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Aesthetics: Core to Shore Gets Special Consideration?

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: March 18, 2011

I know, I know, City Water Utilities Division Director Marsha Slaughter is thinking I’ve forgotten this sidewalk blockade along NE 2 that she says can’t be avoided because relocation of a water meter under the grate would cost taxpayers $100,000. Forget that an upscale hotel is being built across the street. Forget that an upscale apartment complex, likely with a grocery, is being built one block east. Forget that this street is emerging as downtown’s ideal mixed use corridor.
Forget all that. And forget spending $100,000 to make the street more walkable and improve the aesthetics. A decision has been made, at city staff level, not by the city council, that the aesthetics and walkability of this sidewalk is not worth spending $100,000.
Now let’s move on to Core to Shore, where there is NO DEVELOPMENT TAKING PLACE other than what city leaders are hoping to force into creation through the spending of millions and millions of taxpayer dollars.
The only certainty out in Core to Shore is a park that voters approved as part of MAPS 3. There is no development set for east of the park along Robinson Avenue.
But the city council on Tuesday will be asked to spend $168,000 on a tunnel under Robinson to allow visitors at the park to safely cross under Robinson to go to …??? The price includes creation of a decorative arch to accommodate wishes to have nice “aesthetics” for the tunnel.
So let’s get this straight: the city is OK spending $168,000 on walkability and aesthetics in an area where this is NO private investment, but won’t spend $100,000 to fix its own eyesore in an area where at least $40 million is being invested this next year alone.
Folks, this is your city council. They answer to you. If you wish to tell them you approve or disapprove of this prioritization, you can email them at the following:
Mayor Mick Cornett: mayor@okc.gov
Ward 1 Councilman Gary Marrs: ward1@okc.gov
Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman: ward2@okc.gov
Ward 3 Councilman Larry McAtee: ward3@okc.gov
Ward 4 Councilman Pete White: ward4@okc.gov
Ward 5 Councilman Brian Walters: ward5@okc.gov
Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer: ward6@okc.gov
Ward 7 Councilman Skip Kelly: ward7@okc.gov
Ward 8 Councilman Pat Ryan: ward8@okc.gov

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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