Location: Wichita

New Midtown Wichita Bike Path Approved

From the City of Wichita:

Bicycle riders will have a new pathway next spring that connects the Midtown area and the north edge of the downtown core area.

The Midtown bike path will run more than one mile, from the intersection of Central and Wichita Streets, north along Wichita Street to 9th Street, and then northeast in the former Union Pacific Railroad Corridor to 15th near Broadway. The $1.35 million project will provide a 10-foot wide bicycle path with decorative entrance arches at both 8th and 15th Streets, and a plaza with clock tower and drinking fountain in Otis Park at 13th and Market. More than 300 trees and shrubs will be planted along the path. Minor storm sewer work will also occur at various points along the path.

“This will be a very nice amenity, not only for Midtown residents, but also for people who work in the core area and visitors,” says Julianne Kallman, project engineer in charge of the design. “It will be a great complement to the river corridor improvements and downtown residential development, too.”

Construction will begin on October 30th, and is scheduled to be completed in April 2009.

John B. at Cycling in Wichita likes the idea of more paths, but finds himself a bit … underwhelmed:

Wichita is pretty much set with north-south routes on both sides of the core–and, again, it’s indeed good that this new one will actually go into that core–but this still does not provide what, in my view, the bike-path/lane network here most lacks in order to become more useful as an alternate commuter/transportation network and not primarily a recreational function: an east-west route that passes more or less through the city’s middle.

So: two cheers for the new path. Here’s hoping that sooner rather than later we’ll have an announcement of an east-west path or two that will link the east and west sides of the city to its center.

Read more at A new bike path! But . .

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By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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