Fix Our Streets

Some 67% of the proposed Improve Our Tulsa tax extension is dedicated to transportation, especially better, wider streets, bridge improvements and traffic engineering. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World file

Mayor G.T. Bynum is promoting a new bond issue for streets in Tulsa. We all know Tulsa needs better streets ("Council approves projects, sets election for Improve Our Tulsa II on Nov. 12," Aug. 8).

But why should we approve this new package when city government has not built what the voters approved in 2013?

The project to widen Yale Avenue between 81st Street and 91st Street was approved by voters in 2013. The project was supposed to widen this one-mile section of Yale to six lanes plus turning lanes.

The intersections at 81st and 91st streets were already widened to accept the new road. The people of Tulsa approved $31.3 million to finish the job.

No significant construction work has been done.

Some small utility cables might have been relocated, but no major construction has been done; no ditches have been dug; pipes or power lines have not been relocated.

The hill and dangerous curves are still in the same place they were in 2013. There are collisions on those curves nearly every time it rains.

Now the mayor is promoting a new tax package pointing out the obvious need for improved streets in Tulsa.

Improved streets are something most of us want and are willing to pay for, but so far the city has not built the street we approved six years ago. How do we know they will build what we approve this time?

The only leverage I can think of that the voters have is to vote no on the new proposal until they build what has already been approved.

Editor's Note: The six-lane widening between 81st and 91st streets is scheduled to begin construction in late 2020 and continue through 2021.

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