Tahlequah Daily Press

April 3, 2013

The unfriendly streets


TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:

I have lived in the Tahlequah area since 1994, and since 2009, within the city limits of Tahlequah. Since 2011, I have begun running in town, and since 2012, also started bicycling in town. I am sure I am not the only one who has noticed, but Tahlequah is lousy for biking and running trails, other than maybe 300 yards of sidewalk or going around in circles at a local track and field.

Tahlequah is great for a pack or carton of cigarettes, a 30-pack of Bud Light, or a ballgame, whether it be baseball, softball, football or basketball, even golf and bowling. But – no offense to those folks who enjoy those aforementioned items and sports – it’s lousy for running and bicycling.

Despite what some people may think, these are also considered athletic activities. Some of the citizens of this town run cross country, bike cross country or participate in sponsored runs or races. Many of these planned activities do not take place on the high school or college track, other than those activities associated with those educational facilities.

Apparently one has to travel to Tulsa or some other larger community to be able to run or bike in safety – and sometimes not even then. It would be nice if the city of Tahlequah – hello, mayor and city council! – would take notice of those of us who like to participate in these “non-traditional” forms of exercise, and would like to do so in the safety of our own residential areas within the city limits. Most of the sidewalks in town are practically non-existent, except around the town square.

Luckily, there are a few safety-conscious citizens who take the time to serve out of the way of a runner or biker, but there are other citizens who like to head straight for them. Doing these activities in the evenings after a long work day are even more dangerous, and even when wearing brightly-colored or safety-toned clothing!

So, to those of you in the city of Tahlequah who are reading this and understand where I am coming from, please let us get the city to take notice of those of us who like to take care of their health and not get practically run over by high-speed motor vehicles on city streets!

Gene Norris