Residents concerned about safety amid Gathering Place, Riverside opening

TULSA -- While some residents are excited about The Gathering Place, others are concerned about safety.

The Maple Ridge neighborhood butts up against The Gathering Place and Riverside Dr. Many residents are excited about having the colossal park so close to home.

Cullen Koger said, “It’ll not only add significant value to our community but to Tulsa in general.”

But that is not to say there are not some concerns. Koger said, “There are some general concerns that probably any neighborhood would have that we experience as well. Right now, I think there is just a focus on our neighborhood to be active and get out and meet your neighbors.”

Stephen Colburn, a neighbor, said, “Any time you increase the number of people in an area, you’re going to increase the issues that you’re going to have.”

Colburn is retired from the Tulsa Police Department and says parks typically bring in homeless and drug deals and those people would be in their neighborhood.

He said, “We’ve already had a large increase of people that really don’t belong in my backyard or in my house already. I’ve had two different people jump my fence that we’ve come across at weird hours.”

Colburn added, “I just think there’s a lot of issues that nobody really has thought out very well.”

But others say they are not worried about the potential for crime as long as neighbors are vigilant.

Koger said, “Being an active and engaged neighborhood will prevent a lot of potential issues that might be of concern to some people.”

Tulsa Police say they have not devised a plan for The Gathering Place just yet but will do so as the opening date approaches on September 8.

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