The directors of Pike Off OTA have been working with Robert Norman and Elaine Dowling since the first week of March to determine the legality of the proposed turnpikes. The OTA is not statutorily authorized to construct either extension: the E-W extension cannot be built because it is not permitted to be bonded more than 15 days from the three other turnpikes constructed in 1987. The S extension cannot be built because it not a route described by any of the authorizing statutes. Now the OTA is pending litigation for this project and they are unable to proceed with environmental or impact studies while the litigation is pending.
We have seen validation from local and federal government institutions in opposition to the reckless paths 'chosen' by the OTA.
• City of Norman - Norman Mayor and City Council unanimously passed a resolution in opposition to both extensions.
• Cleveland County - County Commissioners passed a resolution in opposition to both extensions.
• Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District voted to send a letter voicing grave concerns about both the impact the proposed toll roads would have to the water shed and water supply.
• Federal Bureau of Reclamation submitted a letter informing the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority of the sensitive nature of the land in the proposed path.
We are working with legislators to hold the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to regulated practices and to slow down their recklessly aggressive pace.
• SB1610 - (See Urgent Calls) Senator Standridge's bill to require impact studies be performed for the south extension passed in the Oklahoma Senate. However, the following day the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority modified the naming of the project to circumvent the bill. Legislation noticed, and our legislators are not happy about the blatant attempt to work around legislative authority.
We have been documenting all the precious and irreplaceable features that lay in the direct path of these proposed toll roads.
• Rose rocks - We are amassing a significant database of rose rocks and well on our way to being granted geoheritage status. We just want to be thorough before we submit our paperwork, so tell your neighbors to be reaching out to Dr Amy Cerato if they have rose rocks on their property so we can get it documented!
Got Rose Rocks?
Dr. Amy Cerato is interested in knowing more! Please email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org so she can work on mapping out where this rare geological formation is found.
• Cemeteries - Public and private cemeteries are being identified and documented which pepper the landscape
• Watershed/Water supply - Impacts to the watershed and local water supplies have caught the attention of the City of Norman, COMCD and Federal Bureau of Reclamation
• Human Impact - Tanner Naeher has been doing a terrific job documenting the human side of this situation. Reach out if you haven't already done so to get on his list to share your story of what you stand to lose if this turnpike were to go through.
• Historic registry - The Oklahoma Historical Society is receiving a significant number of applications. Keep them coming!
We have been forming strategic relationships with other organizations.
• Clean Up Oklahoma - We have been exploring the potential for overlapping efforts that can pave for a fruitful relationship with Clean Up Oklahoma, an organization dedicated to rooting out corruption in our legislation
• Institute of Justice - "The Institute for Justice litigates to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans. IJ defends ordinary people who want to earn an honest living, own and enjoy their property, speak freely, and give their children a good education but find that the government is standing in their way. We fight to hold government officials accountable when they violate constitutional rights and to prevent governments at all
levels from bending the rules to expand their power or advance illegitimate ends. IJ wins three out of four cases through outright courtroom victories or legislative change prompted by our lawsuits."
PHASE II. TO REESTABLISH CONTROL OVER OUR INFRASTRUCTURE, REINSTITUTE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND REDUCE THE OVERREACH OF THE OKLAHOMA TURNPIKE AUTHORITY
2023 Legislative Session
• Senator Standridge has expressed agreement with our cause and in August/September will work with us to craft bills for next year's legislative session to achieve our intended objectives if they can be achieved in a way that is likely to succeed on the floor
• Senator Boren and Representative Rosecrants are also friendly to our cause in the Capitol, and as we forge more alliances we stand a better chance to get a successful bill passed through legislation. (Governor Stitt may be able to veto any bill that passes through unless it carries a super majority.)
• Remove any approvals for turnpikes through Norman
• Remove the OTA's ability to construct new turnpikes or at minimum:
Add significant burden to the OTA to construct new turnpikes (hopefully halt the frivolous turnpike construction)
Add significant burden to the OTA to use eminent domain (could simultaneously stop frivolous turnpikes and kill the Norman extensions)
• We are presently pushing to expand our membership and to spread our message, albeit slow-going while also fighting the extensions.
• Once we achieve some breathing room with these proposed Norman projects, we can begin the process of crafting the initiative petition. We want to strike a balance of being simple enough to get to ballot cheaply and quickly yet thorough enough to end the OTA's ability to construct new turnpikes.
• Alliances with organizations of parallel goals will be of tremendous value to all aspects of the initiative petition.
This summer a documentary will be filmed about this ordeal that features the unprecedented destruction, the toll on the people and their psychological health, and how the people may simply be merely collateral damage in the course of corruption within the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to funnel bond money backed by the people, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to funnel tax money paid by the people, and the role of 'engineering' firms headed by former heads of ODOT and OTA. The documentary will be relatively brief so as to be used to spread awareness to the rest of the state of what is happening to all Oklahomans, but will be used to pitch a series through Netflix and Amazon Prime.