Welcome back to our ongoing coverage of a beloved pastime of Oklahoma City: the trotting out of MAPS presentations! Yes, every few years, it’s time for local agencies, non-profits, special interest groups and the like to write out their Christmas lists and pitch them to city council in the hopes that they’ll be able to get some sweet sales tax money and make their wild dreams come true.
What It Is: Improvements and expansions to EMBARK, including Bus Rapid Transit, park and ride stops, and more bus shelters.
Pros: Making it easier and more convenient for people to use public transit has a host of benefits, like reducing traffic.
Cons: LOL just get a car ya dummy, the bus is for chumps!
What It Is: Building new affordable housing units, preserving existing ones, as well as adding supportive housing to stem the city’s homelessness problem
Pros: Lack of housing is the largest barrier to improving people’s lives. Without an address or a place to sleep and eat, it’s pretty challenging to become employed and get back on your feet.
Cons: Less homeless people will make it more difficult for NIMBY’s to complain on Nextdoor.
Chesapeake Arena & NBA enhancements
What It Is: Improvements to the ‘Peake, like expanding entrances and adding a food court.
Pros: The publicly owned arena, which was the darling project of the original MAPS, isn’t exactly a world class arena. That’s why Kevin Durant left, as everyone knows.
Cons: It’s too bad that there’s is no possible way one of the arena’s multi-billion dollar corporate partners could fund any of these improvements. If this doesn’t pass, the Thunder is legally required to move back to Seattle.
What It Is: A center to provide education, mental health services, and other services for people dealing with the criminal justice system.
Pros: Just like how housing can keep someone stable and off the streets, having a support system like this will help keep people out of our awful and overcrowded jail.
Cons: There’s a lot of useful skills you can learn in jail, like how to make wine in a toilet tank, or how to maintain your sanity when you’ve been held for weeks without being officially charged with a crime.