City launches “People First” neighborhood pilot project


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For those in a large area of Wichita, your neighborhood’s future could be in your hands thanks to a new project through the city of Wichita.

The “People First” neighborhood pilot project allows residents within a large chunk of the city to chime in about possible improvements. But, residents must apply for their ideas.

“No application is a bad application. What we’re looking for are enhancements to our neighborhood streets or our intersections, something that’s going to slow down or calm traffic within their neighborhood,” Lavonta Williams, city council member for district I said.

The boundaries are north to 21st Street, east to Hillside, south to Mt. Vernon Road and west to St. Paul Avenue. Williams wants many applications.

Safety is a big focus for the area near 13th and Erie, where 11-year-old Alvin Gunter was hit by a car last weekend, later dying of his injuries. Ada Wesley and her husband live just two houses down from the scene and says, safety is on her mind.

“When they slow down when they turn from 13th street to Erie, they do it real fast at a high rate of speed. There’s no way a child can get out of the way that fast,” Wesley said.

Of the possibilities for the pilot project include mini-roundabouts, high visibility crosswalks, parklets, chicanes and even public plazas. The goal is to improve the quality of life, safety of neighborhood, and create a place people can interact.

“We want them to look at the scope and not the scale of what they want to do because I want people to understand, this is just a pilot project and what we’re doing is temporary,” Williams added.

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