Two separate meeting times were offered on Wednesday to hear opinions on the future of east Douglas Avenue.
Douglas has served as Wichita’s “main street” for years and with capital improvement dollars set aside for the area for 2022-2023, developers are seeking opinions on how to make the street a hub for dining, gathering and entertainment.
“We’re trying to rethink the street as as place for commerce for young people and older adults rather than a highway that cuts through the middle of the city,” Jeffrey Tumlin, principal of Nelson/Nygaard Transportation Planning said.
Tumlin told KSN news that Wichita is in a fortunate position to be able to make plans without having to compromise much or cause traffic congestion. He says in coastal cities, the changes Wichita is dreaming of would take around four years to complete.
Another discussion was how many lanes of traffic are most practical for Douglas, which has five lanes in the area of interest. Tumlin said when one eastbound lane was taken away, most people didn’t realize it due to the months of construction.
“If people don’t feel safe doing that, then they’re not going to come down, so that’s critical to the economic vibrancy,” Alan Kailer of Bike Walk Wichita said.
There is $6 million in the capital improvement fund set for the year 2022. You can view the entire funds distribution here.