Holt elected as next Oklahoma City Mayor

Oklahoma City voters chose David Holt as their next mayor in February’s primary election.

Mayor-elect Holt earned a majority of the votes in the primary, so a runoff general election is unnecessary. He will be sworn in as mayor on April 10, and then preside over that morning’s Oklahoma City Council meeting.

The mayor is one of nine members of the Oklahoma City Council. The other members represent each of Oklahoma City’s eight wards.

Oklahoma Transit Association Names New Executive Director

The Oklahoma Transit Association has announced the appointment of Mark Nestlen as the new executive director of the organization.

The executive director is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the statewide organization that serves as Oklahoma’s voice of public transportation. Founded in 1983, OTA is comprised of urban, small urban, rural and tribal transit members all focused on one, overarching priority: To improve the mobility and access for all Oklahomans.

With more than 10.5 million rides furnished statewide every year, OTA members offer opportunity for thousands of Oklahomans daily.

“Mark brings more than three decades of association management, policy advocacy and communication and marketing expertise to OTA,” OTA President Steve Spradling, director of the OSU/Stillwater Community Transit System, said. “Our membership is excited for this new chapter of the association and look forward to becoming a more powerful advocate for public transit in Oklahoma.”

Under the direction of Nestlen, OTA will continue to serve as the voice for public transit in Oklahoma at the local, state and federal level, telling the story and expressing the transit needs of Oklahoma citizens. OTA also provides continuing education for its members, ensuring the highest level of professionalism and service among transit providers.

“Public transit is vital to economic growth throughout the state,” Nestlen said. “Our goal is to ensure policymakers and citizens realize the impact of our member’s services on the day-to-day live of Oklahomans.”

Will Rogers Trail opens in northwest OKC, connecting Lake 
Hefner to Oklahoma River

Oklahoma City’s first neighborhood trail opened in March as civic leaders cut the ribbon on MAPS 3’s Will Rogers Trail.

Mayor Mick Cornett Cornett was joined by Ward 1 Councilman John Greiner, MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board Chairman Tom McDaniel and other civic leaders as they opened the trail during a ceremony along May Avenue near Southwest Fifth Street.

The Will Rogers Trail’s north trailhead includes a parking lot at Meridian and Northwest Expressway just south of Lake Hefner. Heading southeast, the protected trail generally follows the Northwest Expressway to the Lake Hefner Parkway. A crosswalk gets pedestrian and cyclists across Northwest Expressway safely.

The trail follows Interstate 44 south as it wraps around the north side of State Fair Park, then turns south following May Avenue to the south trailhead on the Oklahoma River Trail system.

All but two blocks of the 8.1-mile urban asphalt trail are protected.

The debt-free project finished nearly $2 million under budget with a final cost of $11.6 million. The trail, the second of three MAPS 3 Trails, connects thousands of residents, workers, shoppers and visitors in the neighborhoods, businesses, hotels and more along its route within the growing Oklahoma City trails system.

The ADA-compliant, multiuse trail is designed for two-way traffic.

The 7.5-mile West River Trail was finished in 2015 and was the first of the three MAPS 3 Trails to be completed. Construction begins soon on the 13-mile Lake Draper Trail, the last trail included in the program.