NORMAN — It’s been more than 20 years since city officials first envisioned a walking and cycling trail that extended throughout the community from State Highway 9 and Chautauqua to far northwest Norman.
In the early days, it involved cleaning up parcels along the railroad tracks that had become something of an industrial eyesore. Much has happened in the interim. Ruby Grant Park was acquired near I-35 and Franklin Road, University North Park with its Legacy Park was developed and the Robinson Street underpass was designed and built.
The long-awaited final segment of Legacy Trail is nearly complete. A contractor is installing the remaining link between the OU campus and the start of the Legacy Trail at Jenkins Avenue and Duffy Street.
“Except for a few small pieces, it will essentially be complete,” the city’s parks director Jud Foster said. Walkers or cyclists can start at the southern terminus at Highway 9 and travel for miles on wide sidewalks.
Early morning walks or rides around the OU campus are a favorite for many in Norman. From overhead, it’s just a giant city park with landscaping, sculpture and lots of sidewalks. One of my favorite panoramic campus spots seems a bit cluttered with those concrete barriers intended to keep cars out.
It’s on Asp Avenue, just south of the Oklahoma Memorial Union. Standing outside the fountain by the Price College of Business, one can see most aspects of campus life.
Price Hall is the academic side. On the right is Buchanan Hall, where students (or their parents) pay tuition and fees and where academic records are kept; On the left is Wagner Hall, home to many student services. In the distance is the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and to the left is the McCasland Field House which seems to get better with age.