Politics & Government

Bike share permits approved by City Council

Cyclists bike on one of the city’s bike paths near the Arkansas River.
Cyclists bike on one of the city’s bike paths near the Arkansas River. Eagle file photo

Bike share stations are on their way to Wichita after a motion passed unanimously at City Council on Tuesday.

Scott Wadle, a senior planner who oversees bike and pedestrian matters in the city, said the program will be a privately funded pilot project with about 20 stations, primarily located downtown.

“Wichita residents and stakeholders have indicated a desire for improvements that make it easier and safer to get around the city on a bicycle,” Wadle said.

There will be no financial cost to the city, Wadle said. The issue went before the council because the city has to grant permits for the bike stations to be located on public property. Health ICT, an affiliate of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, contacted the city about the bike share stations.

More than 60 cities have bike share stations, which typically provide a fleet of public rental bikes that anyone can pay to use. Health ICT hopes to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony in May.

City Council members spoke in favor of the bike shares, asking whether they could be moved if an area doesn’t get enough use and whether the bikes will be solar powered.

“Just to clarify, the bike itself doesn’t run on solar,” joked City Council member Janet Miller. “You’re actually going to have to pedal.”

Katherine Burgess: 316-268-6400, @KathsBurgess