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Union Station, the I-40 Crosstown & the Future of Mass Transit in Central OK: What Other Cities Did (Feb 26, 2007)
In the near future, work crews could begin tearing up many of the tracks behind Oklahoma City’s Union Train Station to make way for the new, ten lane I-40 Crosstown Expressway. It’s been several decades since the station was used as a passenger depot, and its rail yard has been used only for freight traffic in recent years, but some rail advocates are concerned that removing the tracks will make it difficult for the city to build a passenger rail network in the future. Political leaders and planners with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation reply that they’ve considered several alternate routes, but this was the best possible option. They also note that the highway’s design will leave sufficient room for two sets of tracks, so they say Union Station could theoretically still be used as a passenger depot.

In their arguments to save the rail yard, opponents of the Crosstown plan have often cited recent passenger rail expansions in other cities throughout the region, so today we speak with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson to get their perspectives. We also hear from Tom Elmore, Executive Director of the Moore-based North American Transportation Institute, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and John Bowman, ODOT's Project Development Engineer for the I-40 Crosstown Expressway.

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