Bricktown Tickets Available at the Door Tonight!
From casual to elegant, fun to formal, family-friendly to the best night life, Bricktown has it all. The Bricktown Association invites you to a fun filled evening of exciting entertainment and delicious foods.
The Taste of Bricktown, presented by The Oklahoman, will take place on TONIGHT from 6-10pm at the Coca-Cola Events Center. Complimentary parking will be provided.
Over twenty of Bricktown’s finest restaurants will be providing a wide variety of menu favorites. Complimentary beer and wine will also be available.
Tickets are $65 per person. Tickets will be available at the door.
For more information about the Taste of Bricktown visit bricktownokc.org or call (405) 236-8666.
Think about this…. this bit is on the front page of the website for London’s Academy of Contemporary Music:
Top News Stories
|ACM – Coming to America|
ACM today announced the creation of ACM@UCO in partnership with The University of Central Oklahoma.
Yes, I’m talking about the “school of rock” again. First of all, let’s address the folks at the Lost Ogle. They’re funny, no doubt about it. And yeah, they can be pretty jaded. I was very, very amused at their description of my coverage of the Devon tower project. They nailed me.
But I’m going to take issue with their dissing of UCO’s effort to create a contemporary music school in Bricktown. UCO was indeed once a sleepy commuter school (I attended the university my freshman year before switching schools in the 1980s). But it’s not the same school it once was, and I’m wondering if Patrick and the gang have taken in a performance at the UCO Jazz Lab.
Of course every college and university will have its share of detractors. So let’s move on to another consideration – the mere publicity this development has garnered for Bricktown and Oklahoma City. Whether or not one likes the Flaming Lips, is there any denying their presence in Oklahoma City challenges the Grapes of Wrath/OU Sooners stereotype of Oklahoma? Keeping that in mind, consider then that Flaming Lips Alley, Bricktown and the deal with London’s Academy of Contemporary Music have attracted international attention this past week. I was initially proud to think The Oklahoman had broken the story – I discovered later to much amusement we got beat by the BBC.
Yeah, that’s right – BBC. The story also made the national wires. Don’t be surprised if it pops in Rolling Stone – which also made note of Flaming Lips Alley.
Now, let’s answer the questions to me at the Lost Ogle:
Q: What will happen on the first day of class when all the student moms in minivans try to park in one of the five free Bricktown parking spots?
A: Mass chaos. But the Bricktown police division has its own version of Dirty Harry … enough said.
Q: Which bar will get shut down for allowing the seven underage students at the school to get drunk?
A: Margarita Mamma’s.
Q: Will students be disciplined for not smoking?
A: Only at Makers.
Q: Maybe Steve Lackmeyer will tackle it in a future column.
Jim Stafford couldn’t help but notice the sign is a bit off….
WESTBOUND I-40 ROBINSON AVENUE OFF RAMP TO BE CLOSED FOR RELOCATION
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On October 14, 2008 after 7:00 p.m., the westbound Robinson off ramp (Exit 150 C) on Interstate 40 will be closed for relocation and is expected to be closed for five months. The relocation of the westbound Robinson Avenue off ramp is part of the MAPS project (which was overwhelmingly approved by
Oklahoma City voters on March 4, 2008) and the Core to Shore project.
The space created from the relocation of the west bound Robinson Avenue off ramp will allow for the construction of the new grand entrance to be located on the southwest end of the
Center. Drivers who wish to visit the
Center will be detoured to the westbound Classen Boulevard off ramp (Exit 149 B) on Interstate 40. Appropriate signage will be placed on westbound Interstate 40 and on Oklahoma City streets to assist drivers in navigating the new detoured route.
Center Driving Directions:
From 1-40 West: (Robinson Detour)· Exit at Classen Boulevard. Head northbound on
Center is located on Robinson and
Reno. From I-40 East: Exit at Harvey Ave. Turn right and proceed north on Harvey Ave. Turn right and proceed east on Reno Ave.
Center is located at
Reno and Robinson.
From I-235 (Broadway Extension): Exit at NW 6th St. (6th St. is one-way east) Turn left at Broadway. Proceed South on Broadway. Stay in the left lane and veer to E.K. Gaylord Ave. Ford
Center is West of E.K. Gaylord and
From the I-35: Exit to I-40 West and follow directions with the new Robinson Avenue detour.
Traveling downtown is about to get a bit more chaotic. Signs are up along westbound I-40 indicating the exit is closed. Over the weekend the ramp was still open, but …. a closing is coming. The city and state are tearing down the ramp to make way for an expansion of Ford Center.
I’m not sure what to make out of all the OKC news this week. We are celebrating because the Thunder are about to begin their season at Ford Center? And we’re very happy that UCO is planning to open a “school of rock” in Bricktown. Does the purchase of CityPlace by Roy Oliver and plans to convert top floors to housing mean the good times have yet to end? And we’re still seeing big deals moving forward in Bricktown…
And yet, how can you not pause on news of what’s going on nationally – news that includes a pretty big hit this week at local energy giant Chesapeake?
Devon is a different company, of course, and much more significant to downtown. And on Wednesday I spoke their folks and they say the skyscraper project is still on track.
I know, I know, I’m supposed to tell you what it all means. But I don’t have any answers. Is it 1981 or 1983? I just don’t know.
More coverage on the “school of rock”:
And some comments by Wayne Coyne:
“This tells young musicians ‘You’re not alone.’”
“It’s unique … it pushed the boundaries of what it’s like to be a musician coming from Oklahoma.”
- Wayne Coyne
If you’ve got a choice between getting a Hard Rock Cafe and a Planet Hollywood or this school of rock, well, really now, how can anyone say this school doesn’t come out on top?
“Now raise your goblet of rock. It’s a toast to those who rock!”
Sorry for the delay in updating this post. So hopefully you’ve seen today’s paper and read that a “school of rock” is coming to Bricktown. What’s exciting about this news is we’re talking about the real deal here – the first American school to be affiliated with the London conservatory.
The director – Scott Booker, manager of the Flaming Lips.
Kudos to all the folks at UCO who no doubt worked very hard to make this happen. Not only did they do a deal with Booker, but they also went for nothing but the best when it came to creating instant legitimacy for the school. Kudos as well for seeing the advantage of placing the school in Bricktown instead of at UCO’s Edmond campus.
Everybody should benefit from this deal. The students will enjoy learning in an urban environment rich with performance opportunities and exposure to big name acts who routinely make a stop in Bricktown for dinner or a night out before or after a concert at Ford Center, Cox Convention Center or the Civic Center Music Hall (or, as with Paul McCartney, they’re just driving through, enjoying Route 66).
UCO deservedly will get a lot of positive publicity from the deal – and will likely see its reputation as a music, media and arts hub grow even more than it did with the opening of the very popular UCO Jazz Lab.
Booker once again demonstrates he (and the Flaming Lips) are dedicated to their hometown, even if Coyne has a tendency to drop F-bombs while on stage with the mayor the president of the Greater OKC Chamber (good times, good times).
And then there’s Bricktown. The district has been craving this very sort of addition. You won’t find this school in downtown Denver, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Kansas City, St. Louis – or even Austin.
Let them have the Hard Rock Cafes. The food is mediocre and overpriced and the experience is … franchised. I don’t know yet what sort of atmosphere 150 or so students attending a “school of rock” will have in Bricktown. But I doubt it will be duplicated anywhere else anytime soon.