East Douglas Street Plan

On December 2009 the Wichita City Council endorsed the design and street improvements recommended in the Douglas Design District Streetscape Plan. The City will use these recommendations as a guide for future planning and decision-making regarding public infrastructure investment for that part of Douglas Avenue from Washington east to Glendale Avenue.

The Plan was developed by a 17-member Plan Steering Committee comprised of key East Douglas business and neighborhood stakeholders appointed by the City Manager in the fall of 2008. The Plan contains a vision statement and goal that describe what a transformed, revitalized, vibrant and attractive East Douglas Avenue should look like in the year 2020. Guiding principles are also incorporated that serve as benchmarks for the recommended design concepts and streetscape improvements. A total of 12 design concepts and streetscape improvements are recommended in this Plan. Cost estimates have been calculated, and a possible plan implementation and funding approach is suggested.

It is important to recognize that the recommended design concepts and streetscape improvements are subject to further changes and refinements that will come during the final construction/design development process (including additional rounds of community engagement), ongoing traffic analysis, the realities of fiscal constraints, and ongoing lessons learned from other similar initiatives in Wichita.

Based on community feedback, the City has retained Nelson\Nygaard to review the previous plan described above, contemplate other best practices, and work with the community and City staff to recommend revisions to the previous plan. Below are highlights from the community conversations. Additional conversations and input has also been collected as part of the Wichita Downtown Streets Conceptual Plan.

  • On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, two community open house events were held from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and from 5 to 7 pm at the Downtown Wichita Innovation Center at 507 East Douglas Avenue. Open house attendees were able to learn more about the project, ask questions, and to provide input to the project team. Given this input and feedback, a three-lane cross-section (two through lanes with a center turn lane) is being further contemplated for Douglas Avenue that would also allow for bicycle and parking lanes as well.
  • In June 2019, the City hosted a multi-day charrette and Riverfest booth to invite additional public input. The Riverfest event took place Saturday June 1st through Wednesday, June 5th. The charrette Planning Sessions occurred Tuesday, June 4th through Thursday June 6th. Both events included a diagram of the draft Douglas Avenue plans for comments. More information about the events and summaries are available on the Wichita Downtown Streets Conceptual Plan webpage.
  • On August 20, 2019, the Wichita City Council approved submission of an application to the Kansas Health Foundation for a $25,000 Impact Grant in order to fund a possible short-term pilot project along Douglas Avenue.
  • On September 19, 2019, members from Team Better Block visited Wichita in order to meet with stakeholders, and to conduct a site visit to determine the feasibility of a possible pilot project on Douglas Avenue.
  • On September 22, 2019, the City of Wichita hosted a booth at Open Streets to collect input on downtown streets and Douglas Avenue. The event lasted from noon to 5 pm; and included displays about traffic, crashes, transit, bikeways, and the draft Douglas Avenue designs.
  • In late September/early October, the Wichita Community Foundation provided notification that the City was awarded a $25,000 from the Knight Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation to fund a possible short-term pilot project along Douglas Avenue.
  • On November 2, 2019, City staff provided an update on the Douglas Avenue conversations and designs to the District Advisory Board Breakfast attendees.
  • On November 12, 2019, the Wichita City Council approved accepting the grant. City staff indicated that no expenditures of the grant funding or changes to Douglas would occur with our City Council approval. The funding is 1/3 of the estimated costs to undertake the temporary pilot project, additional discussion and details are in the City Council meeting notes and staff report.