Three concepts for Oklahoma City's MAPS 3 urban park unveiled

Consultants and Oklahoma City staff unveiled three design concepts for the MAPS 3 urban park at a public meeting Thursday. Elements from each design will likely be used as the consultants work to come up with a finalized design by December.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Staff Writer mkimball@opubco.com Modified: October 26, 2012 at 11:32 am •  Published: October 26, 2012

“You might discover along that (path) art, or you might discover activity stations,” Jones said.

The second design some programming in the northern section, along with a lake that is much larger than the one in the first plan. But the second design spreads its programming throughout the park, with paths connecting several nodes of developed park space all the way from the downtown core to the river.

“It's a very different way of moving through the park,” Jones said.

The third design concentrates the programmed areas of the park along its eastern edge, Robinson Avenue. Consultants predict that side of the park will have more commercial developments appear, while the western edge will spur more residential developments that would benefit from more open spaces and trails for families.

The final design is likely to include elements from all three plans.

Feedback

Feedback from the roughly 100 people who attended the meeting at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library was mostly positive.

Oklahoma City residents who asked questions and provided feedback voiced a strong preference for affordable or free parking near the park, along with access to public transit.

People also expressed a desire for portions that look like a natural Oklahoma landscape, and a park that is as accessible and attractive to fit and energetic people as it is to those who want to take it slow and relax, and to people with disabilities.

The $132 million, 70-acre park is a cornerstone of the MAPS 3 program and will extend from the downtown core to the Oklahoma River, with the northern and southern sections joined by the Skydance Bridge spanning Interstate 40.

The consultants are due back in Oklahoma City at another public meeting in December to reveal their finalized park plan, based in part on feedback generated from Thursday's meeting.