Stillwater City Council held a study session for discussion on the sixth avenue project and other agenda items on Monday. City manager, Norman McNickle, called on the city engineering director, Monty Karns , to present the studies and ideas from Oklahoma Department of Transport’s (ODOT) project. Karns discussed on the Sixth Avenue corridor process, the connectivity issues, and traffic data accidents.
ODOT has proposed project plans for Sixth Avenue, also known as State Highway 51, and scheduled for construction for Federal Fiscal year 2025. Karns said ODOT conceptual plan is to construct two lanes going eastbound and westbound with a continuous left turn lane.
More than 40 people attended the hour and 40 minutes meeting to participate in the discussion to improve the roadways on Sixth Avenue in Stillwater. Karns said multi-modal policy talks about being safe for all users of the network, and that there is going to be a solution if Stillwater residents all work together to listen to each other.
Brain Taylor, an ODOT division engineer, answered questions from the city council about length process, ideas for a three-lane roadway, construction plans with a consultant, and the environmental process. Pat Darlington, vice mayor of Stillwater, highlighted the idea of three lane roadway. Taylor said he has evaluated the idea but will not a recommend the idea for the city’s traffic.
William Joyce, the mayor of Stillwater, proceeded to allow the public to comment on any of the items listed on the agenda. Ten members of the public stood at the podium and addressed their concerns and questions to the city council.
Joyce called Keith Reed, a Bicyclist & Pedestrian Ad Hoc Committee member, to the podium to address the city council. Reed recommended the city council to discuss options for a three to four lane roadway. Reed gave the city council examples of successful three to four lanes in other cities with similar traffic counts to Stillwater’s traffic counts.
“Our mission is to enhance all qualities of life by promoting all forms of active transportation within the city,” Reed said. “In our opinion, a five-lane road is incompatible with that goal because it will create a high-speed traffic through the town.”
After the meeting was adjourned, Amy Dzialowski, a city councilor, shared her thoughts on the discussion.
“It was an opportunity to talk to the public about ODOT’s project and start talking to community about what this project might look like,” Dzialowski said. “We just wanted to hear different ideas and understand what we might need to look at.”