Broken Arrow City Council to consider downtown streetscape
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Saturday, October 13, 2012
10/13/12 at 5:30 AM
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BROKEN ARROW - A city advisory committee has recommended overhauling downtown's Main Street as a pedestrian corridor with sidewalk dining, gathering areas and fewer traffic lanes.
The proposal would reduce the four-lane street to three lanes in the five blocks between Fort Worth and College streets, making room for straighter parking spaces, wider sidewalks and landscaping.
The City Council is expected to consider moving forward with the project at its Tuesday meeting, city spokeswoman Stephanie Higgins said.
"The council has made a real effort in the past several years to revitalize downtown, and coming up with the streetscape recommendation is just another step in the process," she said.
About 120 residents and downtown merchants who attended public streetscape workshops in September overwhelmingly favored the project, city Engineering Director Kenny Schwab said.
The participants were presented a series of options for different numbers of traffic lanes with angled parking - the current configuration - or parallel parking, he said. Eighty percent of them marked on a survey that they preferred three lanes, and 91 percent said they wanted to keep angled parking, he said.
Another 78 percent said they would like a midblock crosswalk.
Such a crossing is envisioned between Dallas and Commercial streets with a slightly raised brick surface.
Landscape-lined dining and gathering areas would go on both ends of the new crossing.
The goal is to give downtown a historical, pedestrian-friendly feel that would complement an ongoing effort to create an arts and entertainment district, officials said.
Reducing the street to three lanes, including a turn lane, would force motorists to slow down while retaining enough room for parades and festivals, officials said.
The Downtown Advisory Board gave the project its blessing Tuesday and has authorized an engineering firm to estimate a cost, Higgins said.
Funds are expected to come from the FlightSafety tax increment financing district, which dedicates $6 million to revitalize downtown.
"I think this can be an exciting thing and generate excitement for the community," Scott Eudey, the owner of a Main Street law firm, told the advisory board. "If we do nothing now, we will never do anything."
Under the proposal, existing angled parking would be redrawn at 40-degree angles and sidewalks would be widened to 17 feet - up from 8- to 10-feet currently.
Raised planter boxes would line the sidewalks and contain trees or bushes, along with flowers. Additional landscaping would be installed on intersection corners.
As part of a proposal to nickname downtown the Rose District, officials have said that roses could be incorporated into future Main Street landscaping.
The City Council is expected to decide Tuesday whether to adopt the name.
The city would be responsible for maintaining any landscaping, Schwab told the advisory board.
Original Print Headline: Broken Arrow envisions Main Street overhaul
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
An artist's rendering shows proposed changes to Main Street in Broken Arrow. Courtesy
An artist's rendering shows a proposed midblock crossing on Main Street between Denver and Commercial streets in Broken Arrow. Courtesy