MAPS 4EVER – Taking a look at the new MAPS pitches

Do you feel it in the air? No, not the strangling heat and humidity and UV rays that make you need to change your underwear after stepping outside the front door. We’re talking MAPS season, babeeeeee!

Yesterday, the Oklahoma City Council channelled their inner Shark Tank and held the first of four meetings to review local pitches for MAPS 4. I attended the first meeting yesterday, and will be providing weekly pros/cons recaps of the proposals being pitched. Here’s what we’ve got on the board so far:

Palomar

What It Is: A community center with resources for victims of abuse, whether it be domestic, child, or sexual

Pros: The impassioned speeches from women and children who have utilized their current space were emotional, and stressed how important it is to have a larger facility to deal with the tens-of-thousands of abuse survivors who need a place to stay or a safe way to report crimes to the police while avoiding repercussions from their abusers.

Cons: It doesn’t seem like they have an expensive stadium or anything else planned to bring more horse shows to the fairgrounds.

Parks

What It Is: Places where you can be outside on grass, under trees

Pros: The proposal includes upwards to $80 million in improvements to local parks, which sounds insane until you realize that most of our local parks don’t even have public restrooms, and the decaying benches and furnishings can often date back to the 1930’s or before. They also want to build and upgrade existing splash-pads, and if they can make it to where adults don’t feel shamed about running around underneath the water at the parks, this is a solid win.

Cons: They also want $15-30 million to build a massive soccer complex for regional youth tournaments with at least 20 full-size pitches onsite, and to me that’s an absolutely ridiculous request. Drive around town on a Saturday morning – there are plenty of places to play soccer. Also, this heat index puts me in the ‘fuck being outside ever’ camp.

Sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, streetlights

What It Is: Exactly what it sounds like

Pros: I’m biased here, because this is the number one issue I’m fighting for on MAPS 4. I don’t own a car, and I’m pretty sick of having incredibly close calls with death every day of my life because I have to walk in the street or ride my bike without the benefit of protected space. Being a second-class citizen in your own city simply on the merits of not being in a 2-ton steel cage is insulting, and it’s embarrassing.

Cons: It’s going to be more difficult for drivers to play Wizard’s Unite while blasting down one of the six lanes of Classen Boulevard at 50 mph when it’s been shrunken down to accommodate bikes.

Freedom Center

What It Is: The landmark former-HQ of the NAACP that was headed up by civil rights pioneer Clara Luper

Pros: It would be vital to the community to have a museum for people to learn about the civil rights movement and history of race relations in Oklahoma City

Cons: The guy giving the presentation is allegedly not an actual representative for the Freedom Center, and kinda flew off the handle several times during the course of the day, including commenting on all of the other proposals to promote his own, so he didn’t do himself or his project any favors.