Bicycle Riders Want More Bike Lanes On Our Streets

If some bicyclists have their way, we'll be seeing a lot more bike lanes on our Tulsa streets. They'll be outside Tulsa City Hall, during the lunch hour, all month.

Their goal is to bring attention to the issue and to get the city to focus on plans for on-street bike routes. A 1999 a master plan called for 250-miles of on-street routes to be completed in 15-years.

But 15-years later, only 25% of the work has been done.

On Monday morning we found Scott Graves, commuting to work at Whole Foods in the Brookside area. He said he loves riding, because it help to keep him fit and it saves gas money.

But he also says it can get pretty intense on the streets. Graves said more dedicated bike lanes might go a long way towards easing tensions with drivers. Graves also said he loves Tulsa, but the one thing our city is missing is more access to alternative transportation.

In an effort to increase that availability, cycling advocates will be lobbying at city hall They say the unfinished 3rd Street Bike Corridor is an example of the work they'd like to see.

The project could be completed with signs and paint stripes. So it wouldn't be much of a financial burden on the city.

Biking advocate, Adam Vanderburg, said bike lanes offer a lot of value. You can get hundreds of miles worth, for a million dollars.

But for a trails like those in the RiverParks, it may cost a million dollars for just one mile. Vanderburg said the Tulsa area gets a "B+" for its trails, but on the on-road system gets a "D" at best. He says there's grant money and making more progress shouldn't be that difficult.

Ren Barger agrees. She operates a non-profit group called the Tulsa Hub. It provides bikes for people who don't have other transportation options. Barger said more road lanes would help their mobility to things like jobs and medical appointments.

Plus cycling is very good for their health. The cyclists say good access to Tulsa's roadways will pay off with a smoother traffic flow and more safety for everyone involved.

The mayor's staff says they are committed to doing what they can under the current budget issues.

But they also note that the recent "Improve Our Tulsa Vote" set aside $4.2-million to help complete the master plan for cycling routes.