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Walk on

Work is ready to get under way on the first phase of sidewalk construction under MAPS 3.

Tim Farley March 20th, 2013

Sidewalk construction may not be the sexiest MAPS 3 project, but it will serve a practical purpose for a number of Oklahoma City’s neighborhoods and main thoroughfares.

The initial project for the first phase of sidewalks will comprise almost six miles with an estimated cost of $1.4 million.

Construction will begin in late spring with a completion target of Oct. 31.

With buzzwords like “connectivity,” “sustainability” and “walkability” floating around, Sidewalks Subcommittee chairwoman Sue Hooper said she is excited about the project because of its coverage area.

“This is something that is going out to every part of Oklahoma City and not centralized to downtown,” she said. “We use these sidewalks to get to places, and people are much more conscious about getting fit and thinking about other ways to get there.”

The first round of MAPS 3 sidewalks will be built in the city’s northwest quadrant.

“The consultants suggested that once we identified the top priorities ... we group them together for better project management and efficiency,” Hooper said.

Those locations are:
• Western Avenue (west side) between Hefner and Britton roads;
• MacArthur Boulevard (east side) between Wilshire Boulevard and Britton Road;
• N.W. 63rd Street (north side) between Meridian Avenue and Ann Arbor Terrace;
• Classen Boulevard (west side) between N.W. 34th and N.W. 49th streets;
• May Avenue (west side) between Hefner and Quail Creek roads;
• Pennsylvania Avenue (east side) between Memorial Road and N.W. 122nd Street; and
• Meridian Avenue (west side) between N.W. 63rd and N.W. 50th streets.

“Some of those are connecting to existing sidewalks and filling in some gaps,” Hooper said. “It’s getting us to those key points or places on main thoroughfares.”

The criteria used in setting sidewalk priorities included proximity to schools, hospitals, parks and libraries; pedestrian accidents and fatalities; and “desire paths.”

Desire paths are well-tread trails along the side of the street created by repeated pedestrian or bicycle use.

A city sidewalk master plan report originally examined sidewalk locations for more than 215 miles and then identified where the new projects should be constructed. Budget constraints forced the subcommittee to reduce the number of sidewalk miles planned from 70 to between 25 and 36.

A second project within Phase 1 will cover eight-and-a-half miles at an estimated cost of $2.2 million. Phase 2 of the master plan will include the remainder of the priority sidewalks for an estimated $3.2 million.

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03.22.2013 at 10:52 Reply

"Conservative Libertarian" Mike Brake walks on the street in defiance of the liberal tax grab that is MAPS 3; misses the irony of utilizing a street paid for with tax dollars.