The Wichita City Council endorsed the Wichita Multi-Modal Policy and Street Design Guidelines on December 2, 2014 (Resolution 14-341). This project consists of the following two major elements.
This policy directs staff to consider multiple modes of transportation and the context for improvement and maintenance projects in street righ-of-way and public access easements. It helps formalize the City's street design practices and consideration of multiple modes of transportation (i.e. people walking, bicycling, driving, and taking transit), where recommended in City plans. The policy indicates that multi-modal facilities will not be provided when: modes are prohibited; costs or impacts are disproportionate; improvements are infeasible; improvements are impractical; or maintenance activities do not offer practical opportunities for providing accomodations. The policy directs staff to create a Multi-Modal Committee to coordinate, determine when multi-modal accomodation as part of other projects is appropriate, review, monitor, and report on projects.
Street Design Guidance
The street guidance helps provide guidance for the design of public streets, within the street rights-of-way (established by the subdivision process). This guidance helps provide greater levels of predictability and layout options for multi-modal design of Wichita streets. It combines information from multiple documents into one single reference document, and the guidance includes recommendations for different features (i.e. travel lanes, turn lanes, sidewalks, bike lanes, paths, etc.) - each according to different contexts (i.e. urban core, general urban, suburban). The street design guidance helps provide guidance for the design of public streets, within the street rights-of-way (established by the subdivision process). This guidance helps provide greater levels of predictability and layout options for multi-modal design of Wichita streets. It combines information from multiple documents into one single reference document, and the guidance includes recommendations for different features (i.e. travel lanes, turn lanes, sidewalks, bike lanes, paths, sidewalks, etc.) - each according to different contexts (i.e. urban core, general urban, suburban).
In 2013 the Wichita City Council endorsed the Wichita Bicycle Master Plan as an official guide for the City. The Plan (Strategy 20) recommends that the City adopt policies to ensure that the City's project planning and review process account for bicycle fatalities.
On April 16, 2013, the City Council approved using grant funds, provided by the Health and Wellness Coalition, to fund the development of the street guidelines and Multi-Modal Policy.
On February 11, 2014, the City Council approved the selection and contract with Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC) to undertake the preparation of the policy and street design guidance. A project team of City staff, with representatives from Planning, Engineering, Street Maintenance, and Transit was formed to assist with the project. Over the last 10 months, the project team has worked with the consultants to draft the Street Design Guidelines; Wichita's Policy Manual for Multi-Modal Transportation (Street Design Guidelines). The Street Design Guidelines document contains two major components crafted to specifically meet the needs of Wichita: 1) the Multi-Modal Accomodation Policy, and 2) guidance for the design of public streets.
On August 26, 2014, the working draft Street Design Guidelines was presented to the City Council at a workshop session. In response to feedback received during the workshop, staff worked to arrange a presentation to members of the Wichita Area Builders Association (WABA). The presentation was held on September 10, 2014 at the WABA Developers Committee meeting, and was attended by individuals from a variety of professions including: residential developers, engineering firms, realtors, and others. During the discussion, staff emphasized that the design guidelines are guidelines and not a requirement. An audience member suggested text changes to clarify the intent of the policy, those changes have been incorporated into the document to make it more clear that the policy applies only to City of Wichita projects. Multiple design professionals in attendance at the meeting indicated that the guidelines would be beneficial, as they would be a helpful starting point for public street design projects.
The draft document was presented to the Wichita Transit Advisory Board (WTAB); Wichita Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board (WBPAB); and the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC). Minutes from the MAPC and WBPAB meetings are attached. Both of the Boards recommended that the City Council endorse the Street Design Guidelines document. The MAPC recommended that the City Council endorse the Street Design Guidelines document, with the provision that the document recommend that staff review construction and maintenance projects on a case by case basis to ensure multi-modal connections are usable or adequate detours are provided. In late November 2014, the Street Design Guidelines document was updated to incorporate the recommendations by the MAPC.
Wichita OrdinancesWichita Pedestrian Master PlanWichita Bicycle Master Plan