Coffee Slingers is doing a great job bringing attention to the question of reverse angled parking via the coffee shop’s social media accounts. These folks have reason to be interested in the topic – a similar proposal has been debated back and forth for Automobile Alley.
First, a video Coffee Slingers posted showing an educational video on reverse angled parking from Austin, Texas:
And now, for the backlash:
The question posed by Coffee Slingers – a good one I think – is what do you think?
Steve Mason and Blair Humphreys invite you to participate in an interactive placemaking charrette:
Everyone is invited to participate in an interactive placemaking charrette for the area surrounding 9th and Broadway in Oklahoma City. You can help shape the future of this area by submitting ideas online at http://www.plainurban.com/okc or by dropping by the design workshop at 1015 N. Broadway on Friday, June 10 and/or Saturday, June 11. A team of designers brought together by PLAIN URBAN, and funded by the 9th Street District, will use the input you provide to create a urban design plan for the area. Your ideas will help shape the future of this community! While the conversations begins at the corner of 9th and Broadway, it is up to you where it goes from there.
Should be interesting to watch.
Tim Berney called me back. First things first. Who paid for these signs? You did. You the readers did. It’s your money. And the Oklahoma Department of Health, using your federal dollars, paid VI Marketing “six figures” to do this 5320 campaign.
Berney knows these signs are illegal in city right-of-ways and parks. About 3,000 of these signs have been placed throughout the state.
His response to them being illegal? Politicians do it every campaign season. And, quote, “If Oklahoma City is to be a major league city, it will see more of this gorilla (my spelling) marketing.” End quote.
Berney does not believe these signs reflect badly on a community’s appearance. He noted the campaign has several corporate partners, including the Deep Fork restaurant group and area Burger Kings.
Berney indicated his firm will consider doing this again for future campaigns, and despite laws against placing such signs in parks, public right-of-way, he called the issue “a gray area.”
For what it’s worth, my inquiries began after I was contacted by a reader who noted these signs surrounded the Oklahoma City Beautiful park sign.
The signs are now gone. Berney did not offer to have them removed. Instead, it was Councilwoman Meg Salyer, who has a history of picking up weeds, trash along Broadway, who had the signs removed from the Broadway park.
VI Marketing shows its other clients downtown have included St. Anthony Hospital, Advanced Academics and deadCENTER Film Festival. The firm has also done work for the Oklahoma Department of Tourism.
If you wish to share your thoughts on this matter, you can do so by emailing Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CC: Councilwoman Meg Salyer, Oklahoma City Community Foundation director Nancy Anthony.
Tim, I’ve been hearing from readers that they are upset about signs placed along public right of way, and especially in park along Broadway that the Oklahoma City Community Foundation has worked to keep nice over the past several years. You can see the signs in the attached photo.
Doing some digging, I discovered the following:
VI Marketing & Branding
125 Park Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Domain Name: 5320OK.COM
So here are my questions:
- Why is your firm placing paper signs in a city park?
- Are you aware such placement is illegal?
- Do you see any irony with these signs surrounding one placed by Oklahoma City Beautiful declaring this area an “adopt-a-park” cared for by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation?
- Do you believe that placing paper signs illegally in city right of way and public parks is an effective means of promoting a client?
- Do you care about the appearance of downtown and the city?
- What does your firm do to support the goals and objectives of Oklahoma City Beautiful?
- How do you think these signs effect the city’s appearance to visitors?
- Will your firm be collecting and cleaning up these signs at any point?
I look forward to your response. Sincerely, Steve Lackmeyer
I have suspicions about which marketing/advertising firm is behind these 5320 signs. Let’s cut to the chase: signs like the ones shown in this photo ARE ILLEGAL. And I’m hearing from a lot of folks downtown who are none too amused about what they see as nothing more than litter in their neighborhood.
At some point, with all the money being spent on this campaign (which employs some of the oldest, most tired tricks in the book), names will come out. And to my readers, I will make this pledge: I will endeavor to not just provide the name and contact info of the client, but I will also provide the name and contact info for the folks who thought placing ILLEGAL paper signs along a public pocket park. And yes, I did frame this photo in a way to also show the OKC Beautiful sign hovering above it all.
OK, I confess. I’ve been selfish. For five years now I’ve been receiving great Christmas cards from Rand Elliott and not sharing them with you. No offense to any of my friends, but the cards from Rand are pretty much my favorites.
In early years Rand simply sent out cards showing different photos of his his offices in the historic Heierding Building. But then Rand began to discover some stunning views of his building, the Buick Building, and before long, photos in general of his beloved Automobile Alley neighborhood (Rand and his firm Elliott + Associates Architects have been longtime supporters of the area, often donating their time, talent and effort to its revival).
This one is truly wonderful:
This morning I drove along Automobile Alley and noticed dozens of political signs illegally placed in public flower planters along both sides of Broadway. A reader sent in the following comment:
“I was in Downtown OKC and they had 4 or 5 people sticking signs in EVERYWHERE. I followed them and took pictures of them doing it and asked that they please not put them on city property. Many people have worked hard to clean up our city and the 744 crowd just marches in and decides that they want everyone on the parade route tonight to see their cause.
All of a sudden this guy comes says – “How much are they paying you?” I told him no one is paying me and that I am not on either side. I am just a guy that wants the area to remain looking nice. I pull a sign out and tell him that he is violating the city code that prohibits sign placement on city property. He freaks out and starts videoing me, zooming in on my face and yelling “You are a liar, tell me NOW who you work for and how much they are paying you”. He then pushes me and saying I am a thief and I am stealing his property. I told him that he could pick his sign up at the police station.
Then I I told him lets call the cops and see who is right.
He again demands to know who I am. He yells, “Get out your wallet and show me your ID”. I laugh and told him he is not the boss of me and he can’t make me. I pull out my camera phone and start taking pictures of him. All of a sudden he “Ninja Kicks” my hand and knocks my phone out of my hand. Carrie and the kids are in the car on the street and watched it all. I then take a picture of his car and tag. What is interesting is that both guys were from out of state. One was from Minnesota and the other (Ninja boy) from Tennessee. Hmmmm, so who is getting paid and who is not.
I honestly did not have a dog in the fight. It just pissed me off that they put like 15 signs per block along the parade route. Anyway that is the short version. I know that an organization can’t control every person that works for them but I am NOT IMPRESSED with the Yes for 744 crowd. Take a look today at how many signs are in the medians, really do we need 50 per block.
Actually even one is illegal. I can tell ya how I am voting now.
I thought about filing a complaint with the cops and calling the news but i figure no one cares but my FB friends.”
NOTE: I’m not taking sides on the political message shown on the sign, and it should be noted people running for political offices throughout the spectrum ROUTINELY VIOLATE the law when it comes to these signs.
I’m not a building engineer. I don’t play one on television. And no, I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn last night. The Hotel Marion at NW 10 and Broadway is one gorgeous building – and also a heart-breaker. The building’s owners, Bob Howard, Mickey Clagg and Chris Fleming, have shown themselves to be good stewards of the properties assembled under former MidTown Renaissance lead Greg Banta. But without any attached parking, and purchased for more than it was probably worth, this building won’t be easy for anyone to tackle.
Time, I fear, may be running short.
We’re all familiar with what the front facade looks like:
But how often do we look at the alley facade of the property?
If we look really close, we might not like what we see:
I’m not presuming the owners to be negligent or in way targeting this building for demolition. But if preservationists are looking for a way to rebound from SandRidge, some creative ideas might be needed to prevent Mother Nature from taking the Marion down. City leaders -could Murrah funds be available for this building? National Historic Trust – are there any grants that can be found?
Readers, should we even care whether the Marion is around for another decade?