Consultants offer four downtown Oklahoma City streetcar plans

Public may view Oklahoma City streetcar plans July 15 at the Downtown Library.
BY WILLIAM CRUM wcrum@opubco.com Published: June 27, 2013

Consultants on Wednesday offered four alternatives for running a proposed $94 million streetcar system through downtown Oklahoma City.

All four routes would connect MidTown and the St. Anthony Hospital neighborhood on the northwest side of downtown with the Bricktown entertainment and residential district on the southeast.

An open house for the public to review the proposals will be July 15 at the Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.

Learn more about the proposed streetcar routes at www.okc.gov/maps3.

Known as a modern streetcar, the vehicles would run on rails embedded in the streets and share downtown thoroughfares with cars.

It's expected overhead wires would be installed along most of the route to supply the streetcars with electricity.

Options studied

Consultants evaluated alternatives for serving MidTown, Bricktown, the Downtown Transit Center, the proposed downtown “Core to Shore” park, the proposed convention center, the planned transit center in the old Santa Fe railroad depot, and Automobile Alley.

Integrating with the bus system and maximizing economic development were key criteria.

“You definitely want to see a development response to it,” said Rick Gustafson of Shiels Obletz Johnsen, a consulting firm in Portland, Ore.