Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 16, 2012

Closure of Grand Avenue topic at forum

TAHLEQUAH — Officials at Northeastern State University say they could consider asking for permission, in the years to come, to close Grand Avenue through campus, but for now, discussion is meant only as feedback.

Talk of the closure surfaced last week during a community meeting as NSU sought input on a long-range master plan. Some students and employees of the university said Grand Avenue often poses a safety concern to those who must walk across the road.

The section of Grand Avenue that separates buildings like the fine-arts facility to the west and the University Center to the east has a number of crosswalks and one traffic light to assist pedestrians in trying to cross the road, but those don’t always help.

NSU Vice President of Operations Tim Foutch said Monday that there is no current plan to close Grand Avenue.

“There has been just general discussion, over a period of time,” said Foutch. “Obviously for us to even give that any legitimate thought, traffic studies and other true feasibility studies would have to be done.”

Foutch said previous city of Tahlequah administrators believed Grand Avenue to be part of State Highway 82, so he would expect university officials to have to deal with the state rather than local government.

But Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said city officials have long assumed the streets inside the bypasses are city roads rather than state highways – an assumption confirmed by a state highway official Monday.

Cole Hackett, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, said Grand Avenue has been designated as a city street since bypasses were constructed around Tahlequah.

“It was, at one point, State Highway 82 going through the middle of town, but now there are the [S.H.] 82 bypasses, so 82 just follows the bypasses,” said Hackett. “It [Grand] is no longer a state highway that runs through town; it’s officially a city street now.”

Foutch said if the closure of Grand Avenue continues to be a topic of discussion over the next two to three years, the university may run the idea “up the flag pole” to see what becomes of the issue. Other matters to consider would be alternate routes and the effects of the rerouting; signage; and budgets, he said.

Some who participated in last week’s forum on the university master plan suggested a pedestrian bridge or tunnel could be built across Grand Avenue as an alternative to its closure.

Nichols said he’s a fan of innovative ideas, though if it’s ever a serious consideration, the city and university would have to discuss who pays for the project.

“I’m never opposed to talking about these kinds of unusual ideas, but I have to admit I don’t know how it would be feasible” to close Grand Avenue, Nichols said.

He also expects the university and city could run into some confusion as to property ownership and rights-of-way along Grand Avenue.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered everyday to your home or office. Code for E-EDITION TRIAL OR SUBSCRIBE Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition.

It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • leatherman-chad.jpg Man gets 20 years for robbing local Walgreens store

    A Tahlequah man accused of robbing a local Walgreens this year has received a 20-year sentence.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man stable after crash

    A 57-year-old Tahlequah man was listed in stable condition Sunday evening after a crash on Old Toll Gate Road in northern Cherokee County.

    July 22, 2014

  • svw-Marijuana-guy.jpg Grassroots efforts

    Group seeks area support to put medical marijuana on November ballot

    Legalized medical marijuana will be on the ballots in November if Oklahomans for Health, the organization putting forward the proposed amendment, can get 155,216 signatures by Aug. 16.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • washington-marshal.jpg Man charged following June pursuit

    Prosecutors have filed formal charges against a Hulbert man accused of leading authorities on a pursuit and running a roadblock last month.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-3rd-Thurs-group.jpg Third Thursday downtown event gaining momentum

    Most new events take time to build a following and Third Thursday Art Walk is still gaining momentum.
    The cloudy weather may have kept some shoppers home, but those out were enjoying the evening and buying gifts.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Council to mull TMSA contract

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday are set to discuss and possibly act on a request to renew a contract with the local main street program worth $25,000 per year.
    If the contract is approved for the Tahlequah Main Street Association, it would automatically renew each year unless otherwise terminated or canceled.

    July 21, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Stocks