20 February 2004
Asphalt letter 23
Rep. Ernest Istook on the condition of Oklahoma City's Northeast 23rd Street:
When someone drives through, they think, "My goodness, this looks bad." When you walk along the street, it looks worse. You see close up the cracks, the crumbling, the signs of deterioration.
And those signs start at Kelley Avenue, a couple hundred yards from the entrance to the Governor's Mansion. So it's a Good Thing that our share of the federal pork distro this year will include $500,000 to help defray the expenses of cleaning up the busiest street on the east side.
The effect on Oklahoma City's African-American community, for whom 23rd is arguably the primary business thoroughfare, is less clear. On the downside, some marginal firms may be forced to move, especially if the street, as I expect, is widened. But what remains, based on what the city was able to do on Northwest 23rd, will probably look a whole lot nicer, which may spur new development in the area.