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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Downtown OKC: You Can't Get There From Here

If you're one of the unfortunate souls who must travel to downtown Oklahoma City these days for employment, my heart goes out to you - it is a construction nightmare that makes no sense whatsoever.  And the signs posted everywhere that are designed to "help" are little more than irritants, created on the 7th layer of hell to distract you from the fact that soon, your vehicle will need suspension work from the damage done by potholes and unmarked vortexes that are known to destroy even the most expensive shock absorbers.

But it is part of progress, the American way, and the growth of a city destined for greatness, right?

The Devon Tower structure will be magnificent when completed, to be sure, but the thinking that most of 6th Street and Robinson north of the Devon superstructure is just too much to handle at once in my opinion.  Oh, and there's the construction by the arena formerly known as the Ford Center that itself must frustrate even the most avid Thunder fan.  But I digress.

Progress is wonderful, but one must imagine what the conference attendee or out-of-town visitor must think of our fair city.  Nevermind all of the political strife and wrangling that is taking place at present, but consider the infrastructure disaster itself for just a moment...think hard.  We have two boathouses now down on the river and if you've been to the river, you will see that it is still a polluted mess that rivals the shoreline of Cleveland, Ohio a few decades ago. 

The message being communicated to the masses by the city leaders is remarkably different than reality.  Yes, we are a city on the move, a city that is growing and doing our level best to show we have not been adversely impacted by the recession and weakened economy - and it is largely true.  But seriously...if you're trying to get around downtown, pack a lunch and some mood-altering medications because you'll need them.