Location: Wichita

Is Wichita Looking to Become Bicycle-Friendly?

In his recent State of the City Address, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer said:

There are more actions government can take to create a healthier environment. My downtown vision speaks to creating a pedestrian-friendly environment. A place where people can walk from Old Town to Intrust Bank Arena to Waterwalk, stopping at retail, restaurant or entertainment venues along the way. The PROS Plan speaks to creating more parks and open space, and more bike and walking paths.

As a City, we can support more community gardens and farmers’ markets. These steps are all part of making Wichita a community where people of all ages can find recreational opportunities that fit their interests. I am confident as we move forward with the PROS Plan, we will find more options for creating a healthy community. Additionally, we hope to gain ideas from an upcoming workshop on ways to create a bike- and pedestrian-friendly city.

Is there any real interest on the part of city leaders in making Wichita into a Bicycle Friendly Community (as defined by the League of American Bicyclists)?

The “PROS Plan” (Parks, Recreation & Open Space Plan), while acknowledging the “Active Transportation” and “Complete Streets” movements as “national trends” in transportation, focuses primarily on recreation and health, and on creating off-street paths and trails.

This is all well and good, of course, but doesn’t rise to the level of making Wichita a “Bicycle Friendly Community”.

But, the mayor did (sort of) include that phrase in his speech…

Wichita-area cyclists: What is your opinion? Are there any plans for Wichita to apply for the Bicycle Friendly Community designation? Does anyone there consider that a goal worth striving for?

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About The Author

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]

4 responses to “Is Wichita Looking to Become Bicycle-Friendly?”

  1. Joel Weihe says:

    July 9 2009
    I saw you, or someone, at the city council meeting Tue. Are there more ways to get involved in this fight to get “complete streets” project accomplished?

  2. Thad Davis says:

    Hello—Just a friendly suggestion. If Wichita is really interested in being “bicycle friendly” there should be significant changes to the current bicycle laws. It is not safe to ride a bicycle on the street with auto traffic, why is it against the law to ride on the sidewalk ? Bicycles are also a nuisance to motorists & riding them in the streets is not making friends with them. I see bicycle pathes being built beside sidewalks. What are we thinking ? Maybe bikes are a nuisance to pedestrians but it might prevent a few fatalities getting the bikes off the streets.

  3. Leon says:

    “In the interest of safety, one should use the sidewalk when riding on a busy street (except in the Central Business District where it is illegal).”

    I read it on wichita.gov. Safety is about being an effective cyclist and I learned that through practice and experience (since 2007).

  4. Dave says:

    i think we need something to tell the people walking the rules of the road as most people know that when biking on the path and you are overtaking a walker or another bike you say on your left.A lot of the walkers will move to the left forcing you to go off the path. causing you to crash like I had the other day at the zoo park . after I picked myself up and put the chain back on and was ready to leave the person that caused me to crash said next time you should say on your left.