Office of the Mayor
Revised Riverside Drive Plan Emphasizes Public Safety in
Sidewalk Design, Traffic Calming Measures
Our community is excited and eagerly awaiting the construction of
The Gathering Place on Riverside Drive. We are fortunate to have
private sector partners such as Tulsa Community Foundation and the
George Kaiser Family Foundation, demonstrate their generosity in
many ways, from charitable giving to developing public projects
that breathe new life into our city and improve our quality of
As a result of The Gathering Place, City of Tulsa staff has
worked with the project team to plan for infrastructure to support
the park. This includes reconstruction of Riverside Drive from
21st Street to 41st Street. Out of town visitors to this
website may not know that Riverside Drive within Tulsa is about 10
miles of parkway and serves as a major thoroughfare for traffic
between the southern edge of the Tulsa city limits to 11th Street,
near downtown Tulsa.
flanks the Arkansas River and is accentuated by trails used
continuously by bicyclists, walkers, runners, strollers, transit
users and skaters. The Tulsa Community Foundation, the same
benefactor responsible for The Gathering Place, also financially
supported the Tulsa River Parks Authority to provide lighting and
expand the width of these paved trails. The private investment in
Tulsa's crown jewels - Tulsa River Parks and the Arkansas River, is
unprecedented and celebrated.
- Recently, discussions took place regarding a sidewalk on
Riverside Drive leading to the Gathering Place from the north. The
public safety issues with the engineering plans were numerous,
specifically for pedestrians, due to the speed at which motorists
generally travel in the area today and the lack of adequate
separation from the roadway. I made the decision to hold off on the
sidewalk until we knew more about the traffic volume and patterns
this new park would create for Riverside Drive. The park has
numerous access points from existing trails on the west and east
side of the roadway.
- As citizens became more aware of the reconstruction project,
they voiced their desire to include a sidewalk between
21st Street and the entrance to The Gathering Place, which
will be approximately at 27th Street. I hosted a meeting to
begin a dialogue within our community and listen to their ideas and
concerns. Councilor Blake Ewing held a second meeting to moderate a
- We listened and I asked
our City engineers, planners and traffic engineers to create a new
plan for a sidewalk that would satisfy my safety concerns. The plan
provides for immediate traffic calming and infrastructure options
that will be put in place when the sidewalk is built during the
road reconstruction this year. In addition, engineers identified
several future traffic calming measures that can be implemented if
needed. Plan revisions are within the current budget.
In summary, the plan employs a combination of methods to calm
traffic in a scalable manner, including:
- A tree lawn to give at least seven feet of distance between
motorists and pedestrians
- Driving lanes narrowed to 11 feet
- Traffic signal/crosswalk at the main entrance of the Gathering
Place near the 2700 block of Riverside Drive
- Enhanced pedestrian crosswalks with clearly distinguishable
striping and colored concrete pavement at intersections from
21st - 41st
- Eight-inch curbs to minimize the risk of vehicles jumping the
curb in the direction of the sidewalk
- Extensive street striping and various types of signage to give
motorists notice they are entering a park area
- And as originally proposed, the speed limit will be posted at
- Installation of conduit during the construction phase to
provide for future traffic signals, if needed
Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.
Make a Difference in a Child's Life Through Mentoring
January is National Mentoring Month and cities all across the
nation are focusing on the need for more mentors in schools to help
children and youth succeed in life.
Here in Tulsa, my wife, Victoria Bartlett and I have supported and
promoted the Mentoring to the Max initiative since I took office.
The Mayor's Mentoring to the Max awareness program pairs caring
adults with children who need a little extra attention to help them
lead successful, productive lives.
Mentoring makes a difference in our community and can positively
impact our city's economic health. As Mayor of Tulsa, I'm committed
to making sure our students are equipped with the knowledge and
skills they need for future success.
Last summer, the City of Tulsa took the lead and adopted Emerson
Elementary which is quite close to City Hall. Currently, 27 City
employees are actively engaged in Emerson, serving as weekly lunch
buddies, special guest readers and presenters (covering their field
of expertise at the City). I'm excited about the opportunity we
have as public servants to give back to our community and make a
difference in these students' lives.
I also hope you'll join us in our mentoring efforts and do
something great for Tulsa - share your gifts with a child to help
him or her succeed in school and prepare for the future. It only
takes an hour or so of your time each week,
either individually or in a group setting.
The time is now; make January the time to give back and nurture a
child. Read more about Mentoring to the Max on our website.
Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.