“For the public works department, it may be a 180 to an extent. They have been instructed for as long as I can remember that their job was to get cars from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Now, with these streets, we are asking for people to come before cars.” – Mayor Mick Cornett, discussing Project 180 in the Nov. 27 issue of The Oklahoman.
QUESTION: Would it be acceptable to have a fenced grate in the middle of a street? If not, and if pedestrian access is now to be given equal (or better) footing with vehicular access, than why is this an acceptable sidewalk?
Ah, what twists and turns can occur when questions are asked. If you read today’s Main Street column, you know that as of yesterday the city wasn’t even so sure anymore who was responsible for the NE 2 sidewalk.
Well, today we now know the answer – it’s the city that did this, not a utility.
Speaking to Debbie Regan in the city’s water department, I learned that the grate covers a water meter. Apparently the water meter was installed as the adjoining 2nd Street Lofts were being built. Regan says the contract changed the plans for the underground garage construction, causing the meter to be at a level where the grate had to be raised higher than the sidewalk.
I asked – why can’t the meter be lowered or moved? She responded the meter was installed first, and the contractor caused the situation. I asked if the average pedestrian really cares as to how this happened. Is it impossible to move the meter and fix this sidewalk? She again responded the contractor was to blame – an answer, quite frankly, I doubt makes a difference to most of you.
So now Ragan is looking into whether it is or is not possible for the meter to be moved. My question remains the same: in the post Jeff Speck era, is this acceptable? Is this something that would be permitted in front of Devon tower or City Hall? If not, why is it acceptable on NE 2?
By the way, YOU PAID FOR THIS. This was part of a Tax Increment Financing district project.
In all likelihood, one of the concepts shown below will become the future Bicentennial Park (or maybe as the originally named “Civic Center Park”). The long reflecting pool was clearly favored by architect Rand Elliott, but some members of the committee tasked with reviewing the Project 180 improvement voiced concerns about whether these water features would duplicate fountains being added at the Myriad Gardens. City staff, meanwhile, pointed out that each fountain requires money for maintenance and operation. The biggest issue, however, might be the budget, which doesn’t provide enough money for the reflecting pool. Private funds could be raised, however …
So the committee wants to know … what do you think?
So the city says this sidewalk meets ADA. It seemed hard to believe … but … yes, it does seem to meet the letter of the law. But does it meet the spirit of the law? And more importantly, the question still stands – would this sidewalk be acceptable in front of City Hall or the new Devon tower? Would this be acceptable in front of your house? In front of the mayor’s house? Would this be acceptable in front of your office?
I hope everybody had a Happy Thanksgiving. The above classic was discovered by friend Phil Cross at KOKH.
So, what am I thankful for?
- I’m first and foremost thankful for my great wife, kids, and family.
- I’m thankful that I have a great readership that I get to interact with via OKC Central.
- I’m thankful for OKC’s changing skyline – Devon tower, Project 180, more to come.
- I’m thankful that SandRidge Energy plans to restore the historic Braniff Building.
- I’m thankful that I might have the opportunity to continue covering one of the most dynamic downtowns in the country.
- I’m thankful to Dennis Wells and Creative Oklahoma and Rep. Mary Fallin for making last week’s trip by Russian Sam possible.
- I’m thankful for my frequent collaborator on my history endeavors, Jack Money.
- I’m thankful for all the people who helped make Retro Metro OKC a reality.
- I’m thankful for foundations like the Inasmuch Foundation, which made CityScape a reality.
- I’m thankful for all the developers helping make downtown a fun exciting place to live, work and play.
There’s much, much more … but let’s remain on guard; those turkeys might, at this very moment, be planning a counterattack….
Originally home of the Oklahoma City Savings & Loan, this building at the corner of Robert S. Kerr and Robinson was built in 1928 and was within weeks of being renovated into condominiums by the Triangle group when Kerr-McGee was acquired by Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum in 2006 and the deal was scuttled.
Here’s a photo of the building’s early appearance:
The building is one of five structures being torn down by SandRidge Energy to make way for a landscaped plaza. A sixth building at 120 Robert S. Kerr will be torn down as well and replaced with a new building.
Expect the old bank building to be history within just a few days, if not sooner.
You know that rumor you’ve been hearing about the MidTown Deli turning into another Louie’s? Yep, it’s apparently true.
Oklahoma City has been vigilant in recent months in constructing new sidewalk wheelchair ramps a street corners throughout the metro – even at intersections where there are no sidewalks.
The stretch of NE 2 between E.K. Gaylord and Walnut Avenue at least has sidewalks – and wheelchair ramps. This pedestrian corridor will be an increasingly important one in the future as the 2nd Street Lofts are joined by an Aloft Hotel and a large apartment complex to the immediate east Imagine all the people who will be able to walk from the hotel and their homes to the Central Business District and Automobile Alley.
Of course, when they use the sidewalk along NE 2, they’ll also have to walk around this big fenced in above-grade utility grate.
I’m stumped as to how this sidewalk meets ADA requirements.
Planners, developers, city officials – I know you’re out there reading this site – how in the world does this make any sense? Did someone at Public Works really look at these sidewalk plans and say, “oh yeah, this will work just fine?” Is this not an embarrassment to someone?
Watch this and just try not to smile (discovery of video by old college friend Angie)
Friday marked the last day for Ilia in Oklahoma City – he boarded a flight this morning and is on his way back to St. Petersberg. I finally got to do a full interview with him with an interpreter Thursday. I’ll be sharing that soon, and maybe, just maybe, I can get Dennis Wells to do guest blog about the entire experience.
Many, many thanks go to Dennis Wells and his employer, Bud Miles and Miles Associates Architects.