Tulsa City Council told bicycle master plan may have to wait
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Friday, October 05, 2012
10/05/12 at 5:24 AM
Read continuing coverage of Tulsa’s City Council.
A "bicycle master plan" cannot be completed in time to be used during discussions of the next Fix Our Streets initiative, city councilors learned Thursday.
James Wagner with the Indian Nations Council of Governments told councilors that it would take at least a year to create such a plan.
"So I would caution to say that it is not something that can be done really quickly, especially if you are wanting to do the whole public involvement, inventory of facilities - that sort of thing," Wagner said.
Councilors discussed the possibility of funding the plan through a budget amendment at a committee meeting Thursday.
Council Chairman G.T. Bynum, who placed the issue on the agenda, noted that the council has repeatedly indicated its desire that more transportation options be built into the planning process.
"I thought it would be valuable for us to have this conversation now - knowing that we will be probably six months from now elbow-deep in a street package - to talk about what we could do to put this in place before then," Bynum said.
The mix of sales and property taxes that fund the Fix Our Streets program is scheduled to expire in 2014. Bynum said he expects discussion of a possible renewal of the tax to begin in December or January, with the issue going to voters late next year.
"And we don't have a bicycle master plan, which would be very useful in helping us gauge how different street projects should be handled," Bynum said. "What other options are there out there for us? We don't know because we don't have a master plan."
Wagner estimated that the bicycle master plan would cost $300,000 - $150,000 of which INCOG would pay - and be developed as part of an update of the 1999 Tulsa Area Trails Master Plan.
Since the Trails Master Plan covers Tulsa and outlying cities, the cost to create a bicycle master plan would be shared by those communities, with Tulsa's portion estimated to be $90,000, Wagner said.
"Essentially, we have this great trail network that serves as a backbone, if you will. Think of it as a highway system for bicycle/pedestrian users," Wagner said. "But what really needs to come along with it ... are arterial networks that would connect people to the trails" by either walking or biking.
Councilor Jack Henderson told Bynum it seemed that he was trying to advance-fund a capital project he favored - something that had never been done to his knowledge.
Bynum said that was not his intent.
"We passed a resolution saying that when we are doing street projects, there needs to be consideration of not just cars but also what types of other traffic might utilize that street," Bynum said. "And this would help us know, from a pedestrian and bicycle standpoint, better what those were."
The council took no action on the proposal for a plan.
Source: Indian Nations Council of Governments
Original Print Headline: Bicycle master plan may have to wait, council told
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313