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Design compromise for Oklahoma City Boulevard to be revealed at December meeting

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Published: November 26, 2012

But the camp supportive of a boulevard with a primary purpose of helping commuters get to and from their jobs pointed to traffic-clogged downtown intersections and freeway ramps as evidence the road should be designed with traffic movement at the forefront.

Well-attended meetings

The first public meeting regarding the roadway, hosted by the state Transportation Department, provided a venue for hundreds of metro residents to learn about plans for the boulevard and voice their opinions. Most of the people who attended the first meeting seemed to favor a narrow roadway with slow traffic that is friendly to commercial development.

The Transportation Department still plans at least one more public meeting to reveal design plans for other sections of the boulevard, including how many lanes wide it will be and what it might look like closer to the core of downtown.

After the Dec. 3 meeting, city staff will work to finalize a recommendation to the Oklahoma City Council for the western section, and include public feedback generated by the meeting. Wenger said it could be presented to the council for approval before the end of the year.

Wenger added that consultants considered about 40 potential designs before making their recommendation. To illustrate his point that consultants tried to think of everything, he revealed that even scrapping the boulevard altogether was considered, although that idea was quickly dismissed.

“They looked at every opportunity,” Wenger stressed. “Everything was on the table.”

The boulevard is scheduled for completion in 2014. Development already planned for properties that border its route include the MAPS 3 urban park and convention center.