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Elevated boulevard would be barrier to economic development

Published: July 22, 2012
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The Oklahoma Department of Transportation apparently has learned nothing from its past mistakes. The plan to elevate the western portion of the new downtown boulevard is misguided and should be opposed by the city council. Like the old Interstate 40 crosstown bridge, an elevated boulevard would create an unnecessary barrier to economic development, preventing current businesses from thriving and ensuring that new businesses stay away. ODOT says it will take more money and time to make the boulevard at-grade. That's something Oklahoma City should be willing to accept if it means doing the project right the first time and in a way that benefits the city in the long run. The city council should demand ODOT revise its plans and build a boulevard that's safe for pedestrians and doesn't inhibit economic development.

Joseph Fairbanks, Norman