What water in the river?

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During the late campaign for a Tulsa County sales tax increase to pay for river projects, we were often told by the tax increase's proponents about the low-water dams that Oklahoma City funded with its MAPS tax, and how this investment had brought jobs in the form of a Dell Computers call center. I've read about plans to run a water taxi service from the hotel cluster at Meridian Ave. to near downtown along the river.

I was in OKC this past Saturday morning for the Oklahoma Republican Party executive committee meeting and afterwards decided to have a closer look at their river, the North Canadian, aka the Oklahoma River.

The Oklahoma River, looking east from Exchange Ave. in Oklahoma City,100_5959This picture was taken from beneath the south end of the Exchange Ave. bridge looking east. Clicking the photo will take you to a set of seven pictures, all taken from the south bank of the river between Penn and Exchange.

Despite the fact that it was in the 70s and sunny and about 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday, I encountered only about eight other people using the trails. I read that there was a boat parade that evening, but I can't imagine where they had enough water to float a boat.

Anyone have an explanation for this?

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jasonk Author Profile Page said:

Yeah, I have an explanation. The people who wanted to raise taxes would say or do anything to convince voters that OKC was ahead of us. You can build all the rivers you want to in OKC, but they cannot replicate our hills and trees. Tulsa is a beautiful city, and I am glad that voters saw through the smokescreens.

CGHill Author Profile Page said:

Since the parade site was a mile or two downstream, evidently they did their darnedest to make sure there was plenty of water there, and the rest of the river can go hang.

(Meteorological note: We have had zero rain this month.)

Thanks, Charles. That makes sense.

steve said:

Every couple of years the city drains the river and dredges it of silt and debris. The parade was held in the Eastern Avenue basin. The basin you saw was either the Meridian or Western Avenue basin.

Thanks, Steve, for the explanation.

Gino said:

Michael, I've always found your coverage of events to be even and balanced, but lately your OKC related comments have been questionable at best. I've read some of your Tulsanow comments and ever since your "No to River Tax Crusade" you've expressed a very crude view of OKC and it's developments. I think you do a great job, but lay off of the drainage ditch comments please. There are plenty of events and people that frequent the river here in OKC. What you saw was indeed an anomaly and somehow I think that you already knew that.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 20, 2007 5:51 PM.

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