NORMAN — As a resident of Norman for nearly 20 years, an OU employee who lives, works and volunteers in the Norman community and as a member of the Norman Transportation Master Plan Committee, I am very interested in the future of Lindsey Street.
The University of Oklahoma and the city of Norman share a strong partnership with common goals. The OU community is woven into the fabric of the Norman community. As OU’s president recently observed, it is impossible to identify where the university ends and the city begins.
No one at the university, including President Boren, wants this Lindsey Street project to incur any unnecessary delays or increases in cost.
Further, President Boren has not tried to dictate a path forward on Lindsey Street. His foremost interest has been to make sure council members have all of the facts and alternatives available to it before making a decision.
Once concrete is poured, it will be too late to make major changes. Norman has one chance to build a beautiful boulevard as a gateway into the city and the university. Lindsey Street should make a statement to everyone that Norman is a special place.
The major issue is whether we want Lindsey Street to be a beautiful boulevard or an arterial road more like a highway carrying twice as many cars as it does today.
Everyone should be concerned if Lindsey Street becomes a major artery with 40,000 cars every day, which turns into a two-lane street at Berry Road through the neighborhood and the campus between Berry Road and Jenkins.
Will there be pressure in the future to continue the arterial road like a highway through that area, destroying the beautiful neighborhood with its magnificent trees and cutting the university campus in half in an unsightly and unsafe way?
I think that the best route is to design Lindsey Street to carry a small increase in traffic and to carry the current traffic in a more efficient way.