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Edmond puts 'vision for downtown' into motion

A crowd waits to listen to music at Heard on Hurd, a popular downtown street festival, hosted by Citizens Bank of Edmond. [PHOTO BY DOUG HOKE, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]
 

A crowd waits to listen to music at Heard on Hurd, a popular downtown street festival, hosted by Citizens Bank of Edmond. [PHOTO BY DOUG HOKE, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]

 

EDMOND — Edmond leaders are working on three projects that were recommended in the city's new master plan for the downtown area.

Members of the Central Edmond Urban Board are investigating updates to lighting, coming up with a way to identify and brand the downtown districts, and adding parking to the north part of downtown, said David Forrest, Central Edmond Urban Board chairman.

HSEarchitects was hired to complete a feasibility study on lighting upgrades and infrastructure expansion project for downtown. Council members agreed Dec. 14 to spend $16,000 for the 74-page study.

Considered in the study are lighting upgrades at the underpass on Edmond Road, power upgrades at Broadway, lighting upgrades at Broadway and lighting upgrades at the farmers market.

Freese and Nichols, a Fort Worth-based consulting group, presented the final update to the 1998 and 2011 Downtown Master Plan in July 2014.

The consultants were paid $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the Central Business District.

“The Downtown Master Plan provides a road map and focus that helps us get where we want to be,” said Forrest.

“It gives us a vision for downtown. It lays the groundwork for private investments.”

The Central Edmond Urban Board has taken 15 projects from the Downtown Master Plan and decided whether the project would be completed in one to two years, two to five years or five to 10 years.

They also decided who is responsible for getting the work completed.

“We're happy for the progress of our short-term projects,” Forrest said.

“Physically, I see Edmond having a vibrant downtown core with numerous urban housing options near mass transit facilities, many walkable services and retail options, a pedestrian-friendly relationship with the University of Central Oklahoma campus and a campus retail core,” Mayor Charles Lamb said.

Short-term goals

Projects from the Downtown Master Plan that are expected to be completed in one to two years:

• A parking management plan where developers pay a fee in lieu of parking

• Design guideline updates

• Parking lot update west of Othello's

• Marketing and communication

• Boulevard pedestrian crossing enhancement

• Identify locations for surface parking.

Longer-term goals

Projects from the Downtown Master Plan that are expected to be completed in two to five years:

• Zoning modifications

• Reduce traffic lanes through core downtown

• Partner with UCO for a performing arts center

• Relocate transit transfer

• Branding the districts and public space

• Use economic funding strategies

• Edmond Road pedestrian bridge.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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