Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Bicycle Paths Toward OKC’s Future

Paving the way to a healthier community



 



Ours used to be a community built for cars. Its 5,000 miles of streets and its sparse patchwork of sidewalks set a menacing tone for anyone without four wheels and an engine.
 

But health and fitness are taking on greater importance in Oklahoma City’s culture, and City Hall has been leading the charge – encouraging residents to walk, run and pedal their way to a better quality of life.

It started near the elephant exhibit at the Oklahoma City Zoo on New Year’s Eve 2007, when Mayor Mick Cornett acknowledged the community’s (portly) stature as one of the nation’s fattest cities. He drew national attention with his website thiscityisgoingonadiet.com, and called on residents to drop a combined 1 million pounds.

Cornett made his point, inspiring tens of thousands of people to log in, sign up and lose weight. Perhaps more importantly, he started a conversation about healthy living and how that can improve quality of life, as the city launched a new set of proposed projects under the 2009 MAPS 3 initiative.

The $777 million measure passed, and much of that money was dedicated to making Oklahoma City a healthier place to live through construction of new amenities such as sidewalks and trails.

Nearly $40 million in MAPS 3 money is being used to pay for the construction of 27 miles of new paved trails for cyclists, pedestrians and anyone else who is not driving a car. When complete, Oklahoma City’s trail system will be 30 percent larger and have segments stretching across the city.

 

Oklahoma City transportation and public health planner John Tankard said the funding is paying for three major trails projects.

The West River Trail opened in 2015. It stretches 8 miles from trails along the Oklahoma River through native woods, around shores and over scenic areas, eventually ending at Lake Overholser on the city’s west side.

In October 2016, the city broke ground on the Will Rogers Trail, another 8-mile stretch connecting Lake Hefner with the Oklahoma River. Tankard said the trail is scheduled to open in 2017, and serve as the spine of the entire trail system. The urban route will link northwest Oklahoma City with Will Rogers Park, the State Fairgrounds and the Oklahoma River. It will provide a safer route for bicycle commuters to reach downtown, Bricktown, City Hall and a multitude of neighborhoods.


Finally, construction of the Draper Trail could begin by the end of the year, allowing cyclists, pedestrians and others to follow a 12-mile loop through a hilly landscape of woods, grassland and wetlands that surround Draper Lake.

Once the three projects are complete, the city will have more than a dozen trails that cover nearly 100 miles, and Tankard said funding for more trials could be added to a general obligation bond issue the city is planning to propose later in 2017.

Tankard explained that the trails are part of a larger initiative called Bike-Walk OKC, a bicycle-pedestrian master plan for building a transportation network that promotes safer, healthier and more enjoyable transportation choices. In all, Oklahoma City has more than 300 miles of trails and bike routes.

If people have opportunities to ride their bikes, run or walk on trails, the city could see reduced obesity, diabetes, heart disease and better mental health, said Tankard. 

Hal McKnight, longtime cycling advocate and member of the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Committee, said Oklahoma City’s trail system will continue to expand and he is excited about the future.

“Trails have been a strong passion of mine for a long time,” he says. “Within the next several months, we are going to have a trail system that any city would be proud of.”

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Madison Cunningham’s Come-Up

The young singer prepares to open an OKC show for The Punch Brothers

Touring Fort Smith

From the historic courtroom of Judge Isaac Parker to the new Park at West End, Elaine Warner finds plenty of highlights in Arkansas’ second-largest city.

The Palazzolo Palazzo

Designer Lindsay Palazzolo combines neutral shades, multiple textures and a sense of airiness throughout the entirety of her remodeled Nichols Hills palace.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

September 2018

No Events
No Events
No Events
No Events

More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags