Beautification to come to Lawton's 2nd Street

Lawton_2nd Street in Lawton will be getting a makeover after the City Council unanimously approved a proposal on Tuesday night to improve the road and landscape the sidewalk, lining the road with 30-foot tall trees every 30-40 feet.  The street runs between Elmer Thomas Park and Lawton's Central Mall.  City officials say the idea is to create and stimulate investment in the area.

2nd Street is the original entrance into Lawton from Highway 287.  Passing Elmer Thomas Park, the road welcomed drivers to downtown Lawton, and officials hope the update will do the same.  "We're shrinking the road in a little bit, still providing ample room for the cars, but we're really trying to provide more room for the pedestrians and the amenities," says City Planner Richard Rogalski.  He says the plan is to increase the size of the sidewalk from six feet to ten feet.

The sidewalks will also be street-scaped, adding trees, benches, and bicycle racks.  Rogalski says the road itself will become a work of art.  "You take the intersection and you put in brick pavers and you create some sort of design," he says.  "In our case, we decided to use a design reminiscent of this area, and that's the mountains - the Wichita Mountains."

In addition to a mural, new crosswalks will be white concrete, rather than white paint, to add an artistic element to the everyday.  "We're trying to make Second Street a place for people to not just drive through, but to walk through, stop, and enjoy whatever businesses or other amenities there are there," says Rogalski.

City officials say at least 80% of the money for street-scaping comes from state and federal grant money that has been dedicated to the improvements, and could not have been spent anywhere else in Lawton.