Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I would probably be nauseated starting my run from here.

I seem like I'm beating a dead horse. Here is another story/rant of what is being taken away from Tulsa. To some, an outlet mall is the best gift ever--new jobs for our city, more sales tax revenue, and BARGAINS! And all of this for a mere 56 acres of land that is not even on River Parks property. A privately owned tract that the owner has every right to sell.

But what Tulsa loses is 56 acres of wondrous nature, over 10% of a natural habitat for deer, bobcat, raccoon, and several species of birds. Yes, there is still 90% of the land--but the squeeze is put on the wildlife there, slowly pushing them out. To some, this is a frivolous argument that I won't win. Hard to argue with someone with no respect for God's creatures.

This trail will be gone once parking for patrons of the 800,000 mall is in place. There are close to 2 miles of trails that will cease to exist. This does not include the several trails beyond the property that will now be dead end trails--we basically lose the use of them too.

This vista may still be here--it's on the northern part of the plot, and providing they decide to not knock down all the trees in the picture, it may be visible from your parked car.

So, once the construction starts, get ready for this. My heart sunk a year ago when hundreds of trees were bulldozed . The heavy machinery operators were tight lipped about what was going on, although they were courteous. They were simply worker bees sent to do a job. Who knows--they may have been as sick about what they were doing as I was watching them. I was glad they left a lot of the trees standing. Those trees may not be so lucky once construction starts.

Here it is, Tulsa. Lots of concrete, lots of steel. Retail/discount shopping is on it's way. It's beautiful, isn't it?

And don't forget the infrastructure. The City of Tulsa has announced that they have no plans to widen 61st Street and the HWY 75 bridge--and hinted that Simon Properties will be responsible for the improvements. A quote from a Tulsa World story published yesterday:
At 61st Street and U.S. 75, where plans for an outlet mall were recently announced, there is no public funding identified to improve roads or other infrastructure.
The developer of the site, Simon Property Group, will be responsible for providing additional turn lanes, traffic signals and/or other improvements to provide access to the mall if determined by the city, officials said.
With the easement they could obtain to widen the roads, you can be sure we'll lose another 1.5 miles of trail.
A biking friend of mine mentioned that one bright spot was this might solve some of the parking problems at the lower parking lot. I doubt it. Personally, I would probably be nauseated starting my run from here.

I am thankful that the Kaiser Foundation has secured most of the privately owned land in our urban wilderness. I just do not want this huge sore oozing sore put within sight and and sound of our peaceful forest playground. The land south of 61st Street could very well be the next target. Development there also means the roads are widened, and Turkey Mountain loses.

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