The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

5 September 2005

The 23rd of never

I was out by Shepherd Mall today, and it occurred to me that I'd not actually been in the place for at least 15 years. Of course, now that it's been converted to the world's shortest office tower, there's little to attract random visitors, but I remember coming up there when I was much younger and thinking it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. (The greatest thing before sliced bread is still debatable.)

The city has been working on improving the general appearance of 23rd Street over the past few years, but the spiffed-up streetscapes end at Villa, on the western edge of Shepherd Mall. On an impulse, when I got home I decided to see if there are any plans to extend the beautification process, and sure enough, there are. In the proposed 2005-06 Oklahoma City budget document — they haven't posted the final approved version yet — there's this:

An important part of the City's program to enhance community appearance and renew inner city neighborhoods is the streetscape program, funded primarily through [General Obligation] Bonds. Next fiscal year projects will be started in several areas:
  • A streetscape project will begin on Classen Blvd. in the Asian District between N.W. 23rd and N.W. 30th and along N.W. 25th from Western Ave. to Douglas Ave.
  • An additional project on N.W. 23rd Street will extend from I-44 to Villa Ave.
  • N.E. 23rd will be improved from Kelley Ave. to Interstate 35. This project will include federal grant funding.
  • In the Midtown area, improvements along N. Walker between Robert S. Kerr Ave and N.W. 13th should be completed in the next fiscal year.

It's a little over a mile from Villa to I-44, and a mile and a half from Kelley to I-35, so this is a tall order indeed.

One other thing: I got lazy today and didn't bother to put on my usual shoes (various New Balance sorta-athletic types), and I discovered that my driving style is markedly different in sandals. I'm assuming it's because of the difference in foot pressure, but this seems too facile an answer.

Posted at 6:35 PM to City Scene

I recuse myself on comments: my church (St. Andrew's Presbyterian) is on 23rd between May and Villa. Conflict of interest for me.

Posted by: Matt at 1:18 PM on 6 September 2005