Posts about maps 3

Why I Voted YES For MAPS 3!

December 4th, 2009


I heard an ad on the radio today explaining that a vote for MAPS 3 is a vote for: more jobs, healthy living, and public safety.  The ad was paid for by the YESforMAPS campaign, so I guess it makes sense that it seemed carefully engineered to convince people to vote yes. In the midst of a major recession, who doesn’t like more jobs. And when you live in America’s #2 Fattest City, supporting healthy living seems like a good idea.  And public safety, who could vote against public safety.*  But I didn’t like the ad.  In fact, I hated it.  Because in the midst of the calculated message they failed to focus on the primary reason people should vote yes for MAPS 3.  In fact, it is the only reason I voted yes (I voted early), and it is a major factor in me and my wife’s recent decision to move back to Oklahoma City.  That is – MAPS has improved and will continue to improve quality of life in Oklahoma City!

MAPS 3 will add streetcar transit to downtown

The original MAPS was an effort to enhance quality of life in Oklahoma City and it has been an overwhelming success.  The laundry list of development, investment, and improvements that have occurred as a result has been recounted so many times that it serves little purpose to create one more such list.  But let me sum up the impact like this: Everday my life in Oklahoma City is made better as a direct result of MAPS.  If you live or work near downtown, or enjoy attending sporting events, or own a house that has a appreciated as a result – MAPS has made your life better too.  And our improved quality of life has brought with it a new sense of community pride.  People all over the city are proud of what we have accomplished, are working each day to make our city better than the day before, and, like me, look to the future with a hope and optimism that only a few quixotic visionaries might have had 16 years ago.


MAPS3 can build upon this success and ensure that our hopes and dreams today become line items on tomorrow’s laundry list of accomplishments.  MAPS3 will – without a doubt – improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City!  MAPS3 could provide our city with a park capable of serving as a physical heart and a gathering place for the whole community, something which has been conspicuously absent since the hastily planned grids laid out 120 years ago.  And after enduring almost a half century of a over-engineered drainage ditch, and only just now beginning to appreciate the benefits of having a waterway with actual water, MAPS3 could transform the Oklahoma River into, not only an elite international rowing venue, but an incredible recreational playground for the entire city to enjoy – whether as participant or spectator.  Finally, MAPS3 could provide the beginnings of a meaningful transit system by making areas around downtown accessible sans automobile.  Hopefully the future will bring a regional system that provides broader service, but either way, a legitimate downtown transit system will be a necessary first step for making a more expansive solution possible.

That is why I am voting yes for MAPS3.  Do I like all of the projects?  No.  But this is not MAPSforBlair; MAPS is an exercise in successful community compromise and MAPS3 is the most aggressive test yet of this principle.  You might not like all of the projects either, or are perhaps insulted by the simplistic rhetoric being spewed by both sides, BUT if you believe the city should continue working to improve our quality of life, you should vote yes for MAPS3 on December 8th.

* ironically it seems the answer is – according to the radio ad – police and firemen.

State Fair Speedway Will Meets a MAPS 3 Demise?

November 21st, 2009


My google news alert pointed me to this blurb at

The City of Oklahoma City has a proposal to demolish the State Fair Speedway to make way for a Grand Entrance and other buildings on the property.

A group has formed to combat this action. They are submiting the facility to the Historical Society, organized a vote against the MAPS3 Funding which would pay for the project etc.

And the poster provides a link that details the history of the speedway and State Fair.

Is this true?  Didn’t realize we were losing the speedway in the process of gaining a $60 million State Fair Building.  And is the building pictured above anywhere to be found at the current westside State Fair?  Also interesting to consider how an event that happened 47 years ago still has an incredible impact on what we are doing with MAPS 3 today.

And, while we’re asking questions, why does the Oklahoma Historical Society put copyright text on their (our?)  images?  Someone please explain.  I really don’t get it.

Oh, and Boomer Sooner!

Postcard Tells Story

November 20th, 2009


This is probably the coolest Oklahoma City postcard I have ever come across. Isn’t it incredible to consider the number of buildings, the amount of density, and potential RETAIL, that could be developed on the Cox Convention Center block? It was there before, and with a new MAPS 3 convention center coming there is no reason (at least, no good reason) we shouldn’t demolish that monster and put buildings there again.  What do you think?

Oh yeh, if you want the postcard you are going to have to cough-up $19.95 (click here). Might be worth it to somebody, but as much as I love this one, that is a little steep.

Upcoming MAPS 3 Events That You Should Attend

November 15th, 2009

ULI logo

ULI|Oklahoma Young Leaders MAPS 3 Forum

DATE: Monday, November 16th, 2009

TIME: 5:00-7:00pm

LOCATION: ARTSPACE @ Untitled | 1 NE 3rd | click for map

WHO: free to members AND non-members

PARKING: available on-street, at Ruedy’s Auto Shop across the street, and at Santa Fe garage

ABOUT: The Young Leaders Group of Urban Land Institute Oklahoma invite you to MAPS 3 Young Professional’s Forum featuring the Mayor of Oklahoma City, Mick Cornett. The forum is open to all ULI members, as well as all central Oklahoma young professionals. The forum is designed to educate voters on the MAPs 3 package prior to the December 8th public vote.

Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided. The event is free for members and non-members.

Please register online, so that we have an accurate count for catering purposes.



Citizen Forum on Public Transit

DATE: Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

TIME: starts at 7:00pm

LOCATION: OKC Museum of Art | Theatre Auditorium | click for map

WHO: free for everyone

ABOUT: Visual presentation followed by Q&A with a 12 person expert panel!

MAPS 3 Looking Forward: Mayor Cornett on the New Convention Center

October 28th, 2009

Mayor Cornett discusses Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 Convention Center at the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerces “Breaking Through” luncheon on October 21, 2009. The Mayor points out the need for the Convention Center and estimated timeline for construction. He discusses the important issues when it comes to the site location – Bricktown and hotels – and indicates that we will look for a community consensus on the best site before making that decision.

Vote Yes on Dec 8!

I haven’t always been the biggest cheerleader of the Convention Center. Slowly, but surely though, I am coming around. The Mayor is right, it is economic development in its purest form and will help to infuse downtown with people, energy, and the mighty dollar!

MAPS 3 Looking Forward

October 26th, 2009

imagi_maps3_lookingforward_02Hopefully I have made my point on the MAPS 3 public process to date.  It is clear that what we have witnessed so far cannot possibly represent our City’s best effort at a inclusive process.  That said, the past is the past.  There is nothing that can be done before the December 8th MAPS 3 vote to rectify the situation – including more blogging on the topic.

Instead, I am looking forward.   Looking forward to a favorable result for MAPS 3 at the polls on December 8th.  Looking forward to the post-vote public meetings, and planning charettes, and lively discussions (and maybe even an open competition) focused on finding the best locations for the projects and making sure the best ideas are implemented.  If such a process takes place in the future, then we can all find the grace to forget what has taken place thus far and channel our energy into ensuring the projects are a success.

I have been told by multiple persons over the past few days, that my public objections to the MAPS 3 public process will hurt my chances of finding a job in Oklahoma City.  Well, if that is the case, it is most unfortunate.  Because more than anything, I am looking forward to returning to Oklahoma City and contributing my energy and ideas in an effort to make it a better place to live.  That was the dream two years ago when I left to attend graduate school and it remains the dream today.

Quote of the Week

October 25th, 2009

“MAPS 3 will be great for Oklahoma City. But some things are more important than public improvements, especially maintaining an open and honest government. If it takes the disintegration of the latter, in order to obtain the former, then the city overall is taking a step backwards.”

– Blair Humphreys

Please note: I am not keen on the idea of quoting myself, but it was necessary due to the lack of commentary available elsewhere.

MAPS 3 Public Process Needs Correction

October 24th, 2009

Correcting a Poor Public Process



Something is clearly wrong with the ongoing MAPS 3 public process and I know I am not the only one who has noticed. The public meetings promised over the summer didn’t happen and now we come to find out that the MAPS 3 press conferences promised to start in October are ticketed events that cost regular citizens (i.e. “nonmembers”) thirty-five dollars to attend. I would like to think that these ticketed luncheons are not the promised public meetings, but according to the Mayor’s Assistant David Holt, they are!  I am honestly dumbfounded – my beloved city has resorted to charging for public meetings?

It is clear that the MAPS 3 public process is in need of correction. One can only hope that major changes are made in the next six weeks and that sincere gestures of public engagement are seen both before and after the December 8th vote.

Links to the sources displayed above:

9/17    Mayor and Council announce MAPS 3 proposal

10/22  Luncheons ‘map’ Oklahoma City’s tax plan details

MAPS 3 Central Park Plans Not Set

October 21st, 2009

Oklahoma City OKC Maps 3 Central Park

The final plans for the MAPS 3 ‘Central Park’ implementation have not been set, at least, that is what these statements from a recent Gazette article lead me to believe.

Asst. City Manager Cathy O’Connor on the park:

Assistant City Manager Cathy O’Connor said the total estimated price tag to the city is $130 million for the parks portions of the “Core to Shore” project.

“It is still a concept plan. It isn’t the final version of the plan — that won’t be done until after the election, if the election is successful,” O’Connor said. “Then we’ll have a much better idea of what everything’s really going to cost.”

And Planning Director Russell Claus:

“these amenities and the associated numbers are extremely conjectural. (This is) based on a very preliminary evaluation of the possible content and functions of the park,” he said.“As such, inclusion of all amenities mentioned, estimates on size and other numbers cited are subject to significant change before they are finalized — a process which will not happen until after a successful vote.”

I trust both O’Connor and Claus when they say the plans are not completely final, but I hesitate to get my hopes up that the average Oklahoma City resident will have any role to play in the finalization of such plans.  Over $500,000 has already been paid to Hargreaves & Associates to formulate the existing Central Park plan (see Council items – 8/4 9/29).  The latest fee addition added $24,000 for the consultant to help “educate” the public, as stated in the September 29 Council Agenda:

Public education for MAPS 3 has been deemed to be of critical importance for this project and, therefore, it is in the best interest of the Trust to direct the Landscape Architect to prepare and provide project presentations to various City stakeholders and officials.

Educating and engaging are two very different things.


Even while the consultant’s fees continue to climb, the estimated price of the Central Park has been falling, from the $154 million estimate, stated in both the June 16th and August 4th Council agendas, to the $130 million estimate released on September 29th and now widely publicized.  September 29th was also the day that MAPS 3 was announced by the City Council and the final MAPS 3 project list and budget estimates were released.  If all of the project estimates have undergone such whittling, the 2% contingency may be even thinner than initially suspected.

OETA Core to Shore Feature3

September 25th, 2009

Just took the time to watch this OETA video on Core to Shore all the way through.  Great production with a lot of people I respect and admire – basically every voice you hear speaking.  Gets you excited about the possibilities for the future of Oklahoma City!   There are still a number of details that need to be worked out with the Core to Shore plan and some “interesting” premises that need prodding, but we can save those conversations for 2010 following the passing of MAPS3 and a lovely Christmas holiday with the family.  Enjoy!

Picture 6

Click above image to go to the OETA site to watch video.

(via lasomeday at okctalk)