William Bowen, West Oklahoma City
Context: Bowen recently moved to Oklahoma City from Edmond. He is concerned by the lack of sidewalks in his neighborhood, especially since the high poverty rate means more people go without vehicles and have to walk or rely on public transportation. He mentions MAPS, the flagship project of Oklahoma City that poured sales tax moeny into downtown, including Bricktown, to spur redevelopment and economic growth. Bowen is among several residents who noted the imbalance between public investment in downtown and public investment in distressed neighborhoods.
Eric Wenger, Department of Public Works Director
Context: Wenger said Oklahoma City now requires sidewalks in any new development and street maintenance project. He said adjacent property owners are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks in residential areas, but the city has proposed an initiative to encourage property owners to maintain their sidewalks by paying half the cost of construction. Officials with the Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma said that program will automatically exclude poor neighborhoods where residents would still have to pay up to $1,500.
A Deeper Look:
A Patchwork of Sidewalks
These photos show which parts of the city have sidewalks. The lack of sidewalks is especially of concern in areas where residents are more reliant on public transportation.
Northeastern Oklahoma City
South Oklahoma City
West Oklahoma City