INCOG

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilors are seeking public input regarding how best to use a proposed renewal of the Vision 2025 sales tax for economic development here in our community. Several ideas have recently been put forth -- from funding for the Tulsa Zoo to enhancements to the Pearl District, from the purchase of the downtown Tulsa Club Building to refurbishment of the Gilcrease Museum and its buildings and grounds (to name but a few) -- and on this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn another such proposal.

From public transportation to park spaces, from educational opportunities to crime stats, from ethnic diversity to urban density, how does Tulsa measure up to other cities of its kind throughout the nation? In mid-January, the Tulsa City Council was presented with the annual Quality of Life Report for our city. This report -- per the City Council website, where you can read all of it -- is "an objective analysis of our community, compared to 20 peer cities.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with urban planner and professional engineer Charles Marohn, who is also the president and founder of a nonprofit called Strong Towns. This organization works to help America's towns and cities to become financially resilient and economically strong -- and as is noted at the Strong Towns website: "Enduring prosperity cannot be artificially created from the outside but must be built from within, incrementally over time.

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The Indian Nations Council of Governments (or INCOG) is a voluntary group of local and tribal governments in the Greater Tulsa community that offers planning and coordination services to help with such ongoing Tulsa metro-area challenges as land use, transportation, community and economic development, environmental quality, public safety, and services for older adults. Last year, INCOG put forth a mass-transit master plan, and now --- in an effort that will roll out next week as well as later in the spring --- INCOG is offering a bike-and-pedestrian master plan.

On this edition of our show, we get an update on Tulsa's Regional Transit System Plan, which is also known as Fast Forward. The plan was adopted last year, in October of 2011, and operations are now moving forward on the first major enhancement to the current Tulsa Transit set-up. That first enhancement is a proposed BRT, or Bus Rapid Transit, that would run along the lengthy Peoria/Riverside Corridor (which is 20+ miles long, from Far North to Far South Tulsa).