Jim Winner, Muskogee
Thank you, R. Rowland for your article printed 1/9/2021 informing all interested local Muskogee vehicle drivers, area vehicle drivers, U.S. 69 vehicle drivers and citizens of the City of Muskogee of extension of the virtual open house sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) until Jan. 18. (Visit and comment at www.odot.org/US69Muskogee)
I noticed there was no mention of the ODOT report of the U.S. 69 traffic being 7 million vehicles per year. The traffic speeding north and south on Muskogee's 32nd Street is expected to increase by 2050, which will then demand a six-lane superhighway.
The mayor claims we need U.S. 69 widened to seven lanes, because it will cure a section of Muskogee abandoned and run down over the last 40 years. If the 69 Highway supported local businesses as City Hall now claims, why has that not happened? How many businesses once there are now gone? The area is a bottleneck created by increased traffic flow resulting in an access problem being too close to a highway. Businesses do not stand a chance for success so close to a superhighway, because access is hampered by the very nature of the beast. Over 90% of the vehicles on U.S. 69 are destination oriented and are not visiting Muskogee for coffee, food, fuel, entertainment or sightseeing. Are you kidding industries and retail being welcomed to fail because repeating past mistakes makes sense. Duh.
32nd Street/US 69 is not a City of Muskogee amusement park ride. It is a dangerous and deadly street. The traffic problem needs to be realistically investigated, a solution must slow and reduce the number of vehicles traveling across 32nd Street. Look at the vacant buildings along U.S. 69 closed and empty. Stop putting, betting or speculating City of Muskogee money on no-return investments. It is wasteful spending. Look and find a better way to invite tourism, welcome visitors and give consumers a reason to safely shop, visit or sightsee in Muskogee.