Whether or not one agrees with the various stances taken by Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid, a couple of fundamentals are certainly indisputable. First, the man goes out of his way to bring national speakers to town, even at his own expense, to introduce outside views and thinking into local discussions about our city’s development and well being. And more often than not, most of these presentations draw hundreds of residents. Another observation, proven by this most recent presentation by transit researcher and author Jarrett Walker, is that Shadid seems to have no problem introducing ideas that risk alienating his own base. Have no doubt, despite the applause you hear in these videos, notable and very vocal advocates of the streetcar project who have dominated the public discussion to date and were a part of Shadid’s base, are not very happy with challenges to their assumptions aired in this presentation.
I won’t attempt to portray their arguments, or those by Shadid or Walker. Instead, it’s time to let folks’ views be aired in these videos and in the comment discussion I’m sure will ensue.
Have no doubt, this whole discussion does matter when it comes to the future of Oklahoma City’s urban core.