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City Council to consider MAPS 3 Streetcar route framework on Sept. 24

Post Date:08/22/2013

(August 22, 2013) - Oklahoma City Council will consider a consultant-recommended MAPS 3 streetcar route framework on September 24.  The recommended route was forwarded to City Council this week by the MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar subcommittee and the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory.

The 4.5-mile route framework, known in previous discussions as "Zeta," connects the Downtown Transit Center, Automobile Alley, future intermodal hub, future MAPS 3 Convention Center, Bricktown, Midtown and runs a block from the future MAPS 3 Downtown Public Park.

The route is considered a framework because there are still design options that are yet to be determined such as the specific connection to the Midtown area and whether or not the Broadway segment will have a double track or form a couplet with Robinson.

"The downtown streetcar will reduce traffic congestion, connect workers and visitors to destinations, encourage economic development and attract more people to live downtown,” MAPS 3 Program Manager David Todd said.  “We are now one step closer to the streetcar becoming a reality."

The $128.8 million project is scheduled to begin operations in 2017. The streetcar will run on tracks that are flush with downtown streets and share the same lanes as other vehicles and cyclists. 

"Prospective routes were evaluated against criteria set by the transit subcommittee, stakeholders and City staff," Lee Nichols with Jacobs Engineering said. "The criteria include serving key destinations, integrating with the existing transportation network, maximizing economic development potential, optimizing system operation and potential for expansion, technical considerations and cost projections." 

Citizen input on the routes began in March 2010 when the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) began a series of seven public discussions and distributed online surveys to collect input about the initial modern streetcar route. More than 300 people participated in the public meetings and more than 1,100 online surveys were completed. The results have been considered throughout the route development process.

Consultants recommended this route framework after gathering input from public meetings, MAPS 3 Transit, Park and Convention Center subcommittees, stakeholders, City staff and COTPA, as well as analyzing current and projected data on Downtown housing, employment and future development.

The MAPS 3Tranist/Modern Streetcar Subcommittee provides guidance to the project and is made up of nine mayor-appointed citizens: Chairman Nathaniel Harding, Vice Chair Zane Boatright, Cliff Hudson, Debbie Blackburn, Jeff Bezdek, A.J. Winters III, Jane Jenkins, Stephen Mason, Jill Adler and Mark Gibbs.

MAPS 3 updates are available by subscribing to the MAPS 3 e-newsletter at www.okc.gov/maps3/. Updates are also available on www.twitter.com/maps3  and www.facebook.com/maps3okc. Log on to www.okc.gov/maps3 for project details and to read the implementation plan.

About MAPS 3
MAPS 3 is a 10-year, $777 million construction program designed to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City.  It is funded by a one-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ends in December 2017. MAPS 3 funds eight projects: Downtown Convention Center, Downtown Public Park, Modern Streetcar/Transit, Oklahoma River Improvements, Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Improvements, Senior Health and Wellness Centers, Trails and Sidewalks.

Contact:  Kristy Yager
297-2550
 / 863-2831
Kristy.yager@okc.gov

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