Street Construction Task Force Members
The man charged with leading a new task force to study how the city can more quickly and efficiently do street construction projects said Tuesday that he has no preconceived ideas about how that might be accomplished.
“We need to let the process dictate the solution,” said Gary Ridley, former state secretary of transportation.
That process kicked off officially Tuesday with the announcement of the 11 task force members — City Councilor Phil Lakin and 10 private citizens.
The group has representatives of churches, public schools and local businesses, including American Airlines, Daylight Donuts and QuikTrip Corp. A representative from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will also be part of the task force.
The task force is expected to deliver its report in the spring. But first, Ridley said, the group needs to listen to what the public has to say about how the city builds and repairs its streets.
“Until we hear from the
Mayor G.T. Bynun announced the members of his blue-ribbon task force on street construction Tuesday:
Gary Ridley, former state secretary of transportation, chairman; Phil Lakin, city councilor; Stacey Brown, Jarod Mendez, Anne Keller, Pete Regan, Lindy Risenhoover, Padre Samuel, Todd Saxton, Hal Walker, and Bill White.
citizens, you really don't know what other problems there may be,” Ridley said.
The streets task force was one of several initiatives Mayor G.T. Bynum announced in his recent State of the City address. He also is expected to announce soon the members of a parks commission to study how the city and county can better align their services.
The timing of the task force is important, Bynum said in a prepared statement, because voters will be asked to fund more street work next year.
“As we anticipate the continuation of the city's decade-long focus on street repairs with a general obligation bond renewal in 2018, I am eager for this group to lend their expertise in improving the efficiency of our street projects citywide,” Bynum said.
Lakin said one of the issues he will be interested in exploring is whether the city's Engineering Services Department is properly manned.
“I continue to feel a lot of our city departments are understaffed,” Lakin said.
Ridley, who does not live in Tulsa, said the street problems Tulsa is facing are not unusual.
Ridley said he hopes Tulsans understand that government, whether on the state or local level, really tries to get it right when it comes to road work.
“And every once in a while, you have to stop and take notice to where you are at,” he said. “After all, it's their (the public's) money you're spending.”
Tulsa has 4,500 lane miles of streets across the city. To track progress of the city's street projects, go to improveourtulsa.com.