Downtown comes up roses for Broken Arrow council
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
10/17/12 at 3:51 AM
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BROKEN ARROW - Downtown is getting a new name and likely a new look.
The City Council voted Tuesday to brand the area as the Rose District and move forward with a $4 million makeover of Main Street - key steps in an effort to create an arts and entertainment district there.
The makeover aims to give downtown a historical, pedestrian-friendly feel with fewer traffic lanes, more landscaping and wider sidewalks.
The name, which refers to an early slogan that promoted Broken Arrow as the "city of roses," complements that vision, city councilors said.
It will be used for marketing purposes - likely on downtown signs and in city publications - and is intended to create a sense of identity, they said.
"I think within a period of time, when you say 'the Rose District,' you'll mean downtown," Councilor Richard Carter said. "It's like when you think about Tulsa and Cherry Street; everybody knows that name."
Tulsa engineering firm R.L. Shears Co., which developed the streetscape proposal at the city's request, will prepare construction documents "in the near future," city Engineering Director Kenny Schwab said.
The documents would need approval from the Downtown Advisory Board and the City Council if the construction can occur between next May and October, he said.
About 120 residents and downtown merchants who attended public streetscape workshops last month overwhelmingly favored the project, Schwab said.
It would reduce Main Street from four lanes to three in the five blocks between Fort Worth and College streets, allowing parking angles to be increased from 30 degrees to 40 and sidewalks to be widened from 10 feet to 17.
A raised brick crosswalk midway between Dallas and Commercial streets would serve as a focal point of downtown, with dining and gathering areas on both sides.
Raised planter boxes would line the sidewalks and contain trees or bushes, along with flowers. Additional landscaping would be installed on intersection corners.
Mayor Craig Thurmond said roses could be added to the plan to complement the area's new nickname.
A neighborhood beautification group - one of several attempting to revive the "city of roses" image - has already offered to donate roses for such a project, Councilor Jill Norman said.
The name was recommended by the Downtown Advisory Board, which chose it from among five finalists, including the Old Town, Depot, Elam and Red Brick districts.
"I don't know if it's my most favorite name, but ... I'm confident it will do well for downtown Broken Arrow," Councilor Mike Lester said.
The streetscape project's cost of $700,000 to $800,000 per block would be paid from the FlightSafety tax increment financing district, which dedicates $6 million to revitalize downtown.
Officials have said the cost of marketing downtown's new name would be negligible.
Original Print Headline: Downtown comes up roses for Broken Arrow council
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
An artist's rendering shows proposed changes to Main Street in the five blocks between Fort Worth and College streets in Broken Arrow. The street would be reduced to three lanes, including a turn lane, and sidewalks would be widened to 17 feet to promote a pedestrian-friendly feel. Courtesy rendering
A rendering shows a proposed midblock crossing on Main Street between Dallas and Commercial streets. Courtesy rendering