The Norman Transcript

Opinion

January 22, 2013

Highway needs to be fixed

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

In 1999, the citizens of Norman had a meeting at Crosspointe Church to discuss how dangerous State Highway 9 was. Thirteen years later, what has changed? Wouldn’t it be nice to drive on a safe road wth your family and friends?

In 1999, there was no casino, no health facility and not nearly as much development. But there was still a problem. And there still is. The fatality rate speaks for itself, and we cannot police our way out of the problem.

Eighteen-and-a-half million dollars is set to be spent widening Highway 9 to four-lanes from 36th to 72nd. Does that really need to be four lanes? How many stop lights and right turn lanes could $18.5 million buy?

When I’m sitting in traffic while someone is turning and someone pedals by on a bicycle on that $10 million bike path, it will make me ashamed that I am from Norman. There’s no major development before 48th Avenue that needs a four-lane highway, and certainly not after 48th. They may say that they are working on the problem, but we all know that’s a joke. They say one fatality is too many. If that’s so, then they need to do something about it. After all, they did take an oath.

I think that the bumper stickers need to come back: “Pray For Me, I Drive On East HWY 9 In Norman.”

The excuses are unacceptable. When a soldier kills a civilian in a time of war, they are held responsible. How come our public officials are not held accountable when they know there is a problem and do nothing to fix it, other than talk about it?

No more excuses. Let’s see some action. If this bothers you, make your voice heard. Call your congressman, state representative, ward leader and county commissioner. Ask them if they want your vote. We on the east side are asked to pay for city projects for the good of everybody. What does the city do for us? Oh, that’s right. They drain our lake and take our land with the WQPZ.

Bobby Stevens

Norman

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