Wichita City Council approves funds for bicycle lanes, boulevards

08/19/2014 6:56 AM

08/19/2014 8:06 PM

The Wichita City Council approved funding for bicycle enhancements projects on Tuesday that would create several bicycle lanes and boulevards throughout the city.

The projects were initially approved by the council in August 2013. But after the designs were completed, more money was needed, said Scott Knebel, downtown revitalization manager for the Wichita/Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department.

Much of the funding for the projects comes from federal grants – $279,469 from a community transportation grant and $2.25 million from transportation enhancement and a transportation alternative program. The City Council initially agreed to pay $500,000 for completion of the projects but now will pay $1 million.

The total cost of the construction is expected to cost more than $3 million.

“The designs were more costly than anticipated,” Knebel said. “We’ve spent a year designing and discovered additional details needed for the designs.”

The design concepts have been submitted to local district advisory boards and approved by local residents.

The projects include:

First and Second streets: On-street bicycle lanes from Grove to Seneca. The project is expected to cost $661,979.

Market and Topeka: On-street bicycles lanes on Market and Topeka from Kellogg to 21st; $603,461.

Woodchuck Bicycle Boulevard: Shared lane markings between Ridge and Tyler connecting Sedgwick County Park to University Avenue south of Douglas; $790,033.

Armour Bicycle Boulevard: Shared lane markings between Rock and Woodlawn from the K-96 path near 32nd and Woodlawn to the Gypsum Creek Path near Towne East Square; $674,678.

Green Street from Wichita State University to I-135 Path Connection: Shared lane markings from the pedestrian crosswalk over I-135 near Ash and Rivera north to the Third Street path at Third and Volutsia; $204,852.

Sycamore Street: Shared lane markings from Sycamore south of Douglas continuing southwest to Orient and Glenn; $94,001.

Redbud multi-use path from Oliver to Woodlawn: Continuation of the existing Redbud MUP for an additional mile to the east between Oliver and Woodlawn; $450,000.

Delano Douglas Avenue Bicycle Parking: 24 bicycle racks as part of the Delano-West Douglas Bicycle Parking Plan; $16,133.

Beginning in March 2011, city officials began developing a bicycle master plan based on requests from area residents.

“The biggest request was to make Wichita a safer place to bicycle with dedicated lanes and facilities to provide physical road markings,” Knebel said. “In some cases, there are on-street lanes so bicyclists don’t have to ride in the same lanes as cars.”

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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