Respondents were asked what specific streets and highways should be given priority for improvement and what type of improvement. 65 of the 152 respondents, or 43%, identified expansion of a specific roadway as their top priority, particularly, I-44 from Yale to the River, I-44 and 193rd Street, US-169 from 21st Street to I-244, 31st Street (Garnett to 145th), 41st Street (Yale to Sheridan or Memorial), 81st Street (145th E. Ave. to US-169), and unspecified segments of 91st Street, US-75, and Riverside Drive. Twenty-three percent of all respondents stated that widening of I-44 from Yale to the River should be given priority. Additionally, 23% of respondents noted maintenance as a priority. Admiral, the Broken Arrow Expressway, Lewis, Peoria, and unspecified intersections were listed. Also, 4 respondents gave signal improvements a priority specifically mentioning 71st at Memorial and 71st at Riverside.
Other priority improvements noted were north-south circulation in midtown, west side streets, highway interchanges, downtown streets and neighborhood streets.
Participants were asked for ways to improve our transit system to insure that those who do not use an automobile have access to their necessary destinations. Of all respondents 12.5% suggested use smaller busses or similar actions to improve the efficiency of the system. Eleven percent recommended increased funding or dedicated funding to develop a reliable system. Approximately 8% and 5% of all participants wanted increased frequency and reliability of the transit system, respectively. Nearly 4% mentioned passenger rail service as a solution. Other suggestions included increased use of the Carpool/Rideshare volunteer program, further development of Park & Ride locations, and better land use and transportation planning coordination.
When asked to suggest ways to lessen to the negative impacts of transportation on the natural and/or human environment 29% supported greater use of alternative transportation modes (expanding the transit system, bicycle/pedestrian use, and developing light rail), just under 14% suggested better land use and transportation planning (compact mixed use development, infill development), and nearly 9% recommended shifting to alternative fuels. Most of the remaining suggestions focused on the street and highway system including more landscaping along streets and highways, better traffic control devices (timing of lights), develop carpool lanes and incentives, limit highway expansion, preserve urban forests/natural environment, and reduce speed limits.
Survey participants were asked how we should improve our transportation system to better manage the anticipated growth in freight traffic. Thirty percent of respondents offered improvements for truck traffic such as diverting truck traffic to bypasses or reduce truck traffic on local roads, expansion of the highway system to accommodate growth, encourage large freight terminal development, improve maintenance of roads, and remove tolls. Approximately 20% offered rail solutions including increasing the overall investment in railroad system, improving railroad crossings, update & improve rail lines, remove legal barriers to efficient rail operations, and pursue rail passenger service.
Other suggestions offered were deepening the channel at the Port of Catoosa, improve the road access to port, improve/increase marketing of the port, improve rail/port interconnections, and improve rail/truck interconnections.
In review of the comments for funding sources for transportation projects, four comments were most prominent. More than 40% of the survey responses suggested a tax, fee, or toll or some kind with 20% of those respondents suggesting a gas/fuel tax which is dedicated to transportation or roadway maintenance. Proper budgeting, adequate management of existing funds, and making sure Oklahoma receives its fair share of federal funding each averaged close to 5% of responses. Other comments included using tolls to pay for new roads, focusing resources on infill development, require developers to pay the cost of expanding infrastructure, and encourage more private investment.
In review of the survey responses, there were fifteen different topics suggested. Of all the safety issues the most common suggestion, with over 42%, was better or greater enforcement of existing laws and regulations, including reducing the incidents of running red lights. Improving driver education was recommended by 16%, followed by shifting travel to alternative modes (transit, biking, walking, rail, and barge) at just under 14%. Improving roadway design or improving maintenance of the roadway was supported by 13%. Addressing driver behavior was a solution for several participants with approximately 10% focusing on reducing impaired driving or driving with distractions, and 9% focusing on reducing speeding and aggressive driving.
Other recommendations for increasing safety were reinstating the mandatory vehicle inspections, widening highways, separating commercial traffic from other traffic, illuminating highways and roadways, and coordinating or improving traffic signals.
The participants were asked to provide any additional comments for issues that were not covered in the other questions. The most frequent comment at 21% was increasing the use of alternatives to the automobile. Also mentioned was improving either the roadway design or the flow of traffic on roadways, improving the coordination of transportation planning with land use planning, and improving the maintenance of the transportation system.