The Norman Transcript

Opinion

August 25, 2013

Too late for Boren to take reins of Lindsey Street project

(Continued)

NORMAN —

My answers: A median may be a nice thing but will cost $300,000 or more to build, stock with trees and bushes, and keep up. However, the money isn’t in the original bond price. Will OU pay for that and the upkeep?

Roundabouts were never in the plan. They would require a major, not minor, change in the engineering design, which violates the ballot language by skewing the meaning of “other improvements,” a phrase clearly not intended to alter a future project. The phrase is meant for changes of a minor nature in construction contracts, not a major redesign that would take property, cost $5 million more and expose drivers to a potential high-collision system. If roundabouts were the answer, we’d see them all over this country. They function fairly well in light traffic intersections, but Lindsey is one of the busiest roads in the entire Oklahoma City metro area. Note: Shawn O’Leary, Director of Public Works, said the Lindsey traffic flow is already too large for roundabouts.

Extending the timing on the entire project will bring about problems no one has anticipated or examined because construction on this scale needs to be completed in a timely, coordinated manner. Changing the schedule is foolhardy, expensive and perhaps disastrous to some merchants who depend on access to Lindsey.

Ethical questions have also come to mind. Why did OU wait until the voting was over and the first design completed? They weren’t there at that first public meeting, while the second, at Legends Times Two, was limited to three individuals only who asked questions. Then the meeting was adjourned. The city chambers are generally the site for a public meeting.

Why wasn’t it held there? And why wasn’t more time given for public questions at Legends Times Two?

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