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

February 29, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured

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 →