BLOG: Boulevard letters sent to council, mayor

Friends for a Better Boulevard send letters to the Oklahoma City council and mayor requesting the city take another look at a proposed downtown boulevard project. (Ben Felder)

Friends for a Better Boulevard send letters to the Oklahoma City council and mayor requesting the city take another look at a proposed downtown boulevard project. (Ben Felder)

Friends for a Better Boulevard have submitted letters to each member of the Oklahoma City council and mayor asking for city hall to take another look at a proposed downtown boulevard.

While the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is overseeing the project, FBB hopes city officials can put some pressure on the state to revise its boulevard plans. As today’s story reported, it seems unlikely the council will take the issue back up. However, below is a copy of each letter sent to the mayor and council.

 

Dear Mayor,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and to the City Council requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on the OKC Boulevard design and alignment options.

The reason for this request is due to the many changes that have been made by ODOT to develop the current four options. In addition, the “Option D” was not presented to our City Council for consideration and “Option C” has significantly changed from the earlier proposal.

In addition, the traffic count numbers that were given to the City for the independent consultant, Stantec, to model have been significantly reduced by ODOT. The traffic count numbers that predicated the Council vote caused Stantec to rule out the viability of a street level roundabout at the Classen, Western, Boulevard intersection and instead force engineers to propose the elevated berm and bridge.

Friends for a Better Boulevard believes that this berm and bridge proposal may potentially be entirely unnecessary if the traffic models were “rerun” by Stantec with the new numbers that ODOT is now using. We believe that this berm presents a physical and visual barrier that bifurcates the Film Row District from the Farmer’s Market District and Capitol Hill. A physical barrier that may entirely be unnecessary and result in stifled socioeconomic and pedestrian activity in the area.

FBB has not endorsed a specific alternative. We have however, received hundreds of comments supporting the lesser impactful grid alternative, Option D. The Council has yet to have been given the opportunity to vote on that alternative. In addition, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

Furthermore, two Councilmen have yet had the opportunity to vote on the issue. Councilman Pettis represents constituents in the alignment area and has not been given the opportunity to vote on the matter and officially express his position.

FBB appreciates your leadership and your influence on developing a well designed Boulevard. We understand that there is resistance to reevaluating this matter. However, we have concrete reasons to believe that the earlier vote is predicated on bad information without the full slate of options that has now become available through greater public input and further review. We believe that a fresh vote with current information would better represent the constituents that may be adversely affected through a bad design.

Thank you for your consideration on the matter.

Bob Kemper


Dear Councilwoman Salyer,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and to other City Council members requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on Boulevard design and alignment options.

We appreciate your interest and desire for a good Boulevard design and appreciate your previous leadership on this matter.

The reason for this request is due to the many changes that have been made by ODOT to develop the current four options. In addition, the “Option D” was not presented to our City Council for consideration and “Option C” has significantly changed from the earlier proposal.

In addition, the traffic count numbers that were given to the city for the independent consultant, Stantec, to model have been significantly reduced by ODOT. The traffic count numbers that predicated the Council vote caused Stantec to rule out the viability of a street level roundabout at the Classen, Western, Boulevard intersection and instead force engineers to propose the elevated berm and bridge.

Friends for a Better Boulevard believes that this berm and bridge proposal may potentially be entirely unnecessary if the traffic models were “rerun” by Stantec with the new numbers that ODOT is now using. We believe that this berm presents a physical and visual barrier that bifurcates the Film Row District from the Farmer’s Market District and greater Capitol Hill. A physical barrier that may entirely be unnecessary and result in stifled socioeconomic and pedestrian activity in the area.

FBB has not endorsed a specific alternative. We have however, received hundreds of comments supporting the lesser impactful grid alternative, Option D. The Council has yet to have been given the opportunity to vote on that alternative. In addition, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

Furthermore, two Councilmen have yet had the opportunity to vote on the issue. Councilman Pettis represents constituents in the alignment area and has not been given the opportunity to vote on the matter and officially express his position.

FBB appreciates your leadership and your influence on developing a well designed Boulevard. We understand that there is resistance to reevaluating this matter. However, we have concrete reasons to believe that the earlier vote is predicated on bad information without the full slate of options that has now become available through greater public input and further review. We believe that a fresh vote with current information would better represent the constituents that may be adversely affected through a bad design.

Thank you for your consideration on the matter.

Bob Kemper


Councilman Pettis,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and to other City Council members requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on Boulevard design and alignment options.

We believe that you should be given an opportunity to vote on the Boulevard design and alignment as part of the Boulevard is directly in Ward 7.

We also believe that the earlier vote was predicated on bad information and that further public scrutiny and revaluation by engineers now enables a better vote to represent all of the citizens of Oklahoma City.

FBB is aware of your work with Civil Rights and the fair and equal representation of all people. The current proposal may unnecessarily force a barrier to be built that separates and bifurcates the Farmer’s Market District and Capitol Hill from downtown area. This may cause adverse and negative socioeconomic impacts to those who live, work, and own property in the area.

In addition, an “Option D” proposal has been developed that is widely supported by the greater Oklahoma City community. This “Option D” proposal was never given to the Oklahoma City Council to vote on. Also, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment in the surrounding neighborhoods. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

FBB does not support a specific choice between the four options. We do however advocate for greater public input and inclusion that enables a better urban design that properly reinvigorates and enables greater positive socioeconomic abilities for all of our fellow citizens.

We ask that you propose a revote and a proper revaluation by the City’s consultant, Stantec, to make a solid decision on this matter. Thank you for your leadership for Ward 7 and all of our citizens.

Bob Kemper


Dear Councilman Griener,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and other City Council members requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on Boulevard design and alignment options.

The reason for this request is due to the many changes that have been made by ODOT to develop the current four options. In addition, the “Option D” was not presented to our City Council for consideration and “Option C” has significantly changed from the earlier proposal.

In addition, the traffic count numbers that were given to the city for the independent consultant, Stantec, to model have been significantly reduced by ODOT. The traffic count numbers that predicated the Council vote caused Stantec to rule out the viability of a street level roundabout at the Classen, Western, Boulevard intersection and instead force engineers to propose the elevated berm and bridge.

Friends for a Better Boulevard believes that this berm and bridge proposal may potentially be entirely unnecessary if the traffic models were “rerun” by Stantec with the new numbers that ODOT is now using. We believe that this berm presents a physical and visual barrier that bifurcates the Film Row District from the Farmer’s Market District and Capitol Hill. A physical barrier that may entirely be unnecessary and result in stifled socioeconomic and pedestrian activity in the area.

FBB has not endorsed a specific alternative. We have however, received hundreds of comments supporting the lesser impactful grid alternative, Option D. The Council has yet to have been given the opportunity to vote on that alternative. In addition, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

Furthermore, you and Councilman Pettis have yet had the opportunity to vote on the issue. Councilman Pettis represents constituents in the alignment area and has not been given the opportunity to vote on the matter and officially express his position.

We understand that there is resistance to reevaluating this matter. However, we have concrete reasons to believe that the earlier vote is predicated on bad information without the full slate of options that has now become available through greater public input and further review. We believe that a fresh vote with current information would better represent the constituents that may be adversely affected through a bad design.

Thank you for your consideration on the matter.

Bob Kemper


Dear Councilman Greenwell,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and to other City Council members requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on Boulevard design and alignment options.

The reason for this request is due to the many changes that have been made by ODOT to develop the current four options. In addition, the “Option D” was not presented to our City Council for consideration and “Option C” has significantly changed from the earlier proposal.

In addition, the traffic count numbers that were given to the city for the independent consultant, Stantec, to model have been significantly reduced by ODOT. The traffic count numbers that predicated the Council vote caused Stantec to rule out the viability of a street level roundabout at the Classen, Western, Boulevard intersection and instead force engineers to propose the elevated berm and bridge.

Friends for a Better Boulevard believes that this berm and bridge proposal may potentially be entirely unnecessary if the traffic models were “rerun” by Stantec with the new numbers that ODOT is now using. We believe that this berm presents a physical and visual barrier that bifurcates the Film Row District from the Farmer’s Market District and Capitol Hill. A physical barrier that may entirely be unnecessary and result in stifled socioeconomic and pedestrian activity in the area.

FBB has not endorsed a specific alternative. We have however, received hundreds of comments supporting the lesser impactful grid alternative, Option D. The Council has yet to have been given the opportunity to vote on that alternative. In addition, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

Furthermore, two Councilmen have yet had the opportunity to vote on the issue. Councilman Pettis represents constituents in the alignment area and has not been given the opportunity to vote on the matter and officially express his position.

FBB appreciates your leadership and your influence on developing a well designed Boulevard. We understand that there is resistance to reevaluating this matter. However, we have concrete reasons to believe that the earlier vote is predicated on bad information without the full slate of options that has now become available through greater public input and further review. We believe that a fresh vote with current information would better represent the constituents that may be adversely affected through a bad design.

Thank you for your consideration on the matter.

Bob Kemper


Dear Councilman McAtee,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and to other City Council members requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on Boulevard design and alignment options.

The reason for this request is due to the many changes that have been made by ODOT to develop the current four options. In addition, the “Option D” was not presented to our City Council for consideration and “Option C” has significantly changed from the earlier proposal.

In addition, the traffic count numbers that were given to the city for the independent consultant, Stantec, to model have been significantly reduced by ODOT. The traffic count numbers that predicated the Council vote caused Stantec to rule out the viability of a street level roundabout at the Classen, Western, Boulevard intersection and instead force engineers to propose the elevated berm and bridge.

Friends for a Better Boulevard believes that this berm and bridge proposal may potentially be entirely unnecessary if the traffic models were “rerun” by Stantec with the new numbers that ODOT is now using. We believe that this berm presents a physical and visual barrier that bifurcates the Film Row District from the Farmer’s Market District and Capitol Hill. A physical barrier that may entirely be unnecessary and result in stifled socioeconomic and pedestrian activity in the area.

FBB has not endorsed a specific alternative. We have however, received hundreds of comments supporting the lesser impactful grid alternative, Option D. The Council has yet to have been given the opportunity to vote on that alternative. In addition, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

Furthermore, two Councilmen have yet had the opportunity to vote on the issue. Councilman Pettis represents constituents in the alignment area and has not been given the opportunity to vote on the matter and officially express his position.

We understand that there is resistance to reevaluating this matter. However, we have concrete reasons to believe that the earlier vote is predicated on bad information without the full slate of options that has now become available through greater public input and further review.

It is not our intent to delay the construction of the Boulevard. However, we recognize that greater public input to engineers has delayed its construction. Arguably however, the delay has enabled the MAPS 3 Park, Convention Center, and Core 2 Shore Plans by the City to be better incorporated.

We believe that a fresh vote with current information would better represent the constituents that may be adversely affected through a bad design.

Thank you for your consideration on the matter.

Bob Kemper


Dear Councilman Ryan,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and to other City Council members requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on Boulevard design and alignment options.

The reason for this request is due to the many changes that have been made by ODOT to develop the current four options. In addition, the “Option D” was not presented to our City Council for consideration and “Option C” has significantly changed from the earlier proposal.

In addition, the traffic count numbers that were given to the city for the independent consultant, Stantec, to model have been significantly reduced by ODOT. The traffic count numbers that predicated the Council vote caused Stantec to rule out the viability of a street level roundabout at the Classen, Western, Boulevard intersection and instead force engineers to propose the elevated berm and bridge.

Friends for a Better Boulevard believes that this berm and bridge proposal may potentially be entirely unnecessary if the traffic models were “rerun” by Stantec with the new numbers that ODOT is now using. We believe that this berm presents a physical and visual barrier that bifurcates the Film Row District from the Farmer’s Market District and Capitol Hill. A physical barrier that may entirely be unnecessary and result in stifled socioeconomic and pedestrian activity in the area.

FBB has not endorsed a specific alternative. We have however, received hundreds of comments supporting the lesser impactful grid alternative, Option D. The Council has yet to have been given the opportunity to vote on that alternative. In addition, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

Furthermore, two Councilmen have yet had the opportunity to vote on the issue. Councilman Pettis represents constituents in the alignment area and has not been given the opportunity to vote on the matter and officially express his position.

We understand that there is resistance to reevaluating this matter. However, we have concrete reasons to believe that the earlier vote is predicated on bad information without the full slate of options that has now become available through greater public input and further review.

It is not our intent to delay the construction of the Boulevard. However, we recognize that greater public input to engineers has delayed it’s construction. Arguably however, the delay has enabled the MAPS 3 Park, Convention Center, and Core 2 Shore Plans by the City to be better incorporated.

We believe that a fresh vote with current information would better represent the constituents that may be adversely affected through a bad design.

Thank you for your consideration on the matter.

Bob Kemper


Dear Councilman Shadid,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and to other City Council members requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on Boulevard design and alignment options.

The reason for this request is due to the many changes that have been made by ODOT to develop the current four options. In addition, the “Option D” was not presented to our City Council for consideration and “Option C” has significantly changed from the earlier proposal.

In addition, the traffic count numbers that were given to the city for the independent consultant, Stantec, to model have been significantly reduced by ODOT. The traffic count numbers that predicated the Council vote caused Stantec to rule out the viability of a street level roundabout at the Classen, Western, Boulevard intersection and instead force engineers to propose the elevated berm and bridge.

Friends for a Better Boulevard believes that this berm and bridge proposal may potentially be entirely unnecessary if the traffic models were “rerun” by Stantec with the new numbers that ODOT is now using. We believe that this berm presents a physical and visual barrier that bifurcates the Film Row District from the Farmer’s Market District and Capitol Hill. A physical barrier that may entirely be unnecessary and result in stifled socioeconomic and pedestrian activity in the area.

FBB has not endorsed a specific alternative. We have however, received hundreds of comments supporting the lesser impactful grid alternative, Option D. The Council has yet to have been given the opportunity to vote on that alternative. In addition, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

Furthermore, two Councilmen have yet had the opportunity to vote on the issue. Councilman Pettis represents constituents in the alignment area and has not been given the opportunity to vote on the matter and officially express his position.

FBB appreciates your leadership and your influence on developing a well designed Boulevard. We understand that there is resistance to reevaluating this matter. However, we have concrete reasons to believe that the earlier vote is predicated on bad information without the full slate of options that has now become available through greater public input and further review. We believe that a fresh vote with current information would better represent the constituents that may be adversely affected through a bad design.

Thank you for your consideration on the matter.

Bob Kemper


Dear Councilman White,

Friends for a Better Boulevard is writing to you and to other City Council members requesting that consideration be given towards a revote on Boulevard design and alignment options.

The reason for this request is due to the many changes that have been made by ODOT to develop the current four options. In addition, the “Option D” was not presented to our City Council for consideration and “Option C” has significantly changed from the earlier proposal.

In addition, the traffic count numbers that were given to the city for the independent consultant, Stantec, to model have been significantly reduced by ODOT. The traffic count numbers that predicated the Council vote caused Stantec to rule out the viability of a street level roundabout at the Classen, Western, Boulevard intersection and instead force engineers to propose the elevated berm and bridge.

Friends for a Better Boulevard believes that this berm and bridge proposal may potentially be entirely unnecessary if the traffic models were “rerun” by Stantec with the new numbers that ODOT is now using. We believe that this berm presents a physical and visual barrier that bifurcates the Film Row District from the Farmer’s Market District and Capitol Hill. A physical barrier that may entirely be unnecessary and result in stifled socioeconomic and pedestrian activity in the area.

FBB has not endorsed a specific alternative. We have however, received hundreds of comments supporting the lesser impactful grid alternative, Option D. The Council has yet to have been given the opportunity to vote on that alternative. In addition, the Council has been repeatedly misinformed in the past as to whether funds can be used to restore street connections beyond the Boulevard alignment. We have received confirmation from the FHWA that Federal Funds can be used to restore and enhance street connections beyond the former Crosstown alignment.

Furthermore, two Councilmen have yet had the opportunity to vote on the issue. Councilman Pettis represents constituents in the alignment area and has not been given the opportunity to vote on the matter and officially express his position.

FBB appreciates your leadership and your influence on developing a well designed Boulevard. We understand that there is resistance to reevaluating this matter. However, we have concrete reasons to believe that the earlier vote is predicated on bad information without the full slate of options that has now become available through greater public input and further review. We believe that a fresh vote with current information would better represent the constituents that may be adversely affected through a bad design.

Thank you for your consideration on the matter.

Bob Kemper

Ben Felder

Ben is a news reporter covering local politics, City Hall and education in urban Oklahoma City. He lives in OKC with his wife, Lori, and son, Satchel. Ben holds a masters in new media journalism from Full Sail University and is an OKC transplant from Kansas City, Mo. Twitter: @benfelder_okg

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