April, 2016

Was this tree swallowed by a sink hole? No, but it is growing in Meridiana Gulch.

Meridiana Gulch

This month brings us to one of many Happy Feet Finds orbiting in the galaxy of Pedestria-trocities that, together, make up the swirling Pedestria-tastrophe known as Northwest Highway. This is but one, but what a lulu it is.

Located at 4334 Northwest Expressway is a seemingly normal office complex, Northwest Office Center (NOC). Dentists, accountants, and insurance agents carry on business here. Let’s just imagine that a few office workers become hungry around noon, and decide to buy some lunch. They are in luck because at 4236 Northwest Expressway (that would be, like, uh, next door) is a great place for lunch, Jason’s Deli. So, in a city where we collectively lost a million pounds just three years ago, it would seem reasonable for said workers to walk the sixty yards from their office complex to Jason’s Deli for a soup and salad lunch.

That is when they find they must first cross Meridiana Gulch. Named (by HapyFeetOKC) for its proximity to Meridian Avenue, Meridiana Gulch extends from behind the parking garage of NOC, to just about one foot shy of

Urban artifacts in Meridiana Gulch

Northwest Expressway–the Gulch’s very narrow northern rim. The Gulch boasts several amenities, including botanical life (above) and urban artifacts (left). The northern rim comprises a level walking surface. There are just some oh-so-slight drawbacks; said surface is narrow, near to 45 mph traffic, and adjacent to a four-foot drop.

In dry weather, crossing the Gulch is certainly not beyond the capability of most urban wilderness trekkers, but it is not always appropriate for those wearing office attire.

Google image

Would you really like for your dental hygienist to wear clod-busting stompers to complement her mud-splattered scrubs?

With the help of Google Earth, we can gain some perspective from the picture to the right. Notice the office complex– parking lot on the left side of the photo, parking garage at the extreme lower left. Meridiana Gulch, our main attraction, is circled in red. The lower left side of our circle catches the rather steep ramp extending to the upper level of the parking garage. We might add that as Meridiana Gulch extends southward past this wall, its depth decreases (the Southern Shallows of Meridiana Gulch). Jason’s Deli is located in the acute-angled building at the lower right of the photo.

Needless to say, many people who work at NOC decide not to go next door for lunch, or may even drive there because walking is so impractical. Is it any wonder that our city found itself carrying around a million extra pounds just a few years ago???

If you have a nomination for the next Pedestria-trocity of the Month, email happyfeetokc@gmail.com.