The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 October 2006

That "Core to Shore" business

This is the city's wish list for the area surrounding the new Interstate 40 alignment:

  • Ensure new developments are complementary to, not competitive with existing downtown development
  • Create a world-class boulevard
  • Create a dense, urban live-work community
  • Improve access to downtown destinations
  • Connect the Oklahoma River to downtown
  • Mitigate the impacts of the Interstate 40 realignment, focusing on improved traffic flow, neighborhood revitalization, complimentary land use and enhanced pedestrian mobility
  • Consider alternate modes of transit
  • Research and recommend financing options
  • Address issues related to services for homeless residents

A fairly tall order, but this is what the Mayor's steering committee came up with yesterday. (More detailed overview here.)

Regular readers will remember that I was not thrilled with this particular alignment of I-40, mostly because it effectively isolates Union Station from the existing multiple rail lines that could make it into an instant (well, comparatively speaking) rail-transit hub. It's probably too late to change any minds at ODOT, but the committee is at least giving lip service to "consider[ing] alternate modes of transit."

None of this is going to happen immediately; that vaunted boulevard, for instance, won't even be started until the new I-40 loop is finished, which will be late 2008 at the earliest. And the success of the plan, I suspect, will be at least partially dependent upon whether the traditional power structure insists on wielding its traditional power, or has enough sense to get out of the way.

Then again, I retain a measure of hope, if only because I was here through the Bad Old Days, and we've made rather a nice recovery since.

Posted at 7:14 AM to City Scene

I think I'll avoid any jokes about "addressing issues related to the homeless", but what's the deal with "connecting the river to downtown"? Isn't that called "flooding"? Permits from local government typically aren't sufficient to achieve that, unless you live in New Orleans.

Posted by: John Salmon at 3:43 PM on 6 October 2006

There's a canal through Bricktown, and a plan underway to provide water transportation from the Reno/Meridian corridor along the river to downtown; connecting these two routes would actually be fairly simple, compared with the construction of the canal and the conversion of the river from a ditch that needs mowing into something navigable, both of which have been completed.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:00 PM on 6 October 2006

I knew there was a simple explanation.

Posted by: John Salmon at 8:10 PM on 6 October 2006