The second Oklahoma Bike Summit will be held Friday, January 17th and Saturday, January 18th in Tulsa at the historic Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Billed as an event for “bicyclists, urban planners, transportation engineers, health professionals, architects, elected officials, state agencies and civic leaders”, the 2014 Oklahoma Bike Summit will feature two days of nationally-recognized speakers and homegrown experts and advocates to discuss the benefits bicycling offers the citizens and economy of Oklahoma.
Many cities, including Oklahoma City, are in the process of enhancing their public transportation systems with new technologies, cleaner fuels, and better service. These investments provide incredible benefits to the region in terms of traffic management, economic development, equitable transportation access, and public health. Previously, we looked at how public transportation benefits a region in terms of congestion management and economic development. In this installment of our series on public transportation benefits, we will consider the environmental benefits that public transportation has to offer.
First developed in 2007, the Oklahoma City Area Regional Transportation Study Area (OCARTS) Regional Snow Routes system serves to assist in the regional coordination of ice and snow removal to increase safety for all citizens and travelers throughout Central Oklahoma.
The number one cause of roadway congestion in Central Oklahoma is traffic incidents. Oklahoma does not have an unusual number or crashes per capita, ranking 21st in number of fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled, but the traffic delay caused by a crash blocking travel lanes makes up approximately 60 percent of all congestion on the region’s roadways. Drivers can help reduce travel delay, chance of secondary crashes and overall cost spent on congestion by remembering to quickly clear the roadway if you are involved in a minor crash. In fact, it’s the law.
The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) is hosting a series of public meetings throughout the Central Oklahoma region to encourage feedback and comments for the Commuter Corridors Study, which is a comprehensive alternatives analysis of potential future transit modes and alignments within three corridors in the greater metropolitan area.
On November 1, ACOG will issue a call for projects to begin preparing a new metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for federal fiscal years 2015-2018. Consistent with federal legislation—Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)—ACOG prepares a TIP every other year covering a four-year period.
The annual guessing game for the Supreme Court docket is currently on and one of the cases may cover familiar ground. Although a Supreme Court decision for Oklahoma concerning water was handed down last spring, there is one more water case for Texas that must be sorted out. This one concerns another neighbor – New Mexico.
In February 2013, Texas filed suit against New Mexico and Colorado in the United States Supreme Court in a battle concerning the Rio Grande Compact. All of Texas’ claims are based upon alleged wrongful conduct by and in New Mexico. Texas claims that New Mexico is illegally depleting the Rio Grande’s flow before it reaches the New Mexico/Texas state line. Texas claims that New Mexico allows impermissible diversion of surface water from the river and that increased groundwater pumping also depletes the river by causing the surface water to leave the river to recharge connected underground aquifers. Although Texas does not point to a specific term of the Compact that was violated and does not dispute that New Mexico is delivering the correct amount of water into the Elephant Butte Reservoir, it claims that the “purpose and intent” of the Compact is violated when New Mexico allows water to be diverted prior to delivery into Texas.
In response, New Mexico claims that its only obligation under the Compact is to deliver a certain amount of water into the Elephant Butte Reservoir. The Compact does not require any specific amount of water be delivered to the Texas/New Mexico state line. New Mexico claims that what happens between the Reservoir and the Texas state line is governed by New Mexico law and not by the Compact. New Mexico claims that the wells drilled below the Reservoir are proper as they were drilled based upon water rights that were granted under New Mexico law.
To review the case, go to:http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/1-7-13-Texas-v-NM-booklet.pdf
In an illustration of the tensions over this issue, a spokesman for New Mexico Governor, Susana Martinez, has said that New Mexico “will not cede one inch of New Mexico water to Texas.”