Weekly, in Urban Tulsa Weekly

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I'm pleased to announce that I'm writing a weekly column for Urban Tulsa Weekly. My first column is in the current issue, and it's on urban design, walkability, and what that means for Tulsans who, by reason of disability or age, cannot drive:

For tens of thousands of our fellow Tulsans, walkability isnít about rows of trendy cafes and quirky consignment shops, or about sidewalks to nowhere; itís about independence. For them, driving simply isnít an option. Iím not talking just about those who canít afford to operate a car. There are those who are physically unable to drive.

Many senior citizens, troubled by glare at night or uncertain of their reflexes, prefer to drive only during daylight or not at all. Teenagers are old enough to get around on their own, but either canít drive yet or shouldnít. For those who canít drive, urban design makes the difference between freedom and frustrating dependence.

The focus of my column will be city issues and city politics. Many thanks to UTW publisher Keith Skrzypczak for the opportunity to write a column, and to UTW reporter G.W. Schulz, whose very kind profile of me in July started the ball rolling on this.

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susan said:

Mike can you Boston as an example of walkability style living. We toured Boston, Massachusetts this summer. By the way, our son will be on ESPN2 DCI(drum corps international) Sept.21 and 23 (check afternoon times) and he ranked 4th best mellophone player out of 20,000 Division I (the division that will be shown on ESPN2)! He competed solo against the best college students in the world that made it into DCI. ESPN2 will feature DCI World Championships. Back to Boston,
they live, work, and have restaurants all in walking availability. If you have to go to another area, you can go by boat where there are many businesses, street entertainers and very good as we tipped them quite well and good entertainers brought in a large crowd not just lunch time either but throughout the day. Their library, businesses, places they live, eat, open market, all within walking. We walked about 25 miles that day touring all over the place. Lots of fun!!!!! Beautiful Boston we also enjoyed a cruise. Mike Bates is a graduate of M.I.T. and please use your presence on the radio and Urban Weekly to run for MAYOR. You are doing GREAT!

congrats, man.
great article.

Bobby Author Profile Page said:

Okay... now I'm really beginning to wonder what you do in your spare time!

mad okie Author Profile Page said:

Spare time? what makes you think he has spare time? :D

manasclerk Author Profile Page said:


On walkability: We lived in Brussels for awhile when L had a fullbright. It's a walkable city but still unmaneuverable for anyone in a wheelchair or even crutches. Still, we managed to do without a car for the entire time. Chicago's pretty walkable in almost all its neighborhoods, and is somewhat wheelchairable, although the winters did take a toll on the sidewalks.

I always get red under the collar when I visit my father-in-law in your fine city, partly because I'm held captive in his house because there aren't any sidewalks. Our neighborhood here in Indiana's north end is from the 1920s and we can still walk to the shops downtown, and even to the grocery store. But even we don't have sidewalks between the university dorms and the fast food joints.

astronautofinnerspace said:

I love it! Yes, sidewalks have to lead to somewhere, but you are being too kind Michael.
In the city of Tulsa, we have telephone poles IN THE MIDDLE OF our sidewalks. I would like to know who's planning produced these situations.
Sometimes you can dodge around the pole( dont get your shoulder sliced by nails and staples sticking out)only to almost be decapitated by the bracing cable anchored on the other side. I would like to get a body count over the years of people who had a simpler accident and jumped the curb only to run head-on into one of these poles.
And then the sidewalks also must be maintained. .....And in some places there isn't one.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 14, 2005 8:55 AM.

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