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City of OKC wants public to weigh in on bicycle and pedestrian master plan

Bicycle and pedestrian advocates met Sunday to discuss bikewalkokc, Oklahoma City's first master plan to promote safer, more enjoyable transportation options. (Caroline Vandergriff/KOKH)

The City of Oklahoma City is looking for feedback on its first bicycle and pedestrian master plan, which outlines a variety of proposals to make it safer to walk and bike around the city.

“All the infrastructure projects that go in, that’s the underlying goal,” said John Tankard, an associate planner with the city. “As well as connecting people to the places they need to go to - neighborhoods to commercial districts, parks and schools.”

The proposal has two components: a bicycle and trails plan, and a pedestrian plan. The city has identified areas where sidewalks are needed most and ways to create a bicycle network.

There are an estimated 45,000 Oklahoma City residents who don’t have access to a car.

“So making sure our public transit system, our sidewalk network, and bicycle infrastructure is sufficient, making sure that Oklahoma City works as well for one person as it does for somebody else in different circumstances,” Tankard said.

Living without a car in Oklahoma City does have its challenges.

“If I get off the bus somewhere and there’s no sidewalk, I have to walk life a mile to cross the street,” said JoBeth Hamon, who takes the bus, walks, or bikes to where she needs to go. “It can get pretty complicated.”

Hamon met up with other bike and pedestrian advocates Sunday to learn more about the city’s plan to improve transit options and to give her feedback on the proposals.

“I think this plan is something that, if the city can really get behind it, could really help improve that infrastructure for people to be more active in their transportation,” she said. “Just being able to put the infrastructure for sidewalks and safe bicycle lanes is probably the biggest part of it.”

The city is accepting comments and suggestions on the master plan until Wednesday. You can submit those here. The feedback will then be incorporated into the plan before it’s presented to the Planning Commission and City Council for adoption.

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