Opinion: Response to Tulsa World June 11th Editorial

Response published June 11. You can read the World’s editorial here, or on Facebook.

Above: The Midland Valley Bridge some months before the unnecessary and highly criticized demolition began.

The Tulsa World’s latest editorial states, among other things, that “we have yet to see anything that leads us to reject the city’s point that the choice wasn’t between a new bridge and an old bridge, but between a new bridge and no bridge.” Now why haven’t you, Tulsa World? (Never mind the fact that the City Engineer ADMITTED to you last year that it WAS a CHOICE related to the existing bridge’s trail width…see the Tulsa World’s Dec. 9 Bridge Petition article linked from this page.)

It’s because you, Tulsa World, have not done the work to impartially investigate this. For example, you have evidently never sought out impartial engineers to give you feedback; if you had done this, then you would pretty much understand, by now, what has been carried out by the City. You have instead repeatedly quoted City staff (up to and including Mayor Bynum) like they are the final word, over and over again. People PAID BY the City of Tulsa. You have evidently not sought out one impartial engineer’s views regarding the actual engineering documents from 2015, let alone the bridge’s true condition (prior to demolition).

The “new bridge or no bridge” claim—directly contradicted by the actual engineering documents (as discussed in multiple articles on this site)—was the means by which the City unreasonably and FORCIBLY framed this entire discussion, beginning years ago. People were never given the pertinent facts which would have allowed them to make an informed choice to KEEP the existing bridge for DECADES (for MUCH less money, by the written evidence)…

The Tulsa World would, of course, have had to oppose the “powers that be” to seriously question—let alone to expose the dishonest nature of—various bridge claims made by the City. So we ask: WHERE was a courageous investigative reporter when Tulsans—when concerned and pleading Tulsans—really needed one on this issue? Unfortunately, even now, look at the current World editorial’s attempt to wash it all away…

There’s no doubt, facts DO matter—especially now that officials are GETTING AWAY with misrepresenting and demolishing the historic, beloved bridge, which evidence indicates could have STAYED and been USED for DECADES MORE at a large SAVINGS of public funds. Research the matter for yourself, folks…

Most of the existing bridge’s “necessary repairs” were estimated at UNDER 7 million by the actual engineers in their May 2015 document, discussed in this article; the July engineering report, discussed and downloadable in this article, clearly judges in its summary that the bridge CAN be rehabilitated (even with the unnecessary, costly, and better-abandoned “upgrades” the City was proposing); it also specifically talks about repairs necessary “in order to bring the bridge up to a state of good repair”(page 5-12 of the report)—read that again, A STATE OF GOOD REPAIR; also, the 2016 Vision package did NOT say anything about the bridge’s removal or demolition, and the City did NOT cite that vote as a justification for demolition in 2017, instead asserting the bridge “just can’t be salvaged,” in other words, deceiving the public; furthermore, the Vision package actually passed with record LOW voter turnout (see Myth 6 in this article, which includes a link to a Frontier article which begins, “Vision Tulsa passed at the ballot box Tuesday, but it obviously wasn’t a vision embraced by most Tulsans…”); and on and on…

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