Downtown is Wichita’s economic, cultural, and entertainment heart. The City of Wichita has completed and continues to develop long-term plans to shape downtown to better accommodate development and to enhance the neighborhood as a place to live and work. Mobility and safety are critical elements in helping downtown Wichita achieve these larger goals.
While the automobile continues to be central to travel behavior, the transportation systems of top cities are evolving to balance all modes and to enhance the options for transit, biking, and walking that are increasingly demanded and Wichita is no different. Through previous efforts, Wichita has created a strong foundation for a multimodal downtown that serves its key destinations with previous efforts and the Downtown Streets Conceptual Plan is seeking to take a fresh look to identify the most impactful and cost effective ways to leverage the downtown infrastructure to meet city goals of a more walkable and safe downtown.
This plan is intended to be a thorough and complete analysis that not only looks at what the downtown environment should be today, but provide a framework for downtown street design with expected continued development into the future. With new growth, a strategic, comprehensive, and integrated plan for street design is crucial to attracting and maintaining a healthy mix of uses and new development in Wichita. The Downtown Streets Conceptual Plan will be financially feasible with broad-based support and will include clear and realistic guidance in moving from plan to action.
During February 2019, the project team conducted a community-wide kickoff meeting and held focus group listening sessions to help learn more about strengths and opportunities related to the downtown Wichita streets.
In June 2019, the project team hosted open design sessions and a pop-up tent at Riverfest to discuss more detailed ideas and options for changes. These interactive working sessions provided an opportunity for Wichitans to assure that downtown's streets will support local vision and values.
Later in 2019, the team will ask for comments on a recommended action plan to take the community's ideas and make them a reality.
April 22, 2019 Public Meeting #1 SummaryDesign Session Wrap-up Presentation
Two committees have been formed in order to help ensure that the Wichita Downtown Streets Conceptual Plan meets the needs of our community. In addition to the committees, a planning team has been created to staff the planning process.
Below are brief descriptions of each committee and the planning team.
This committee helps to guide the process, develop the plan, and ultimately endorse/approve the final draft for presentation to the Wichita City Council. The Steering Committee members are citizens and representatives of public and private organizations, volunteering to assist with this project. There are many ways that the Steering Committee members are involved in the process, including the following:
- participate in Steering Committee meetings
- assist with project oversight to ensure that this civic initiative accomplishes its purpose on time and within the budget
- assist in the development of plan goals and objectives
- assist in the review and development of a comprehensive network of bicycle facilities
- review and recommend policies and programs
- help develop criteria for setting priorities
- review and provide input on implementation strategies
Technical Advisory Committee
This committee consists of City of Wichita staff members. The committee assists with the plan development by providing technical expertise and internal review of materials related to the plan. The Technical Advisory Committee generally consists of representatives from City departments that are responsible for planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and policing public roadway facilities.
This team consists of Planning Department staff and staff from Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Shockey Consulting, and Perkins+Will. The Planning Team is responsible for organizing the meetings and events, data collection, technical analysis; and writing the Plan document.