OKC Central live chat recap: Farmers market leads discussion
The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer fielded questions from readers during this week's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve most Fridays at 9:30 a.m. to add your questions and comments about ongoing developments around Oklahoma City.
I think the move of the OSU farmers market to the new park is a great idea and will ultimately increase sales for all vendors. I noticed the announcement was met with a lot of backlash. Do you believe this to be a good move? What are the plans for bad weather at the park?I talked with Maureen Heffernan and she is hoping to visit concerned vendors at the Saturday market. She has some ideas that may address at least some of their concerns.
With the move of the OSU Farmers Market to Scissortail, is that going to be detrimental to Farmers Public Market? Or just more to love?
I don't know. The move is getting a mixed reaction from the farmers and the customers.
About Farmers Market at Scissortail Park, my thought is with the limited parking within sight of the park means that either market shoppers will feel they are "walking too far" with bags of food or people wanting to take kids to the park will be discouraged by lack of parking on market days. Of course, it's a super combination for people who live downtown or bicycle or take the streetcar. But what is the median income within a few miles of the park, especially to the north of current park site. Maybe move Farmers Market when south Scissortail Park opens with more parking?
OK, you bring a lot of valid questions and concerns and I've started talking to folks involved with this move for a follow-up.
The median income is obviously higher in downtown, but we also have a lot of working class and lower income folks living nearby in Capitol Hill.
Parking will be different, and I don't think we have that fully in focus yet. A lot more discussion is needed.
I'm a fan of MAPS and very pleased that it passed. I just want to point out that by calling this the "most unified" we have been as a city, and saying it's the largest victory for MAPS in our history are both misleading. It was the lowest voter turnout in MAPS history and that in itself should be a story. It's sad that only 10% of voters cared enough to see MAPS pass.
Turn-out has long been a problem, which is troubling because in the absence of people voting, decisions are made by fewer and fewer people.
It is not totally misleading, however, that MAPS 4 represented a greater diversity of people than with prior campaigns.
Former Urban League director Leonard Benton led opposition in the black community to MAPS 1. He was at the watch party for MAPS 4 and helped lead an aggressive get -out-the-vote campaign in the east side.
Police and fire unions opposed MAPS 3, but also enthusiastically supported MAPS 4 because they believe some of the more socially oriented projects will positively, directly impact their day-to-day challenges helping people in distress.
We saw more diversity in age groups, race, religion and backgrounds this time around.
Who do you see in the citizens advisory boards?
Younger, more socially conscious people from a greater diversity of backgrounds.
What things are still left to be completed from MAPS 3 and what's the timing on those?
Lower Scissortail Park is the only one I can think of. Others ongoing include the convention center.
I know the MAPS 4 oversight committee will decide which projects to prioritize. Considering they were some of the more supported aspects, do you believe the social service items will be moved to the top of the list?
I don't know. Probably some. Others, like the diversion hub, may take some time to plan, structure and tie in to existing services and the jail, which itself is going through a lot of turmoil as it is being prepared for a switch in operation from the sheriff to a jail trust and administrator.
I rode the streetcar last weekend to see Christmas lights around downtown. They seem to be running on time much more consistently. Is this what you are seeing and hearing?
Yes, it seems like they are working out a lot of the kinks and have also shortened ride times with signalization timing.