BY World's Editorials Writers
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
11/13/12 at 2:47 AM
Tulsans, by a wide margin, favor extending the Fix Our Streets tax program, according to the recent Oklahoma Poll, a scientific survey conducted for the Tulsa World.
The poll, taken prior to last week's general election, showed that 74 percent of 311 likely city voters, support the Fix Our Streets extension and only 14 percent oppose it.
That has to be music to the ears of city officials who are considering putting a proposed extension before voters next fall. The original $452 million Fix Our Streets plan was approved by voters in 2008 and expires June 30, 2014. It is funded through the third penny sales tax, the city's share of former 4-to-Fix Tulsa County sales tax and general obligation bonds.
The latest Oklahoma Poll was conducted before Tulsa County voters roundly defeated a county-wide economic development and quality of life tax proposal. Whether and how that defeat will affect future votes on infrastructure investments remains to be seen.
One thing appears to be certain: Tulsans are mostly pleased with the Fix Our Streets program, despite frequent grumbles about orange barrels and the traffic inconveniences that come with them. That may be in part because tangible results are visible across the city. Voters like to see that their tax money is being put to good use.
About the only downside to Fix Our Streets is that it concentrated nearly all of the funding sources available on street renovation and repair. A second version would almost have to take into account other infrastructure needs that won't wait forever. Those might include police and fire equipment on up to water and sewer system improvements.
And it seems obvious that an aggressive routine street maintenance effort is going to be needed to keep our newly renovated streets up to snuff. We can't have them deteriorating before they're paid for.