Do we need a downtown?

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No time to comment at length, but I want to call your attention to Joe Kelley's latest entry: "Downtown Takes Another Hit." In light of layoffs at two major downtown Tulsa employers, he questions all the effort and money put into downtown revitalization.

I think we do need a downtown and strong neighborhoods surrounding it, because we need at least one truly urban section of the city -- a place with a mixture of uses, a place where car-free living is possible.

The focus on downtown as office park -- build huge office towers, then tear everything else down to provide enough parking for the tenants of the office towers -- is one of the things that has killed downtown. Perhaps the recent discouraging developments will change the way we look at downtown revitalization for the better.

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» Downtown Again from Joe Kelley's The Sake Of Argument

Yesterday, I wrote my thoughts of whether a city could still exist without a geographical epicenter such as a downtown. Quite by coincidence, I was given an extensive walking tour yesterday of downtown Tulsa. To be sure, downtown Tulsa is... Read More

5 Comments

Joseph Wallis said:

So now what we are going to be left with is a Borg cube that has never been fully occupied since it was built.....now it will be left empty except maybe for a skeleton crew to make sure the fiber stays lit in and out of the building....what a shame.

Phelps said:

Judging from when I was in Tulsa, you have it -- it just isn't downtown. It is down by 71st street. (This is the wisdom of a week's observation by an uniniterested visitor, so take it in that context.) Downtown seemed like a ghosttown, even compared to downtown Dallas. South Tulsa, on the other hand, had some life to it. (And people walking on the sidewalks.)

susan said:

What good are office buildings if some are vacant! In the last three years, I am sure the Tulsa World staff has felt lonely with tons of office space downtown for rent
at cheap prices. Even at cheap prices, business owners choose to seek office space elsewhere where downtown Tulsa gives the appearance of l a ghost town around them! The Lortons and other "investors"
pushing the Vision Arena can't come to grips with
their property value going down...down....down...
so they come up with an idea to allow the taxpayers pay the price and to place the questionable need for almost a $200 million arena in a area that has many parts around it run down -- some places look as though it should be bulldozed for health and safety of who might be living in some of those run down vacant building. Will even more layoffs continue downtown leaving even less workers downtown?

sbtulsa said:

this is why the arena is such a mistake.

first, its hard to get to. i don't see any way an on/off ramp connecting to an expressway can be built. most of the population is south of downtown so the b/a, 169, and the red fork could come in to play if the arena was placed properly.

second, the only hotels downtown are multiple blocks away from the arena (herin after called the i cant). convenient hotels would require demolition of the older buildings in downtown. wonder who owns the land the potential demolished buildings stand on. how do you get from the doubletree to the i cant in the rain?

third, we will have to compete with arenas in oks, dallas, kansas city, and wichita for events. competition means pricing levels. i bet the business plan for the arena (where ever the plan is) does not allow for price wars with established icons.

we should rename our mayor nero because he's just fiddling around while tulsa figuratively burns. too bad, because mayor bill is the best thing to happen to ba and jenks in years.

I think you all missed the point. "Car-free.."
I used to live in a car-free city. Unfortunately, it was in another country. I lived in a small apartment surrounded by everything I needed. All without a car. I could either walk, take my bike, or take a bus than ran every fifteen minutes.
Doing anything around 71st requires the use of a car, and thus burning gasoline, something I'm not prone to do much anymore. You also have to find a parking space.
I understand this "car-free" community concept. And I liked it when I lived in one. If Tulsa actually had something like this, I would move my family there.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 3, 2005 1:28 AM.

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