Tulsa Bicycle Club Meeting 1NOV2007
(Image from Century Novelty)
Tulsa Bicycle Club Meeting
Martin Regional Library
(Note: This is a preliminary post and may be subject to further editing.)
The first presentation was from Matt Meyer, Executive Director of Tulsa River Parks. He noted that River Parks maintains 23 miles of trails on both sides of the river, as well as the festival park. Since it's inception iun 1974, Tulsa River Parks has had 57/47 split between public and private funding. They rely heavily on donations and grants. The Kaiser Foundation is giving $12.4 million for trail construction and the design is being done by Land Plan Consultants. He covered much of the financials for Vision 2025, the 4 to Fix, and the third penny sales tax since they fund the low water dams, shoreline beautification, and more.
$5.6m low water dams
$1.8 m shoreline beautification
$2.1 m upstream catch basin
4 to fix
Zink dam 650K
Katy trail 200k
3rd penney sales tax
$7.6 million Festival park
$2.9 m widen trails
$500 K park facilities rehab
Patrick Fox gave the other presentation. He's the bicycling and pedestrian planner for INCOG and describes his job as multimodal transportation planning. He had a 1999 copy of the Tulsa Trails Master Plan as well as a copy of the Thunderhead Alliance benchmarking report. (I would have liked to read both and discuss them with Patrick, but time didn't permit.) Tulsa currently has 150 miles of trails and bikeways, with another 283 miles planned for the off-street system and 207 miles planned for the on-street system. That will give the area a total of 490 miles.
He talked about the 5 E's of bicycling: engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. Each of these were discussed in greater detail. Much of his talk centered on trails, bicycle enhancements like visual detection, surveys, statistics, and maintenance issues. Patrick asked that if anyone has a question or concern regarding maintenance, they should call him because many of the trails are maintained by different agencies.
Patrick described 4 categories of cyclists, mainly as a way of highlighting the different requirements they have. They are:
The strong and fearless. These folks will ride anywhere.
The enthused and confident. Mainly club cyclists who are comfortable on the road and in group rides.
The interested but concerned. They're fearful in traffic, but the group offers the greatest potential for growth
No way, no how! This is pretty much self-explanatory.
He gave a brief trails update. I didn't manage to write it all down. But the one project I asked about was the Haikey Creek bridge, also known as the infamous FEMA bridge. The feds approved the project and it's been languishing on a city desk for some time. But the good news is that the prefabricated bridge is supposed to begin construction in January. “Which January?” was the immediate question from someone in the crowd.
Political support for bicycling projects is at an all-time high right now, with a 'perfect storm' of political, private and grass-root efforts. This is unprecedented, according to Patrick. The Tulsa area enjoys the support of the Kaiser Foundation for trails, the Warren Foundation for T-townie bikes and police bikes, the TU yellow bike program, the Tulsa Tough, Little 100, Tour de Tulsa, and the MS150. Mayor Taylor was directly involved in the Bicycle Friendly City application to the League of American, an unusual level of support.
LAB did not approve the Tulsa BFC application. In doing so,they pointed out 2 areas for improvement: a comprehensive bicycle plan and a complete streets policy. Tulsa needs these to increase usage and provide benchmarks for safety and ridership. A complete streets policy is meant to accommodate all users of all ages and abilities on our roads.
Patrick wants to reconvene the INCOG bicycling subcommittee soon. One caveat – he knows that LAB thinks bike lanes are a good idea, but the local LCIs do not. He's wondering how to get around this.