Tulsans upset over street projects

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 11/01/2013 7:18 pm Published: 11/01/2013 5:32 pm

In less than two weeks, Tulsa voters will decide whether to approve a capital improvements package worth more than $900 million.

More than half of that money will go to road repairs. But some Tulsans think people living in certain parts of town are getting more benefit out of the plan than others.

Doris Taylor and her husband say there are roads all over town that need repair, but they worry too many are getting overlooked.

"Not only west Tulsa, but different other little, you know, little spots in Tulsa they need to get fixed," she said.

Out of seven street-widening projects, four are in midtown and south Tulsa, the other three are in north Tulsa.

Matt Liechti with the city's engineering department says there is a specific formula to decide which streets get widened ... and geography is not part of it.

"Such things as congestion and public safety, economic in-fill, and there's a whole list of them. That information is used to compile an overall score," he said.

The stretch of Yale between 81st and 91st is top of the list, costing more than $30 million.

Liechteisaid it's because it has the greatest need.

There are close to 160 streets that would get repaved if Improve Our Tulsa is approved.
And if you compare districts, districts 1, 3 and 4, covering most of north Tulsa and midtown, make up roughly half the projects.

"If you look at the streets in District 8, the overall percentage of their need in this package is much smaller than if you look at the needs that are identified in, say, District 3," he said.

After seeing the list, Taylor changed her mind on things not being fair.

"They're doing a pretty good job. But, like I said, some of them still need to be repaired."

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