Future looks bright for Wichita bicyclists


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With warming weather in the forecast, it is likely more bicyclists will hit the streets of Wichita.

The city anticipates and invites the increase in cyclists after making improvements to bike safety around town, according to Scott Wadle, senior management analyst for the City of Wichita.

Some cyclists who spoke with KSN believe the more the merrier.

“What I’ve learned is that the more cyclists on the road, the safer it gets over time because the motorists start looking and being aware for cyclists,” said Barry Carroll, a member of the Wichita Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and founder of Bike Walk Wichita.

Since improvements made to bike lanes around the city, Carroll feels safer on the roads, he said.

“The locations of the bike lanes are well thought out and well planned,” Carroll said. “The mayor and the City Council have been most supportive and as a cyclist I’m just thrilled to have bike lanes.”

Those bike lanes make up 40 miles around Wichita. Combined with the 60 miles of bike paths, the improvements make the city more vibrant, Carroll added.

In addition to safer biking accommodations, the city also permitted BikeShareICT. The bike sharing program has been a success so far, Wadle said. The program was installed in early May and since then there have been over 900 trips in the system.

Safety is also at the heart of future plans for improvements to the city’s bike system.

A safety campaign funded by KDOT is in the works, according to Wadle.

“We’ll be focusing it on things that drivers and cyclists can do to help everyone be safe out on the streets,” he said.

The idea is to educate both bicyclists and drivers on how to share the road effectively.

Some of the tips for bicyclists both Wadle and Carroll shared with KSN include wearing bright gear to stay as visible as possible, using a helmet and mirrors, being predictable with hand motions and obeying traffic laws.

For drivers, controlling speed and staying aware to potential bicyclists are the best things to do to keep everyone safe.

For more tips on bike safety in Wichita, click here.

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