Anglers 

Weather permitting, city workers plan to re-stripe the street over one weekend this month, adding at least 20 new parking spaces along N. Broadway Avenue between NW Fifth and 10th streets.

A second phase will add angled parking to NW Seventh, Eighth and Ninth streets that jut off of Broadway Avenue.

Business owners and others along that stretch of road have struggled with a lack of parking spaces for years. Also, at times, the stretch turns into a congested speedway, they said. In 2009, a study was conducted by the Automobile Alley Association (AAA) to explore the viability of the changes.

“Our organization funded the original engineering study,” said Mickey Clagg, association president.

In January, the city’s Traffic and Transportation Commission approved the measure. The Oklahoma City Council approved it unanimously March 11. Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer recused herself from the vote because she is a property owner in the area.

The process
Eric Wenger, City of Oklahoma City Public Works director, said the work will not be lengthy or disruptive.

“This really is just a re-striping of the existing Broadway,” he said. “There’s very limited work that’s being done with concrete or curbs. It’s just lifting the existing paint markings up and putting new paint markings down.”

No changes are proposed to the posted two-hour free parking along that stretch of Broadway, according to a letter to the mayor and city council from City Manager Jim Couch.

The
AAA report showed overall cost estimated at $8,564.40, with funding
coming from the Public Works Department’s Traffic Management Division.

Also, available traffic lanes will reduce from five to three. In addition to more parking, pedestrian safety was an issue.

Anthony
McDermid, principal at TAP Architecture and past president of the
association, was instrumental in the planning phases of the project.

“When
you’ve got 45-degree parking on both sides of the street, there are
fewer lanes to cross,” he said. “It will force the traffic to slow down
and create a much safer pedestrian environment.”

Also,
McDermid said as more retailers have opened along Automobile Alley,
there was a growing demand for more parking in close vicinity to those
stores.

“The goals of angled parking were aimed at providing more convenient parking outside the storefronts,” he said.

Concerns
Some
concerns remain, however, about how the new changes will affect the
final alignment for a proposed streetcar route, a MAPS 3 project.

A
report presented to the Traffic and Transportation Commission by city
staff at the January meeting noted the reduction of lanes on Broadway
might pose challenges in planning for the streetcar. It might also alter
city bus routes due to the narrower travel space and possible lack of
curbside access.

“We’re going to need to look at the streetcar project independently once that route is laid in,” Wenger said.

In addition, McDermid said he would like to see angled parking extended north, along more of that stretch of Broadway.

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