30 April 2004
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce likes to refer to this place as "a shining urban jewel", a claim which might carry more weight if there weren't so many rough edges.
One example of roughness is the generally crummy condition of local roads; the Road Information Program research group has figured that Oklahoma City has the 11th worst roads in the country among metropolitan areas of half a million population or more, with fully 40 percent of the thoroughfares rated "poor," even worse than "mediocre." Tulsa came in 9th from the bottom; Los Angeles, with two-thirds of its roads in the "poor" category, was the worst.
Residents of central Oklahoma are likely to greet this news with a resounding "Well, duh!"
The list [requires Adobe Reader] is here. If you're wondering who fared best in the survey, it's Atlanta: 84 percent of their roads are rated "good" and none of them "poor"; if there's a downside, it's that 23 percent of them are named "Peachtree."
Posted at 7:33 AM to City Scene
And the other 77 percent of them are still on the drawing boards thanks to the enviroNazis who until very recently could be counted on to sue over any attempt to use federal highway funds to add three inches of shoulder to any existing two-lane that was originally laid out when traffic was horsedrawn.
If anybody ever surveys how well drivers around here manage to stay on their own side of the double-yellow (which on some roads I swear takes up 30% of the total width), we're in big trouble.
I remember driving in Atlanta back in the 80's. Traffic patterns changed weekly as they frantically tried to keep up with growth. New roads were obsolete before the blacktop cooled. That's probably why they're in such good condition, they're all new.
I just returned from a business trip to Tulsa and can confirm the shock-wrenching state of the roads. The crime rate ain't so peachy either. I had my passenger side window demolished for a twenty five dollar compass. Rough roads - fun people; Tulsa, armpit of the new century.