Saturday, May 12, 2012

Eastside urban trail idea

A poster on OKC Talk under the screen name of jungmoney, whom I don't personally know, came up with a great idea recently and I think it is a good enough idea to put up for this blog's high-profile lurkers to take a gander at. The idea is to create an "urban trail" with advanced bicycle infrastructure along the farthest east edges of Deep Deuce and Bricktown that starts at the underpass on NE 4th Avenue and goes down to Boathouse Row. The goal here would be to leverage a quality of life amenity and a connection to the river in a way to entice more development that unifies this corridor. I perceive that this would be an excellent investment in creating a north/south spine that connects Deep Deuce, downtown's unrivaled infill hot spot at the moment, to the river.

Sense of place would be fostered as the "urban trail" corridor would blaze a memorable route in people's minds and create linkages between bordering neighborhoods that aren't very well interconnected due to the blighted Rock Island ROW which is being preserved for future HSR to Tulsa. Along this urban trail would be the Deep Deuce Apartments originally developed around the turn of the millennium by Somerset, then going south the trail is bounded by the apartments and the San Francisco-inspired rowhomes in The Hill. Going south, something needs to be done in the way of beautification in the Rock Island ROW, particularly as it will soon be framed by a massive mixed-use development that Gary Brooks (developer of The Edge in Midtown) is putting together. At the corner of Joe Carter and Sheridan, where the "urban trail" turns east, that intersection will soon be anchored by two high-rise hotels on the SW corner (breaking ground imminently) and Brooks' proposed 8-story hotel and mixed-use development on the NE corner. This development would span the entire stretch of Sheridan along this "urban trail," as it then turns south toward the river at Lincoln where it passes the new Bricktown Fire Station and goes down to Boathouse Row.

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