Planning to avoid conflicts

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My column in this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly is about two aspects of city planning: the planning failure that resulted in a jail and homeless services being located right between revitalizing older neighborhoods and an arts and entertainment district, and the need for a land-use planning tool like neighborhood conservation districts to permit infill while protecting the character of our older neighborhoods. You can read more about the idea on the Preserve Midtown website.

In my column, I mention the notion of using lawsuits instead of zoning to regulate land use. This idea was proposed in "Beyond Zoning: Land Use Controls in the Digital Economy," a 1998 paper by John A. Charles, Environmental Policy Director for Cascade Policy Institute. It sounds appealing in theory, but I think it would be a practical disaster, as I point out in the column.

Also in this week's UTW, Kent Morlan, who both resides and owns a business downtown, points out the waste in the way downtown streets have been rebuilt. I like the idea of reopening closed streets and turning one-way streets into two-way streets, but the massive use of concrete pavers and other streetscaping has overcomplicated what should have been a simple idea.

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3 Comments

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

As I was walking to work down South Boston this morning, I was surprised to see a brand new park bench located near the street and in the path of the cross walk of Boston and 4th Street. I had to walk around in order to cross the street. Before I crossed, I looked at it closely.

It had been attached to the sidewalk by use of an anchor bolt secured fastly to four of those pavers(one bolt, one paver per leg). Someone(s) had simply lifted the bench up, pavers in tow, and moved it.

If the others are anchored in that manner, it could be a big problem. If a thief wants a really nice bench, all one needs is a strong back and a pickup truck. Not that I'm advocating it, mind you.

webworm Author Profile Page said:

Batesline hit the nail on the head with regard to paving streets. The downtown model is also being used in Brookside. It is too complicated and has resulted in a tremendous loss of business for many retailers and restaurants. And it was a poorly designed job from the beginning. And South Peoria from 21st to 31st became a very expensive and time consuming job because it included sidewalks and Politically Correct crossings which are essentially unused. Repaving a street doesn't have to cost that much or take that long, but the "Technicians at City Hall", as the local rag calls them, don't care about this sort of thing.

Bob said:

Doesn't anyone GET it?

It's not about being efficient or economical in the operation of the city public works projects.

It's about keeping the level of spending UP.

And, always ramping the spending up to justify asking for more ever taxes that go to cover fewer and few projects.

Spending MORE to get LESS.

Expect BAD design, BAD construction, and BAD supervision from the city Public Works Dept.

They are part and parcel of the process to keeping the level of Spending UP, and lining the pockets of the favored local road construction companies.

Don't BEECO and Sherwood come to mind as favorites?


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 21, 2008 7:42 AM.

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