Four Options: OKC Metro Rail Line

Jun 27, 2013

Consultants working on the route for a proposed modern streetcar system in Oklahoma City presented four routes to the MAPS3 Citizens Advisory Committee.

All the proposals focus on the central sections of the metro, connecting Bricktown, Midtown and the central business districts, according to a June 26 news release.

There is no mandate for city council members to approve any of the routes, or a modern streetcar at all. A vote by the council could change that direction.

At a recent public meeting on transit in Oklahoma City, rail systems like the proposed modern streetcar, were called “faux transit” because they are sexy and create the image of a transit-friendly community while not serving the most people with the funds available.

As Steve Lackmeyer writes in his OKC Central blog about Oklahoma City Council member Ed Shadid:

Ed Shadid insists he’s not against the concept of a streetcar system, but opposes how it’s being done. “This streetcar, this process, this route,” he says, is the basis of his concern. He also he says he has no interest in diverting the tax money budgeted for streetcars to other projects. Before making any change, he says, it should be taken back to a vote of the people. He notes there was no vote of the people for a streetcar or any other project–that the ballot was an effort to get around laws prohibiting log-rolling of projects. (See more.)

Council member Pete White has also raised reservations on the streetcar rail project, and there have been other rumblings over the proposal.

The members of the Oklahoma City Council will have the final say on a streetcar and its route. But the public is invited to provide feedback on the plan online and in person.

The public meeting on the four proposed streetcar routes is at 6 p.m. July 15 on the fourth floor of the downtown library. Earlier public input was also used in the creation of the planned routes.