Tulsa, OKC City Councilors to Keynote Bike/Pedestrian Workshop

January 28, 2013 in Bicycling, Complete Streets, Featured, Walking by bikewalkadmin

Blake Ewing (left) and Ed Shadid (right) are scheduled keynote speakers at the Feb. 22 workshop at Tulsa’s City Hall.

Blake Ewing (left) and Ed Shadid (right) are scheduled keynote speakers at the Feb. 22 workshop at Tulsa’s City Hall.

TULSA – District 4 Tulsa City Councilor Blake Ewing and Ward 2 Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid are the scheduled keynote speakers at next month’s free bike/pedestrian federal funding workshop at Tulsa’s City Hall.

Designed for elected officials, government agency staff and bicycle/pedestrian advocates, the Navigating MAP-21 workshop will help attendees develop the knowledge, skills and resources to access untapped or under-utilized federal funding sources at the state, regional and local level to build bicycling and walking infrastructure and programs.

Scheduled for Feb. 22, the Navigating MAP-21 workshop is being facilitated by Advocacy Advance — a partnership between the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking & Walking. Funding surface transportation programs at more than $105 billion, MAP-21 is the first long-term transportation authorization enacted by the federal government since 2005. The funds provided by this program can help the City of Tulsa and surrounding communities implement bike lanes, bike trails, sidewalks, safe routes to school, and other bike/pedestrian infrastructure and programs.

Attendees to the workshop will learn about under-utilized funding sources that exist for biking and walking projects and programs, which the region has not yet tapped into; learn the key characteristics, requirements, and opportunities of those sources and best practices from around the country; discuss favorable factors for bicycling and walking investments; understand the important role of elected officials, government agency staff, and advocates in securing this funding; and share knowledge and experiences in the local context, working together to develop a list of local priorities and strategies for funding bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs.

As the City of Tulsa works to renew the Fix Our Streets capital improvement program, Ewing and other councilors — in light of last year’s unanimous council approval of a Complete Streets resolution — have expressed their intent to make any new funding package a more comprehensive transportation package that will include bicycles, pedestrians and transit.

Ewing has been a staunch advocate for urban infill and walkability. Nowhere was that more evident than his vote against last year’s QuikTrip Planned Unit Development application for the expansion of the company’s 11th & Utica location. The PUD sought to close 10th street so the new store and gas pumps could be built across the public right-of-way, breaking up the walkable grid of the neighborhood and violating the neighborhood’s pedestrian-friendly small area plan.

In Oklahoma City, Shadid has been at the forefront of a battle that has been brewing over the new OKC Boulevard slated to replace the old I-40, which was moved to the south last year. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation initially planned long highway-like elevated sections of the boulevard in an effort focused on primarily moving as many cars as possible quickly through downtown Oklahoma City.

Shadid has been leading an effort to change ODOT’s plans and instead make the space vacated by I-40 more walkable, bike-friendly and more suitable to placemaking. In an editorial on the OKC Boulevard last year, Shadid expressed the importance of cities thinking beyond the automobile.

In terms of the design of our city, one principal guides me as much as any other: one gets more of the behavior for which we design. If a city builds more bicycle trails, it will get more bicyclists riding longer distances. If one builds complete streets and sidewalks which facilitate pedestrian activity, the city will see an increase in the number of people walking the estimated 10,000 steps a day which we all need. If the City exhibits tunnel vision and focuses almost exclusively on moving the greatest number of vehicles through limited access points, it will not only get more people driving automobiles through the type of congestion it sets out to solve, but we will limit our economic development potential and the ability to create that which we all so innately crave; the development of community.

Sponsored by Tulsa’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the free one-day workshop will be held Feb. 22 in the 10th Floor South Conference Room of Tulsa’s City Hall, located at 175 E. 2nd Street. Those interested in attending can register for the Tulsa workshop at the following link: http://www.advocacyadvance.org/trainings

Find the Nearest Bike Rack in Tulsa With the Bike Parking Locator

June 1, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured by bikewalkadmin

TULSA – Bike Walk Tulsa has created a bike parking locator map to help Tulsa area bicyclists find bike parking near their final destination.

The map, located at bikewalktulsa.org/tulsa-bike-parking-locator/ and accessible on the site’s sidebar, provides directions to the nearest mapped bike rack when users enter their final destination street address in the search box at the top of the map.

TU Hurricane Bike Shop - West Side bike parking

Bike parking at the University of Tulsa. (photo: Lassiter)

Bike racks are marked for the public, customers, or tenants. Some office buildings downtown have bike racks for building tenants and their employees, so it is important to distinguish which racks are available for anyone to use and which racks are exclusive.

The initial bike parking map contains nearly 60 locations with more than 650 parking spaces for bicycles. Many of the locations, when clicked, are accompanied on the map by a photo to provide a visual cue as to what the bike rack looks like and where it is situated.

Of course, bike parking is extremely elusive and hard to spot, so we know this is not all the bike parking in Tulsa and the surrounding communities. That’s why we need your help.

Bike Walk Tulsa wants to map all the bike parking locations throughout the metro area. Not only Tulsa, but we also want Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Jenks, Bixby, Owasso, Sapulpa, Catoosa and more. If you see a bike rack somewhere in town, take a picture and email the photo and the location information to us at [email protected]. We’ll get it added to the map.

View Tulsa Bike Parking in a full screen map

Mayor, City Councilor Bike to Work

May 14, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured by bikewalkadmin

Mayor Bartlett and Councilor Steele

Mayor Bartlett (middle) and Councilor Steele (right) ride their bikes to City Hall to kick off Bike to Work Week. (photo: Wagner)

TULSA – Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilor Skip Steele kicked off Bike to Work Week this morning with a bike ride from The Coffee House on Cherry Street to City Hall.

After speaking with media and attendees, the Mayor and First Lady, Councilor Steele and other bicyclists rode their bikes to work, complete with a police bike patrol escort.

Bike rack locations on display

Easels displayed aerial imagery showing the location of bike parking to be installed around Tulsa later this year. (photo: Lassiter)

Bike to Work Week runs from May 14 through May 18 and is part of Tulsa’s celebration of National Bike Month. Monday’s event, hosted by the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG), offered free breakfast pastries, juice and snacks for commuting bicyclists while also providing a glimpse into the location of bicycle racks the city plans to install later this year.

Maps showing the locations of the racks were displayed on easels outside the Coffee House. Several on-street bike corrals will be located on Cherry Street. Bike corrals replace a car parking spot with a series of bike racks that can park 10 bicycles in the space of one car.

Bike to Work Week runs all this week and ends with a celebration on Friday at Joe Momma’s at 112 S. Elgin from 4:30p to 6:30pm. There will be prizes and music and you can enter the Bike Commuter Challenge.

Mayor Bartlett and Councilor Steele

Mayor Bartlett and Councilor Steele are interviewed by Fox 23 at Monday's Bike to Work Week kickoff event. (photo: Lassiter)

Mayor and Councilor on Norfolk

Mayor Bartlett (middle left) and Councilor Steele (middle right) ride on Norfolk Ave south of 11th Street. (photo: Wagner)

Bike to Work

Bike to Work Week kickoff at the Coffee House on Cherry Street, Monday, May 14, 2012. (photo: Lassiter)

Steele ready to go

Councilor Steele and Tulsa Police ready to go. (photo: Lassiter)

City Officials Tour Tulsa On Foot and by Bike

May 7, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured, Walking by bikewalkadmin

Tulsa's First Lady leading bike tour

Tulsa's First Lady, Victoria Bartlett, leads the pack on a bicycle tour of Tulsa with City Councilors and the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee. (photo: Lassiter)


TULSA – City councilors, Tulsa’s First Lady, and the City Manager took some time during National Bike Month to get out from behind the windshield and see what it’s like to get around Tulsa by bike or on foot.

The City Council passed a Complete Streets policy earlier this year, and this was their opportunity to gain first-hand experience with active transportation on the streets of Tulsa. The event was organized by the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

The bike tour rode four miles through Cherry Street into downtown Tulsa and back, while the walking tour covered a one mile route that strolled along 12th Street and Utica. Both tours began at Tom’s Bicycles on 15th Street.

Channels 2, 6, and 8 covered the biking and walking tours. You can view their reports below. Tulsa’s Bike-to-Work Week begins Monday, May 14.


News On 6: Tulsa’s City Leaders Take Bike Tour For New Perspective

KJRH: City Councilors Take Midtown Tulsa Bike Tour

KTUL: City Councilors Bike, Walk Around Tulsa

Tulsa Neighborhoods Take Leap, Approve Bike Lanes for 4th Place

February 29, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured by bikewalkadmin

4th Place Bike Lanes

Cross section depiction of the redesign of 4th Place between Sheridan & Yale with bike lanes. Source: City of Tulsa

TULSA – Bike lanes were approved for 4th Place between Yale and Sheridan by the White City and Glenhaven neighborhoods at a public meeting Tuesday evening. The bike lanes would be the first neighborhood bike lanes in the city and could be in place within a year and a half.

The City of Tulsa conducted the public meeting at Yale Avenue Presbyterian Church in an effort to reach out to the neighborhood and ask the citizens what they wanted their street to look like since the street is being entirely reconstructed as part of the Fix Our Streets program.

City Planner, Theron Warlick, conducted the meeting in an effort to build consensus among the neighborhood residents on the new design for the 40-foot-wide curb-to-curb reconstruction project. Several engineers from the City of Tulsa and District 5 Councilor, Karen Gilbert, were also in attendance.

Theron Warlick

Theron Warlick leads a neighborhood meeting about the 4th Place street redesign. photo: Lassiter

Warlick presented attendees with four street design options. The first option was to simply rebuild the street the same way it is now, a four-lane street. Option A would change the street to a two-lane street with marked parallel parking. Option B, the one the neighborhood ended up selecting, converts the street to a two-lane street with two six-foot bike lanes and parallel parking on one side of the street. Option C involved converting the street to two 14-foot travel lanes and one 12-foot center turn lane, a design usually reserved for business districts.

All street design options include the addition of a sidewalk on one side of the street.

“At one time this was supposed to be an arterial street, just like Yale or Sheridan or 11th Street,” Warlick said, “but it never really panned out that way.”

When I-244 was built in the area, Admiral became the more important street, yet 4th place is still striped like a four-lane arterial even though it carries only 2,900 vehicles a day. Yale Avenue, by comparison, carries 20,000 vehicles a day. The traffic-control-device-free mile-long stretch of 4th Place encourages traffic to cut through the neighborhood, oftentimes much faster than the posted 35 mph speed limit.

“Cars zip up and down there at 60 mph,” said one concerned resident.

The task for residents at Tuesday night’s meeting was to determine how 4th Place could be turned back into a neighborhood street. Warlick began the meeting by asking residents what they liked and didn’t like about 4th Place, sometimes referred to by locals as “Big 4th.”

Many residents believed cars traveled too fast down the street, making the street unsafe for kids crossing on the way to school, edging the front yard, or even parked cars. Read the rest of this entry →

Tulsa: It’s a Bike Town

February 1, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured by bikewalkadmin

Tulsa: It’s A Bike Town from Cassidy Cagle on Vimeo.

TULSA – RiverParks, Turkey Mountain, the Pedestrian Bridge… they all make appearances in a video called “Tulsa: It’s a Bike Town”. @TulsaRiverParks tweeted a link to the video by Freeride Oklahoma that is the first of a project displaying the uniting factors of why we ride bikes.

Check it out.

Cycle Tracks Safety Neutral at Worst, Safer and Attract Bicyclists At Best

January 23, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured by bikewalkadmin

On the Right Track from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

TULSA – You can already ride your bike down Tulsa’s Cincinnati Avenue, Harvard Avenue, 11th Street (Route 66!), or even 71st Street near Memorial. It’s perfectly legal. But does it feel safe? Is it a pleasant experience? The answer for most people is likely no, which is why you rarely see anyone doing it.

In fact, according to a research study published in 2011 and conducted in part by the Harvard School of Public Health, the chief obstacle to bicycling, especially for women, children and seniors, is the perceived danger of vehicular traffic. We didn’t need a study to know why most people elect to travel busy Tulsa streets by motor vehicle instead of bicycle. It’s not rocket science, people are scared.

Imagine now if some of these busy Tulsa streets had cycle tracks or buffered bike lanes. Many more people would likely be willing to venture out on their bikes because cycle tracks and buffered bike lanes offer an environment more suited to bicyclists of all ages and abilities, especially the many bicyclists who aren’t comfortable riding in mixed traffic. The video above from Portland, OR explains the cycle track concept as well as buffered bike lanes.

Cycle tracks are basically bike lanes that swap spaces with the parallel parking lane. Instead of cars parking next to the curb, cars park a distance away from the curb, allowing a bike lane to be placed between the parked cars and the curb. The parked cars provide a physical buffer between bicyclists and passing motor vehicles that can improve bicyclists’ safety and level of comfort. A cycle track can also be created where there is no parallel parking by installing a physical barrier such as a curb or a narrow median between the cycle track and the travel lane.

Those who oppose cycle tracks often do so on the grounds of safety, making the claim that cycle tracks put bicyclists in more danger at intersections. To improve visibility at cross streets, parallel parking can be prohibited within a defined distance from a cross street so turning motor vehicles will have a clear line-of-sight that enables them to yield when a bicycle is approaching.

But is riding on a cycle track more dangerous than riding in the street? If a city installs a cycle track, are they really sending unsuspecting, untrained, newbie bicyclists into a bike lane instrument of death?

The aforementioned Harvard study sought to determine the risk of injury for bicycling on cycle tracks versus in the street. The study examined six North American cycle tracks located in Montreal and compared them to reference streets without cycle tracks.

Cycle tracks were found to have a relative risk of injury 28% less than bicycling in the street. Source: injuryprevention.bmj.com

Turns out, the overall relative risk of bicycling on a cycle track is 0.72, which means the rate of injury on cycle tracks was 28% less than the regular street. What’s incredible about this result is that all the cycle tracks examined in Montreal for the study were two-way cycle tracks, which are thought to be more dangerous than one-way cycle tracks. So you might expect the relative risk of bicycling on a one-way cycle track to be even better.

What’s more, 2.5 times more bicyclists used the cycle tracks than the regular street. The findings of the study showed that separated cycle tracks are safer at best and no more dangerous than bicycling in the street at worst.

The study also mentions that in The Netherlands, where cycle tracks are prevalent, 27% of Dutch trips are made by bike, 55% are women, and the bicyclist injury rate is 0.14 injured per million kilometers traveled. In the United States, however, only 0.5% of commuters bike, 24% of adult bicyclists are women, and the bicyclist injury rate is 26 times greater than in The Netherlands.

Earlier this month in a City Council Public Works Committee meeting, Planning Director, Dawn Warrick said, “The comprehensive plan, through the PlaniTulsa process, really did talk to the community about the concept of Complete Streets. It is prevalent throughout the document that there is a desire for us to fully utilize our infrastructure and provide choices for people when it comes to how they get around the community. So there is public support for this type of concept.”

Given the public support for Complete Streets and the results of this study showing that separated cycle tracks are, at worst, no more dangerous than bicycling in mixed traffic, what are we afraid of when it comes to cycle tracks and buffered bike lanes?

Pilot Program to Provide Tulsa’s First-Ever On-Street Bike Parking

January 10, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured by bikewalkadmin

TULSA – Nearly 100 bicycle racks, including bicycle corrals that will provide the city’s first-ever on-street bike parking, are coming to Tulsa as part of a bike rack pilot program, according to city officials.

The bike racks will be installed in various locations in Tulsa’s downtown, Brady District, Blue Dome District, Pearl District, Kendall-Whittier, Brookside and Cherry Street.

“The plans for the racks are about 95% complete,” says Doug Duke, Senior Traffic Engineer for the City of Tulsa. Duke expects a contract to be awarded sometime in March with installation beginning as early as April. All the racks could be in place as early as June.

Bike Racks in Pilot Program

These bike racks will be installed as part of Tulsa's pilot bike rack program. Image: City of Tulsa

Most of the racks being installed will be “Type A’s”, according to Duke. “They are basically inverted U’s with a logo plate attached.”

Each district or neighborhood will have its own logo displayed on the logo plate of the bike rack.

Yet, one of the most exciting aspects to the pilot program is the addition of on-street bicycle corrals to locations downtown and on Cherry Street. The corrals will create the first on-street bike parking in Tulsa in modern history.

Each bicycle corral will replace an on-street car parking space or other vacant street space with five racks that can fit 10 bikes within the space of one car. Placing the racks in the street ensures pedestrians have room to move on the sidewalk.

The on-street corrals are planned to be installed in front of Caz’s Chowhouse in the Brady District, Joe Momma’s in the Blue Dome District, and TCC’s downtown campus. Five on-street corrals are planned for Cherry Street.

“Installing angled parking [on Cherry Street] created opportunities for on-street rack corrals in hatched-out areas where we didn’t want vehicles parking as they would block visibility of traffic,” said Duke. “Not wanting these areas to go to waste, we thought they would be ideal areas for the corrals, as the bikes and racks would not block views of traffic and would put the racks “front and center” to vehicular traffic.”

In bicycle-friendly cities like Portland, businesses are on waiting lists as long as two years to receive bicycle corrals because they know it means they can have more customers park directly in front of their establishment.

In locations where bike racks cannot be placed in the street, the single Type A racks will be installed on the sidewalk in an orientation parallel to the curb to ensure bicycles don’t encroach upon the expected or normal pedestrian path.

In addition to the regular Type A racks, several locations are set to receive upgraded custom “art” racks in the shape of oil derricks, bison and the city skyline.

The custom art rack upgrades are being funded by the Tulsa Beautification Foundation and the Zarrow Families Foundation. The city has been working with these foundations and the Tulsa Hub to develop the designs and the desired locations.

The pilot bike rack project is a joint effort between the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) and the City of Tulsa, who recognized the need for bike parking as a result of the Trails Master Plan, according to James Wagner, INCOG’s Transportation Projects Coordinator.

“We conducted webinars and provided “best practice” material from the Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals to the engineers at the City of Tulsa to identify the best designs used around the country and placement of the racks within the sidewalk space,” said Wagner. “Plans are to provide this same opportunity to other communities in the metro area in future years.”

INCOG allocated $50,000 in federal grant funds for the bike rack program. The funds came from the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) program designed to encourage alternative transportation.

To learn more about bicycle corrals, check out the Streetfilms video below.