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The Increasing Destruction Caused by the OTA

(source: FB – NO MORE TURNPIKES, Oklahoma!)

Looking at all the turnpike projects over the last 29 years, and using historical imagery, I plotted all the homes that have been destroyed. I then calculated the number of homes destroyed per mile of turnpike, to normalize the data by length for a more direct comparison of destruction. The data is plotted in ascending order to ease visual comparison.
The proposed turnpikes through the middle and top of Norman is a pretty significant outlier. It is a quantifiably different; an unprecedented situation that I would argue evidences a significant deviation from the methodologies used in the past.

While less subtle, the two phases of the Kickapoo turnpike are significantly higher than the other projects, as well. That may explain the familiar outrage, and ongoing trauma that their community endured. I would further argue that those legs also represent a significant deviation from reliable methodologies.

One could speculate that these are just numbers, and that the high ratio doesn’t necessarily mean anything beyond the novelty of statistics. I would point to Harrah and the Kickapoo turnpike: interpreting these statistics would have hinted that the projects were more devastating than any project before. And they would have been right. With the proposed turnpike in Norman, these statistics are hinting that the situation would be nearly an order of magnitude more devastating.

This wasn’t as time consuming as you might think — the Kilpatrick phases II (2001) and III (2020) destroyed a total of 6 homes. They also adhered to the whole *bypassing* cities and towns, thing, whereas the Kickapoo turnpike cut straight through Harrah and, if incorporated, Newalla.