Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bricktown Shuttle

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bricktown Shuttle

Article excerpt

Downtown office workers soon may find themselves enjoying a rather leisurely lunch in Bricktown, forgetting the parking problem that seems to plague the area during lunchtime.

Not only will downtown workers have this benefit, but revelers and diners on weekends also can forget finding a place to park when they visit one of the restaurants or clubs in Bricktown.

It's no miracle that's going to suddenly end the problem that's plagued owners since the area was discovered by Jim Brewer 10 years ago.

Instead, Mass Transit, the public transportation arm of the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority, soon may provide a shuttle bus service for Bricktown.

It's going to happen soon. That is, as soon as everyone figures out how the operating costs will be paid so that riders don't have to shell out a fortune to go to lunch.

"When we started talking about this (the shuttle service) we had hoped to start it in April," said Randy Hume, Metro Transit administrator. "This could be done in a short order as soon as we've resolved when to build rail service."

The public transit department is studying the feasibility of providing light rail service, using an antique-looking trolley, in a downtown loop as part of the MAPS transportation link. The trolley system is not a part of the idea of providing shuttle service to Bricktown.

Shuttling downtowners to Bricktown also is not a part of the Metropolitan Area Projects that is being paid for by a one-cent sales tax approved by voters in December 1993.

Still, developing that area depends upon not only transportation, but finding parking places for everyone who wants to go there.

"Really, we have plenty of parking spaces, but they are not close enough to Bricktown to be seen," said Hugh Kierig, Metro Transit's planning and development manager. "The problem is we've got to provide transportation so people will use them."

The problem is real enough so that COTPA'S Downtown Mobility and Parking Steering Committee has been working it for several months.

During a meeting of the MAPS Oversight Board's Transportation Committee, Kierig said that a survey is being taken to determine exactly how many people work downtown, where they are concentrated and what are their preferred modes of transportation. …

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