The comment period appears to be over on the four potential designs for the downtown boulevard, but have no doubt, this discussion is down to just two options.
Option D, scored lowest by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, looks at a proposal to not build the boulevard at all between Western and Walker Avenues, and instead suggests a return to the street grid that existed before construction of the old Interstate 40. This option is supported by Better Block OKC and, according to a statement released on Twitter, fits with the principles of the local Urban Land Institute Chapter.
Option C, scored highest in a review by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, eliminates much of the elevated span that was going to be built between Western and Walker Avenues and instead has a bridge over a merged Classen Boulevard and Western Avenue. This option is favored, without any changes, by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. Friends for a Better Boulevard, which successfully led the charge against the original elevated structure, is supporting Option C – but with changes as we will see below.
The first proposed change echoes those suggested by area developers, property owners and Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer – a full intersection at Lee Avenue.
The ODOT Option C is shown in this rendering:
Option C modifications proposed by Friends by a Better Boulevard are shown in this rendering:
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