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Heritage Hills East closed 'racetrack' with traffic plan

To get a feel for what joining forces can accomplish, simply stroll the grassy median cutting the center of Robinson Avenue south from NW 22. Traffic provides a distant hum in the background, and on a recent cool afternoon, flecks of snow cling stubbornly to the yards of nearby homes.
BY DYRINDA TYSON Published: January 5, 2013

“That was a blessing,” said Randal Ice, Heritage East's homeowners association president.

Though it was platted and built around 1900 along with Heritage Hills and Mesta Park, Heritage Hills East found itself early on geographically peeled off from its neighbors by traffic-laden Robinson. Some of those neighbors assumed traffic would shift the one-by-eight-block strip from residential to commercial development at some point, Blackburn said, but that didn't happen.

So though Heritage Hills East has its own neighborhood association, it has worked in tandem with Heritage Hills and Mesta Park through most of its existence. The neighborhoods share maintenance on parks and medians as well as a mutual security patrol. The neighborhood associations are raising money now for new drinking fountains for the main park in Mesta Park.

That cooperation makes sense, Ice said.

“Our neighborhoods sit together like a jigsaw puzzle if you look on a map,” he said. “It makes a lot sense for us to coordinate our efforts because we're more successful together.”

All three neighborhoods have become Oklahoma City historic preservation districts — Heritage Hills became the first in 1969. Historic preservation, Ice said, sends a very important message to residents that it's OK to invest in their properties.

“I think that made more difference to the neighborhood than even traffic planning,” he said. “It's a signal from the city that this neighborhood is not going to be allowed to disappear; we're going to preserve it.”