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Downtown Tulsa Walkability Study Recognized as Best Practice by International Downtown Association

This article was archived on 12/15/2019

The Downtown Tulsa Walkability Study commissioned by the Tulsa Downtown Coordinating Council (DCC) has been recognized by the International Downtown Association (IDA) with official designation as a best practice in planning, design and infrastructure.

A jury of peer professionals reviewed, evaluated and deliberated the high quality of the study, its adoption by City Council and early implementation efforts. By a presidential proclamation, IDA states the Tulsa Downtown Coordinating Council has shown expert application of professional urban place management principles for completion of the study and immediate execution of its recommendations.

The Downtown Tulsa Walkability Study was the product of a multi-year engagement with Speck and Associates, a nationally renowned planning and design firm, and mobility and transportation experts Nelson/Nygaard to survey Downtown Tulsa’s street and sidewalk networks. The team conduced a street-by-street analysis of existing conditions including lane width, sidewalk width, on-street parking, traffic speeds, pedestrian traffic, and ground floor vacancy to gauge how existing conditions impact the efficiency and economic functionality of Downtown.

“I commend our Downtown Coordinating Council for initiating work with city planning expert Jeff Speck that led to the implementation of a world-class walkability plan. This will help guide Downtown Tulsa on a path of continued growth and development,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. 

A final study was presented and formally adopted by the DCC in May 2018. In fall 2018, the final study was presented to Tulsa City Council for consideration and adoption as a component of the Downtown Area Master Plan and the GO Plan, the City’s comprehensive mobility plan. It was formally adopted by Council and signed by Mayor Bynum in Nov. 2018.

“Dynamic urban centers around the globe accommodate all users and the Downtown Tulsa Walkability Study seeks to make Downtown Tulsa more walkable, bikeable and useable for all modes of transportation,” said Brian Kurtz, Executive Director of the DCC. “The study set expectations and standards for the way in which our Downtown streets are designed as we shifted efforts towards implementation to achieve towards safer streets for all who walk, bike, and drive in Downtown Tulsa.”

The DCC and City of Tulsa have focused on implementing the study’s recommendations, including the completion of converting Boulder and Cheyenne Avenues into two-way traffic and the introduction of Downtown’s first full length buffered bike lanes. The City will stripe nearly five miles of the proposed ten-mile Downtown bike lane network by the end of 2019, the first full year of the adopted study. 

“It is gratifying to see that the Downtown Tulsa Walkability Study has been so broadly regarded across the board and that walkability has become a fundamental component of planning in Tulsa’s Downtown and neighborhoods,” said Jeff Scott, past DCC Chair who initiated Tulsa’s engagement with Jeff Speck and Associates. “It was an honor to serve as DCC Chair at the inception of the walkable downtown conversation and it’s exciting to now see the study’s rapid and continuing implementation.”

About DCC

The Downtown Coordinating Council was established in 2009 to manage maintenance and service obligations of the Tulsa Stadium Improvement District. We are urban advocates bringing a thriving, vibrant, and inclusive Downtown Tulsa to life through beautification, place enhancement, and public safety services.

 

About IDA

IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit www.downtown.org. Learn more about the 64th Annual Conference & Tradeshow at www.idaconference.org