The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 October 2005

North side, south side, all around the town

Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman has drafted a new city ordinance, to be considered by the Planning Commission at its meeting on the 27th, which calls for more sidewalks in Oklahoma City. [Warning: linked site likes to resize browsers.]

Under current rules, developers must build sidewalks along the interior streets of new developments. Bowman's plan calls for sidewalks along the arterial streets as well, and for the continuation of existing sidewalks into infill development in developed areas.

What's more, Bowman wants to see sidewalks placed along existing arteries. He cites May between 23rd and 50th (which is in his ward) as a particularly pressing need.

The area where I live was developed five decades ago. One quirk is that there is a sidewalk on the north-south street nearest to me (this would be Steanson Drive), provided for the residents of the apartments along that street. The sidewalk rounds the corner eastbound — and then stops. If any existing residential street ought to get a sidewalk, mine should; it connects to a major thoroughfare on one end (with a bus stop, yet) and an elementary school on the other. And there's lots of foot traffic.

But it's not likely to happen any time soon. If they continue the existing sidewalk along the north side of the street, they'll have to do some serious leveling: there's a decided slant to the terrain right in front of my house. And they'll have to take out an old elm tree that sits on the property line between my house and the next one to the east. (The alternative is to build the sidewalk on the south side of the street, which wouldn't connect to the existing sidewalk.) Neither of these operations is particularly difficult, and I am not inclined to raise objections to either, but I figure they'll go for more visible stuff in more prestigious neighborhoods first.

Posted at 12:43 PM to City Scene