This post is inspired by a Twitter conversation:
— marilyndavidson (@marilyndavidson) December 4, 2016
I am not comfortable speaking to the entirety of the state of Oklahoma; I can talk about the 8 things that we can do to make Oklahoma City residents happier.
#1 – Learn how to use roundabouts.
They aren’t stop signs. Stop treating them like one.
It is simple: everyone yields to their left.
At least once per week I see someone frustrated at the roundabout at Walker and NW 10th Street because they don’t understand how they work.
#2 Replace the crosswalk signs on Broadway in Auto Alley with tire destroyers.
I love walking down Broadway in Automobile Alley. Crossing Broadway is a different story.
The city has done an admirable thing by placing signs at crosswalks, reminding motorists that they are bound to yield to pedestrians; but, I am afraid that they may be counterproductive.
These signs offer a false sense of security to pedestrians. Falsely emboldened pedestrian meets Oklahoma’s deeply engrained automobile culture. Danger!
If we are serious about protecting pedestrians on Broadway then I recommend those apparatuses that puncture tires when a car tries to enter the exit gate in secure parking lots.
Pedestrian in the walkway? Spikes emerge.
#3 Make all statewide elections non-partisan.
Oklahoma City municipal elections are non-partisan. Why not state-wide offices?
Making elections non-partisan will reduce the my team vs. your team shortcut that many lazy Oklahoma voters use to cast a ballot.
Let’s cast votes based on criteria like:
- Past history of success
- Policy positions
#4 Eliminate Term Limits in the State Legislature
Term limits on state legislators result in a less experienced and less effective overall legislature. In what other job do we fire someone just as they are getting enough experience to be great at the job?
In 1990 Oklahoma voters approved State Question 632, enacting a twelve-year limit for combined service in the House of Representatives & Senate.
In the view of many journalists, legislative and agency staffers, and lobbyists, today’s legislators are significantly less experienced than were their predecessors.
#5 Go for a walk and skip seconds
We are capital of the fifth most obese state in the United States. Shall we review the list of infirmities linked to obesity?
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep Apnea
- Reproductive problems
Diet is the key to weight loss. A nice bit of exercise, say a walk around the neighborhood, improves mood and outlook; burns additional calories; and, raises overall health levels.
#6 Eat a taco and chill out
There are 206,382 foreign-born residents in Oklahoma according to the last census. The overwhelming majority were born in Mexico.
Latino immigrant families are a vital part of many of our state’s communities, offering cultural, economic and civic contributions. Entire neighborhoods on the south side of Oklahoma City are populated and supported by Latinos from immigrant families. Businesses owned by Latinos employ thousands in the state.
Yet we gave them HB1804 in 2007. This odious law had thirteen sections. One went so far to make it illegal, punishable by a year in prison, for someone to give a ride to a person that they suspected may be undocumented.
Let’s just chill out and appreciate the contributions that Latinos make to our communities. A tasty al pastor taco from a family owned Oklahoma taqueria is a start. Find a good taco in Oklahoma City with the OKC Taco Map.
#7 Take the Bricktown Water Taxi
It took some friends visiting from out-of-town to get me, a long-time Oklahoma City resident, on one of the Bricktown Water Taxis. It was great!
The ride provided by the Bricktown Navy, apart from the December Christmas night tour, covers the entirety of the Bricktown Canal. You can relax on the boat and see the well traveled west portion of the waterway and the eastern section that ultimately ends at Bricktown Landing. Along the way you will see the impressive Oklahoma Land Run Monument.
#8 Forget the inferiority complex
Remember, the legislature in Texas does even more ridiculous stuff…
The difference is that many people in Oklahoma have a big inferiority complex and feel like every time there is some quasi- stupid thing that happens here, that everyone else will write the whole state off as a bunch of backwards rubes.
The bottom line is the huge majority of this “embarrassing stuff” is only recognized by people living here and very little of it has any actual impact of the quality of life in general or your life in particular.