OKC bikers oppose new four lane road through the heart of downtown

OKLAHOMA CITY- Avid biker Eric Dryer says the city’s plans for the Oklahoma City Boulevard pose a threat to bikers and pedestrians.

Dryer “It’s not a safe place to ride. If you get clipped by one of those or they come too close, you’re either going to be scared or on the ground and that’s not a fun thing to do.”

Director of Public Works, Eric Wenger disagrees.

“It’s safe today. It’s very pedestrian friendly. It’s bicycle friendly as well.”

The Boulevard is 2.4 miles long, running from Pennsylvania to Byers along the former I-40 route.

There are four plans all together but only two are really being considered, alternate C and D.

The city is backing Alternate C and if it’s accepted, the Boulevard will span all the way through the heart of downtown, providing multiple exits throughout the area.

Dryer and other residents who live downtown are promoting alternate D, which cuts the Boulevard off at the center, allowing access to streets around the heart of downtown.

Bikers say the streets downtown are very biker and pedestrian friendly, but if the alternate C plan is accepted, riders say, riding downtown could be like riding alongside Northwest Expressway.

“We do expect as we talk about the Oklahoma City Boulevard, being the gateway to downtown, that yes it would attract traffic,” said Wenger.

“We want to see traffic here but we don’t want to see car traffic. We want to see people on their bikes, people walking, a few cars, people from driving from out of town who want to come park and enjoy the street and enjoy the shops that are going to be here,” Dryer said.