Ribbon Cutting for new ADA Compliant Streetscape in the Paseo

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Excitement was buzzing Friday in the Paseo Art’s District, celebrating the completion of an ADA compliant streetscape. It’s something the area has needed for decades.

It was a new day for one of Oklahoma’s most historic districts. One hundred years ago, it was known as “Spanish Village.”

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“In Oklahoma that’s ancient history around here,” said Mayor David Holt.

The now-Paseo Arts District was originally built around walkability. Everything you needed in one place.

“Starting in World War II Oklahoma City stopped requiring the construction of sidewalks,” said James Cooper, City Councilman for Ward 2. “Unfortunately, that means through the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and early aughts, the sidewalks fell into all kinds of disrepair.”

The sidewalks were not up to code.

“They weren’t ADA compliant. So you’d have like a little bit of climb that you would have to get over. But you can’t do that if you have a walker. You can’t do that if you have a wheelchair,” said Cooper.

“People without disabilities had issues getting around,” said resident Matt Goad.

“Lots of trip hazards and everything,” said Collin Rosebrook, of Paseo Pottery.

In 2017, OKC voters approved the Better Street Safer City sales tax. The Paseo received $4 Million. Construction lasted a year.

“It was painful too, while they were doing it parking was pretty much impossible,” said Goad.

Cooper said the sidewalks were widened to about 10-feet across. They also had to partner with businesses.

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“We had to literally construct this ramp that you see here with this kind of guardrail, in fact, so that someone can safely navigate entering into this store,” said Cooper .

Residents and business owners said getting around is now a breeze.

“It’s been a beautiful change,” said Goad. “I think anyone in a wheelchair, walker, or anything, will have no problem with seeing the art down here.”

Councilman Cooper said the best is yet to come. MAPS 4 will be constructing new sidewalks in the Paseo neighborhood.

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