Wichita roads friendlier to bicyclists
Maybe you’ve noticed the increase in bike paths or the new bike lanes downtown. Or maybe instead of warming up your car in the morning, you’ve decided to snap on your helmet and hit the streets.
In the past five years, Wichita roads have become much friendlier to those who prefer two wheels over four.
“I’ve definitely noticed more cyclists,” says Tyler Pendergraft, a longtime Wichita cyclist. “More people are riding to work.”
Pendergraft used to ride his bike to work near Douglas and Webb Road each day from College Hill. Since he started working from home, he now just rides for fun with his wife and daughter. He says he has seen significant changes in the bicycle culture in town.
“We ride around College Hill for coffee, to Ziggy’s or Dempsey’s for dinner, and with no challenges anymore,” Pendergraft says.
Scott Wadle, senior planner for the city manager, says the focus on making Wichita more bike-friendly began in February 2013, when the Wichita City Council endorsed the Wichita Bicycle Master Plan.
The plan serves as a 10-year guide for the development and implementation of bicycle programs and projects in Wichita. It was created with input from more than 4,000 people through surveys, committees and community events.
Major goals of the plan have included creating a bicycle advisory board, increasing the amount of bicycling in the city, improving safety, adding bike paths and connections, fostering a bicycle-friendly culture and eventually earning Bicycle Friendly Community status.