Consumer Watch: The push to make Oklahoma City more walkable
Oklahoma City (KOKH) —
The Heartland isn't exactly known for being walkable, but a lot of work and tax payer money has gone into making Oklahoma less car dependent. Even with all of that work, Oklahoma City is still a car dependent community. No one is more aware of that than people who don't have cars, but funding from the MAPS 3 project has improved some parts of the city.
Though not having a car in the community would be limiting, one Oklahoma City resident says he is happy with the move toward investing in the community.
"Getting better for sure. In the past it was not so, but I have seen a lot of sidewalks being built these days," says Dan Bibb, an Oklahoma City resident.
The improvement has pushed the city’s “Walk Score” to 32. This means most but not all errands require a car.
"Years ago we were probably the weakest walkable city in America, but we have come so far. We are building hundreds of miles of sidewalk are building jogging and biking paths,” says Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
Mayor Cornett says the city's latest concern is that drivers are not use to dealing with so many pedestrians, and asks that drivers keep an eye out.
Oklahoma City still has somewhat limited public transportation access. It is possible to use the bus, but the reach is often limited, and it is difficult to access parts of the metro. The biggest challenge now is that many low-income areas, where people are less likely to have cars, still don't have much access.
The construction of sidewalks and new paths is part of MAPS 3, an 18-million-dollar taxpayer project. Oklahoma City currently does not have online access to all of their new sidewalks, but they say that is currently in the works.