Skip to main content
Promoting fun and safe cycling in central Oklahoma
Oklahoma Bicycle Society
1805 Greenway Ct.
Yukon, OK 73099
OKCBike.ORG
Add Me To Your Mailing List
HomeClosing the Loop in OKC

Closing the Loop – initiative to connect all of the trails in OKC

The completion of the West River Trail in July has given OKC a wonderful network of trails. It is now possible to ride a 58 mile loop around OKC on either trails or bike routes. Well almost. It appears to some that there are about two miles “missing” from the OKC trails that would make it a fully connected network.

A meeting was held this week with representatives of OBS, the OKC planning department, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the Association of Central Governments, and the MAPS-3 trails commission. The topic was to highlight those “missing” two miles and start discussions on how we can close the gap on those missing connections.

It must be remembered that the process of adding new bike trails can be a drawn out duration. Many of the trails being built now had their planning start in 2008. So any wishes to suddenly add new trail segments must be tempered with the realization that it can take a while.

OBS developed a list of the “missing” segments. It is shown in the list below, illustrated by the city map below that. The numbers on the map correspond to the number in the list.

Number

Description

Distance/note

1

East River Tail to Eagle Lake Trail

1 mile – adjacent to the Indian Cultural Center

2

Eagle Lake trail to South Grand Blvd

1 block

3

Eagle Lake Trail to 4th street/Katy Trail

3 blocks

4

NE Grand Blvd at NE 63rd and Kelly Ave.

3 blocks

5

N Grand Blvd at 63rd from NE Branif to NW Robinson

3 blocks

6

NW McArthur from Britton Rd & to Wilshire

Reroute bicycles through neighborhood instead of McArthur

7

Crossing button on NW corner of NW Highway and Wilshire

Current button is on wrong side of intersection. Street loop does not give bikes enough time to cross NW Highway.

8

Bridge over Ok. River at Meridian

*** Completed ****

 
 

For items 2 and 3 ( Eagle Lake), here is a more detailed diagram:

 
 

What this is showing is that there is an existing trail that goes from S. 4th and Eastern to Eagle Lake. That trail is within 1 block of the South Grand Boulevard trail ( but does not connect ), 3 blocks from the Katy Trail on 4th street ( but does not connect ), 1 mile from the River trail ( but does not connect ), and 6 blocks to the Tinker/Draper trail ( but does not connect ). I am thinking that with a bit of work, this could be the crossroads for connecting 4 major trails in OKC.

 

 

For items 4 and 5, the map below show that the Grand Boulevard connects Nichols Hills to the Zoo area, utilizing the little used access roads on the north side of I-44. The problem areas are marked in black on the map where cyclists have to compete with 63rd street traffic along two sections. I think there could be some areas of improvement if those two problem sections were addressed.

 
 

 

Item 6 is the dangerous section of McArthur between Wilshire and Britton where the two lake trail goes next to McArthur. Most cyclists will ride this section once, vowing to never risk their life again. The proposal is to provide an “alternate” route for cyclists that would take them through the quiet neighborhood streets. The below map shows a route through the neighborhood that bypasses the risky McArthur section.

 
 

Item 7 is the intersection of Northwest Highway and Wilshire. This is where the two lake trail crosses Northwest highway. The problem here is that the traffic light switches too fast for most cyclists to get across the intersection. What would be nice is a bridge over Northwest highway. At the least is a new bike/pedestrian button on the northwest corner to trigger the light to stay on longer for bikes to safely pass.