WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – City council members in Wichita moved to make downtown traffic safer and more pedestrian-friendly on Tuesday.

“That’s the goal,” said Wichita City Council member Jeff Blubaugh. “There’s going to be more livability downtown, so we’ve got to be able to ensure that we are providing the safest route.”

The council approved $460,000 to get started on a project to make changes to roadways off Douglas Avenue downtown.

Areas like Topeka and Main could eventually change from one-way traffic to two-way near 1st and 2nd streets with the plan.

Traffic signals will be upgraded, and lanes will be marked to, hopefully, keep traffic flowing downtown while improving pedestrian traffic.

The council voted unanimously to move forward with changes to get more people walking downtown.

Some businesses on Douglas and in the area stand to benefit from better foot traffic.

12 Squared/Gallery 12 is one spot that works on visibility.

“To be able to express yourself with music, writing, it’s really critical,” said Artist and Poet Martha Wherry with 12 Squared. “Showing in a gallery is very important when you do work, but you want it to be seen.”

Wherry says being seen comes easily on Douglas. But more foot traffic always helps to go along with social media and artists spreading the word.

“We have been here for around 30 years, and we love having people come in to look at local artists and appreciate their works,” said Wherry. “I think there are more people living downtown and walking downtown, which should be helpful for us.”

Blubaugh says some of the work could begin this year to improve the downtown environment for pedestrian traffic.

Other city leaders say the Downtown Streets Conceptual Plan is an extension of work that began in 2010. They say the plan could accelerate people enjoying downtown and spending more time in Wichita businesses.

In the near term, the plan is to make changes to Market, Topeka, English and Main streets.

Waterman and Broadway streets downtown could see changes after the year 2028. Douglas is still being studied for possible changes.