New Development Could Cause Traffic Tie-Ups In NW OKC

Wednesday, June 11th 2014, 10:32 pm
By: News 9

Outdoor retailer Cabela's is coming to town. It's part of a retail explosion on the south side of Memorial between Pennsylvania and Western.

The big question now, does the city have a plan to handle the traffic?

At Memorial and Western, a new St. Anthony Health complex is under construction. The new Cabela's will sit right behind it.

Both are expected to bring more drivers to an already congested area.

For nearly 30 years, Moe Javaheri has watched the area around his business make a drastic transformation.

"It was nothing around here. You could walk across Memorial Rd., your eyes closed, nothing happened," said Moe Javaheri. "Today, you have your life in your hand."

More than 27,000 cars pass Moe's Ambassador shop daily.

"I think strongly it is the best part of Oklahoma City and Edmond right now, because it has the room for growth," Javaheri said.

Construction on Cabela's is set to begin later this year with the store opening next spring.

"I think that's Oklahoma City moving in the right direction," northwest Oklahoma City resident Ted Edwards said.

OKC's Economic Development Program manager Brent Bryant said the chain will create about $800,000 in sales tax revenue for the city annually.

"That's money to the Maps 3 program, that's money to the police and fire sales tax fund," Bryant said.

But, traffic improvements are still being considered. The city has yet to meet with engineers to see how they're going to handle what's sure to be a drastic increase in traffic.

"They're going to have to get some infrastructure done as far as the streets, etc. Otherwise, it's just going to be a nightmare," Edwards said.

According to the city, so far, traffic improvements that are being considered include new traffic signals at Pennsylvania and North Highland, Memorial and Pawnee and Western and Pawnee.

As the development in the area proceeds, the city says it will work on other future improvements as the growth proceeds.

"We anticipate the necessary traffic improvements that will be needed in the area, and we're working with the developer on that right now, identifying exactly what needs to happen," Bryant said.

For Javaheri, more traffic is good news.

"We need more traffic," said Javaheri. "We need more people coming here."

The city has offered Cabela's a $3.5 million "performance based incentive" that will be given out over a 10-year period.

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