Oklahoma Bicycle Trail: Not Yet Circling the City

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Kb, Feb 2, 2003.

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  1. Kb

    Kb Guest

    The purpose of this post is to document the new (February 2003) and seemingly secret bicycle trail
    said to circle Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (OKC). No one has seen the trail. P The post will describe
    the bicycle trail trail, where to find it and provide a link to a MAPQUEST map. Threads that follow
    will document other Oklahoma Cycling Trails across the state.

    BACKGROUND: We have heard about the bike trail the circled the city for months but no one had ever
    seen it. I have found no mention of it on the internet. Even the OKC Parks and Recreation Dept.
    couldn't give me information about it. Is it a secret- a special project to be unveiled at some
    later date? It is said to someday encircle the city.

    After much searching, we found it- and it is a bicycle trail-a nice cycling trail running through
    some very getto parts of south Oklahoma City. It is not to say these areas are dangerous, but for
    the most part, they are economically ignored, declining, trash and litter laden and not too savory
    in general. The exception is the Grand Boulevard section which runs down the middle of the grassy
    median of Grand Boulevard/ SW 36th Street, which is quite scenic. But it does not circle the city,
    and it provides little utility in the way of restaurants, lodging, repair or shopping.

    Grand Boulevard once, many years ago, encircled the entire city. What is left of it still arcs
    slowly and does circle the city in a dotted fashion. Many parts of Grand are now highway and
    interstate but there are still sections that are city street. The trail is said to complete a circle
    around the city, taking the approximate route Grand Boulevard once did. The bicycle trail starts at
    the site of the old (1980s) string of pearls Equestrian project which withered on the vine twenty
    years ago. With the advent of the Oklahoma City MAPS project, which raised our city sales tax rate
    to one of the highest in the nation, there has been a re-vitalization of some of these old projects,
    like the String of Pearls which provided lake like sections of the Canadian River, created by dams
    dotting the river. OVERVIEW OF TRAIL: Trail starts at I44 and S.15th Progress south past SW 29 and
    onto the I44 Pedestrian Crossover. Crossover West into and through Woodson Park. Exit Woodson to the
    WEST and cross May Avenue, onto Grand Boulevard. Continue WEST, trail turns into city street, and
    share traffic on Walker Avenue (?) for ~ 2 miles. Continue west and Cross I-35. Continue west on
    NORTH side of Grand Boulevard (median end at east side of I35). Trail goes past Tropser Archery Park
    and curves around NORTH. Cross S.E. 29 and continue north along Grand Boulevard (Nice Wide Trail).
    Trail ends near RENO and Grand- under the I40-I35 interchange, south of the river. http://maps.yaho-
    o.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=Tmap&addr=S+Western+Ave+At+Sw+Grand+Blvd&city=Oklahoma+City&state=OK&csz=Oklah-
    oma+City,+OK+73109&slt=35.427800&sln=-97.530300&zip=73109&country=us&BFKey=&BFCat=&BFClient=&cs=9&n-
    ame=&desc=&poititle=&poi=&uz=73109&ds=n&mlt=35.427800&mln=-97.525656&mag=6&newmag=7 TRAIL START:
    Very unsavory area as of 2/2003. We found the start (or end) at SW 15 and I 44 between Portland and
    May avenues, SOUTH of the Canadian River and just EAST of the I44 bridge across the river. This is
    the site of the 1980s Equestrian Pearl which never took off. The bicycle trail is asphalt, maybe 6
    feet wide and divided with a yellow dashed line. It is easily recognized by the red with reflective
    white striped polls planted where it crosses some city streets. We couldn't actually see the exact
    start of the bicycle trail as the area is still closed to public traffic and there are a large
    number of earth moving and contracting trucks in the area as it is a site for one of the MAPS dams.
    People familiar with the area will know of the "Sand Flats" bike trails directly west, across I44,
    which has become a favorite place for flat trackers and go-cart riders. For those that haven't been
    there, it is a very nasty place, strewn with trash, debris, dumping and car parts from stolen cars.
    TRAIL PROCEEDS…: Traveling south from the trail start, the trail proceeds down the West edge of Kerr
    Village, a government housing project with a not-so-fine reputation for crime and violence. The
    trail continues south, sharing pedestrian sidewalks for about 2 miles. Where the trail crosses city
    streets, about 10 times, the TRAIL is marked with STOP signs, giving automobile traffic the
    right-of-way over cyclists. Crossing SW 29 onto a small park, the trail turns west and the
    Pedestrian Bridge spanning over I44 going and into Woodson Park. A fine park in its day, it is now
    over run by trouble makers and beer drinkers at night, as evidenced by the piles of broken glass and
    beer bottle sin the Woodson Parking Lots where the trail passes. I wouldn't be in this park after
    dark, or in the day time alone. Exiting Woodson Park ,the bicycle trail has been built in the 4.5
    mile, grassy, tree lined center median of Grand Boulevard, or SW 36th as some locals call it. This
    is the most pleasant part of the trail. I still wouldn't ride it at night, but then I'm not from the
    "hood". For MAP QUEST fans, The trail crosses at S Pennsylvania, S Western, S Walker and S Santa Fe
    (Santa Fe is the E/W dividing line of Oklahoma City). There is about .5 miles the trail that shares
    the roadway with traffic starting at Santa Fe proceeding west to Byers Ave. The road is not too
    good, pretty narrow but would be hard not to avoid completely as it crosses the railroad tracks. At
    Santa Fe, a one block jog south, crossing Shields and back north onto Grand at S. Stiles would be a
    safer ride- traffic wise anyway. This is not my favorite area of town. Over the RR Tracks and your
    back to the nice median, another 1 1/4 miles west to I 35. Across I 35 and the median disappears.
    There, the trail is constructed on the north side of Grand and follows it about 2 miles diagonally
    through Trosper Park, gradually curving North again at SE 29. Two more miles of old and abandoned
    industrial areas and the Trail ends at a very nice parking lot in a very bad piece of OKC. This is
    approximately one block south and east of Reno near the street call Eckroat. The trail end has a
    paved parking lot, a drinking fountain, and bike racks. Be careful of the broken automobile glass,
    the broken beer bottles and the busted car parts from car strippings. I believe the beginning is
    somewhat more attractive than the ending, but not much. At least you can see roads and houses. Just
    to the north is river, the infamous I40 - I35 interchange and Dead Cow curve, know for the cattle
    trucks that have overturned there due to the road design and construction. To the west is a series
    of old oil fields complete with rusting tanks and old lagoons. Not far from there is Oklahoma City's
    Bricktown Entertainment area and the ever-improving river walk. If you had a mountain bike, a bottle
    of mace, and balls of steel, you could ride on the oil road going west of the parking lot and
    connect with Eastern Avenue (which turns into Martin Luther King avenue going north). Crossing over
    the river would give you a shot at a view of the riverwalk, a view of the newly constructed river
    recreational areas and a shot at Bricktown.

    This bike trail is a joke, a farce and an embarrassment to Oklahoma City. Unless you were a gang
    member, or looked like one, you might not want to ride itl. It travels through portions of OKC that
    are neither savory nor safe if you aren't from "the hood". It gives automobiles, trucks and busses
    the right-of-way over cyclists where it crosses city streets. Perhaps it is a way of dressing up
    these areas of town with some shiny machinery and bright clothing. Perhaps it provides economic
    equality to cyclists who have thus far been ignored? I believe it was a way to spend excess tax
    dollars that could have been better spent elsewhere- like the schools in the areas where this trail
    passes, or city code enforcement along its route. But one thing I think I know now, I know why its
    been a secret. Copyright 2003; [email protected]
     
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  2. Kb

    Kb Guest

    The purpose of this post is to provide GOOGLE users with some searchable information on OKLAHOMA
    bicycle trails. This information was courtesy of:

    Stillwater Red Dirt Pedalers Bicycle Club PO Box 2614 Stillwater, OK 74076 405-372-2525
    [email protected] Serving the recreational bicycling interests of North Central Oklahoma
    on 04 FEB 2003.

    Bicycle - Pedestrian Trails Review of Selected Transportation Enhancement Trails

    River Parks, Midland Valley, Creek Turnpike, and Newblock Park Trails Tulsa, OK 25 miles of asphalt
    trials along the Arkansas River Parking on east side of river at Zinc Dam, 21st Street, 41st Street,
    71st Street, and 91st Street Parking on west side of river at 21st near the skate park. Underpasses
    at US-75, 21st Street Bridge, I-44, 71st Street, and 91st Street. New segment goes east from
    Riverside along the Creek Turnpike to Memorial Avenue. More information at Tulsa Bicycle Club and
    INCOG websites.

    KATY Trail Sand Springs, OK Rails to Trails project. On route of the old Kansas-Texas RR. Starts at
    Highways 97 and US-412 (north of McDonald's) and connects to the Tulsa Trails and downtown Tulsa to
    the east. Flat and tree lined. Interesting steel bridge crosses several active railroad tracks near
    downtown Tulsa. Underpass at US-75 connects to Tulsa Riverside Trails.

    Lake Hefner Trails Oklahoma City, OK
    9.5 mile loop around Lake Hefner in northwest OKC. 10 foot wide asphalt trail. Separate trails for
    bicycles and pedestrians on east side. Parking available on south and east sides of Lake Hefner.
    Trail goes through golf course, marina, and across the dam. Water and portable restrooms a
    various places. Access trail from Portland, McArthur, and Britton Roads KB ads: [ Mountain bike
    park- one block north of Hefner Dam on Britton Road. Never have been there, but can see trails
    and parking lot from top of the dam].

    Ray Trent Park Del City, OK 2 mile "Y" connecting residential areas with parks. Eight foot wide
    asphalt trail with three bridges. Crosses under Interstate Highway 40. Parking in Ray Trent Park.
    One restroom faciltity.

    Woodward Walking Trails Woodward, OK
    10.5 miles including 2 mile loop through woods and fields of USDA Southern Plains Range Research
    Field Station. Eight foot wide asphalt and one steel/wood bridge. Connects residential areas and
    two schools. Parking at schools and Senior Center Several park bench rest ares along the loop.
    No restrooms

    Kameoka Trail Stillwater, OK 3 mile (5 km) loop around Boomer Lake Park. 10 foot wide concrete
    sidewalk with two wooden bridges. Two rest rooms (Open April thru Oct). Water fountains outside of
    restrooms (April-Oct). Parking on east and west sides of the lake and at High School.
    11/4 mile trail south to High School along Boomer Creek. Next 1/2 mile on local streets. New 1/4
    mile section under construction between McElroy and Hall-of-Fame Avenues.

    Newcastle Trail Newcastle, OK
    12/2 mile trail along N.W. 10th Street in Newcastle (Southwest of OKC). 8 foot wide concrete
    sidewalk. Connects new and old libraries with two schools and Main Street. Parking at schools and
    libraries. Puckett Park and Veterens Park are on trail.

    In addition: Arcadia Lake Bicycle Trail Edmond, OK 8 mile loop- very sandy in spots- marked, but not
    too well- trail is woody and crosses several creeks. City of Edmund charges about $9.00 per car just
    to enter the park. Public, no charge access is rumored.

    All the Best,

    KB
     
  3. Ed Stevens

    Ed Stevens Guest

    On 2 Feb 2003 16:30:43 -0800, [email protected] (KB) wrote:

    <snip>
    >OVERVIEW OF TRAIL: Trail starts at I44 and S.15th Progress south past SW 29 and onto the I44
    >Pedestrian Crossover. Crossover West into and through Woodson Park. Exit Woodson to the WEST and
    >cross May Avenue, onto Grand Boulevard. Continue WEST, trail turns into city street, and share
    >traffic on Walker Avenue (?) for ~ 2 miles.

    Huh? You've got me going WEST from the SW29th-I-44 area, WEST across
    S. May, then suddenly I'm sharing traffic on WALKER? Walker is nearly 3 miles EAST of May Ave.

    >Continue west and Cross I-35.

    Even if I suddenly transport myself from May Ave. to Walker, then "continue west" how am I suddenly
    crossing I-35, which is is entirely east of Walker?

    <snip>

    Admittedly, I moved away from OKC nearly 18 years ago, but I lived the first 30+ years of my life
    there, and I do get back there a couple of times a year. While much of downtown has been transformed
    into something I no longer recognize (many streets and landmark buildings now gone) I'm certain that
    as recently as this last December that major streets such as May Ave., Pennsylvania, Western,
    Walker, and Sante Fe had not been transposed from their relative east-west relationships.

    Other than that, your description of specific neighborhoods is about like I remember them.

    Know where I can get an Oklahoma themed jersy? Perhaps something with the state emblem?

    Sign me -- "Confused"
     
  4. I C S

    I C S Guest

  5. Kb

    Kb Guest

    Sorry for the confusion. You are entirely correct- replace the WEST directions with EAST. I must
    have been watching a Clint Eastwood "Western" when I was posting this. Please accept my
    apologies....

    Ed Stevens <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 2 Feb 2003 16:30:43 -0800, [email protected] (KB) wrote:
    >
    > <snip>
    > >OVERVIEW OF TRAIL: Trail starts at I44 and S.15th Progress south past SW 29 and onto the I44
    > >Pedestrian Crossover. Crossover West into and through Woodson Park. Exit Woodson to the WEST and
    > >cross May Avenue, onto Grand Boulevard. Continue WEST, trail turns into city street, and share
    > >traffic on Walker Avenue (?) for ~ 2 miles.
    >
    > Huh? You've got me going WEST from the SW29th-I-44 area, WEST across
    > S. May, then suddenly I'm sharing traffic on WALKER? Walker is nearly 3 miles EAST of May Ave.
    >
    > >Continue west and Cross I-35.
    >
    > Even if I suddenly transport myself from May Ave. to Walker, then "continue west" how am I
    > suddenly crossing I-35, which is is entirely east of Walker?
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > Admittedly, I moved away from OKC nearly 18 years ago, but I lived the first 30+ years of my life
    > there, and I do get back there a couple of times a year. While much of downtown has been
    > transformed into something I no longer recognize (many streets and landmark buildings now gone)
    > I'm certain that as recently as this last December that major streets such as May Ave.,
    > Pennsylvania, Western, Walker, and Sante Fe had not been transposed from their relative east-west
    > relationships.
    >
    > Other than that, your description of specific neighborhoods is about like I remember them.
    >
    > Know where I can get an Oklahoma themed jersy? Perhaps something with the state emblem?
    >
    > Sign me -- "Confused"
     
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