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Oklahoma City - July 2013


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Oklahoma City, OK — Streetcar Routes Proposed

July 2013

In July, the Modern Transit Project group (jeff.bezdek@mtpokc.com) sent an email update on plannig for the MAPS3 streetcar project:

OKC Maps 3 Streetcar Routes Proposed

Please find several important items in this email including proposed streetcar routes, a video link to the last MAPS 3 Transit Subcommittee Meeting, and important position statements on the potential conflict with rail by a proposed parking garage in Bricktown.

Below is the meeting notice and the four downtown streetcar circulator routes that have been revealed by the OKC Streetcar Team, JACOBS, URS and Shiels Obletz & Johnsen. You can watch the dialogue between the consultants and the Subcommittee members about these routes in this video.

At 6 PM on this coming Monday evening July 15th, at the Downtown Library, the routes will again be presented to the public for additional feedback.

If you were unable to attend the Subcommittee meeting or upcoming meetings, please feel free to leave feedback by clicking on the link to this form- Streetcar Project Feedback Form

The project design and route selection will continue into the coming months.  The first phase of MAPS 3 streetcar is proposed to begin operation in 2017.

OKC Map 1

OKC Map 2

OKC Map 3

OKC Map 4

Project Timing

2013 will be consumed with critical tasks such as determining the type of streetcar, verifying the proposed locally preferred route, evaluating stop designs for Oklahoma's unique weather, and gathering further public input and review.  Procurement of actual materials, track and switches should be started by the end of 2013.  Streetcar vehicle procurement will begin in 2014.

Actual Phase 1 operation of the system is scheduled to begin in 2017.

Your input into this public process is appreciated.

Parking Garage Proposal

A private parking structure has been proposed conceptually to the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority.  As currently conceived, the garage plan is in direct conflict with a proposed rail connection enabling easy future access to the Santa Fe Station Facility.

Proposed Rail Infrastructure that may be affected;

1.  Ward 7 (Adventure Line) to NE Oklahoma City
2.  Del City, Midwest City and Tinker Air Force Base
3.  High speed Rail (AMTRAK type not European HSR) to Tulsa
4.  Potential Maintenance Facility location for a Regional Transit System

Multiple correlating studies include the Intermodal Hub Study by ACOG, Fixed Guideway Study by COTPA and Oklahoma City to Tulsa HSR Study by ODOT.  All depict a curvilinear ramp connecting the elevated trackage through Bricktown to the lower level rail right-of-way enroute to the east.

Here are position points about this potential impending conflict by our sister organization, ONTRAC

1) Intermodal hub critical for development of effective regional transit system, including commuter rail.

2) Santa Fe Station selected after extensive 18-month study by Jacobs to determine best location for Intermodal hub.

3) Critical components in selection process included necessary track and platform capacity, effective commuter rail connectivity, and avoidance of freight railroad conflicts.
4) Santa Fe's ranking and selection significantly based on ability to expand terminal area to the east to meet future demand and ability to provide commuter rail connectivity from Midwest City/Tinker and Adventure District into the current and future terminal area by way of the proposed rail spur across the current North Bricktown surface parking lot.

5) The proposed spur was recommended as the best solution for providing connectivity into and out of the terminal area for the Midwest City/Tinker and Adventure lines based the fact that it (1) directly services the passenger tracks on the outside platform(s) of the current and future terminal without crossing or utilizing the active BNSF freight mainline tracks and (2) eliminates the need for conducting back-in maneuvers into and out of the terminal, both elements of which are critical to minimizing terminal entrance, exit and dwell times, which in turn are critical to maintaining system headways and providing effective service.

6) While High Speed Rail was a consideration in the selection of the Intermodal hub site, it was not the primary basis for the site selection and the proposed rail spur as some have suggested.  The primary consideration was based on the ability to provide an effective, long-term hub facility to service current and future commuter rail needs as part of a regional transit system.

7) As part of the extensive work done by Jacobs on the Intermodal Hub Study, all other viable alternatives for providing connectivity to the Midwest City/Tinker and Adventure lines were previously reviewed and found to be problematic due to various issues affecting commuter rail service effectiveness, including significant delays due to freight railroad conflicts and required back-in maneuvers, significantly longer travel distances and times, shared right-of-way concerns and cost issues.

8) All of the possible alternatives for providing commuter rail connectivity into and out of Santa Fe Station for the Midwest City/Tinker and Adventure lines have previously been evaluated by professional rail transit engineers and there is absolutely no valid basis or reason for wasting federal and local taxpayer money to conduct duplicative reviews to satisfy the demands of private developers and other special interests.

What's happening next?

This morning, citizens attended the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority Board Meeting to express concerns.  COTPA intends to solicit a study to examine the issue further, even though the three other studies clearly demonstrate the right-of-way is needed for the ramp.

COTPA officials did clearly state their position was to "not eliminate the link".

Several on the board cited a desire to have estimated costs associated with both sides of the conflict.  It was stated that ultimately, it would be up to the City Council to make the policy decision as to whether to remove the ability for a connection.

The Modern Streetcar project is managed by the City of Oklahoma City's MAPS 3 office.  A 10-person Modern Streetcar Subcommittee, made up of residents, provides input to City staff and to the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board.

About the Modern Transit Project and ONTRAC

The Modern Transit Project began as a campaign to advocate for the inclusion of rail and intermodal hub initiatives into the proposed MAPS 3 program.  With the successful inclusion of the streetcar and intermodal hub $130 million budget, MTP organized formally as a political committee to assist with efforts to pass the initiative via the December 9, 2009 public vote.  Records of campaign expenditures associated with this effort are available through the City Clerk's office.

The Modern Transit Project now exists as a volunteer organization with minimal direct contributions made by individual members and the Board of Advisers for individual educational outreach about MAPS 3 and complimentary transit initiatives.
The volunteers meet twice monthly.  Guests are always welcome.  Contact the volunteers at info@mtpokc.com

OnTrac is a not-for-profit public interest organization whose mission is to ensure Oklahoma's rail transit future for the citizens of Oklahoma. OnTrac seeks to achieve its mission by working in partnership with state and local governments, public and private organizations and the citizenry to create and expand rail transit opportunities throughout Oklahoma.

For more information, visit www.ontrac.org


Modern Transit Project
1015 N. Broadway, Suite 120
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102


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