Mayor, City Councilor Bike to Work

May 14, 2012 in Bicycling, Featured

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)

Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes, Back On Road One Hour After Arrest

November 14, 2011 in Dangerous Driving

TULSA – The News On 6 reports a suspected drunk driver was arrested after crashing into another vehicle and was back behind the wheel only one hour later.

The accident allegedly happened at 31st and New Haven late on October 29. The accused driver, 53-year-old Frances Denise Elliott of Tulsa, was so drunk she could barely stand up when given a field sobriety test, according to the victim.

Apparently, Tulsa Police’s breathalyzer machine at the jail was broken, so the police officer only issued a ticket for the collision and drove Elliott home. When the crash victim returned to get pictures of Elliott’s car for insurance purposes, Elliott got back in the car, jumped a curb and drove away.

Elliott has been charged with drunk driving before. Court records show Elliott was charged with driving her Plymouth Lazer under the influence of alcohol at 63rd and Peoria in January 1993. Elliott pled guilty to impaired driving and was sentenced to 40 hours in the Tulsa County Municipal Work Program, DUI School and a fine of $400.

Tulsa Police officers are sworn to protect the citizens of Tulsa from drivers like Elliott. It is not clear why the officer did not take the suspect to a nearby hospital for a blood or urine test to determine Elliott’s sobriety, or lack thereof.

Tulsa streets would be much safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists if drivers like Elliott weren’t on the loose. Sadly, in this case, it appears the Tulsa Police Department did not enforce drunk driving laws with the same passion they reserve for park curfews.

Tulsa Police Officer Hit by SUV at Scene of Auto-Pedestrian Accident

November 11, 2011 in Walking

TULSA – An SUV hit a Tulsa Police officer who was directing traffic at an auto-pedestrian accident at 15th and Evanston on Thursday night. It appears the officer will be okay. The pedestrian from the earlier accident is in serious condition. Read more in the Tulsa World.

The crosswalk at this intersection isn’t marked, but state law requires vehicles to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, regardless if it is marked.

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Try to cross a non-signalized intersection at any crosswalk in Tulsa, marked or unmarked, and it’s downright near impossible to get any motor vehicle to yield the right-of-way. Many drivers haven’t read the state motor vehicle statute since they were 15 years old. The following are relevant sections from Oklahoma Statutes Title 47, Motor Vehicles:

§47-11-502. Pedestrians’ right of way in crosswalks.
(a) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

§47-11-503. Crossing at other than cross walks.
(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

And even in cases where pedestrians are not crossing in crosswalks, drivers of motor vehicles still have a responsibility to exercise due care.

§47-11-504. Drivers to exercise due care.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.

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