Wichita focuses on bicycle safety


As the weather gets warmer, more bikers will hit the streets of Wichita.

The city invites the increase in bicyclists, and is always looking for ways to improve bike safety around town.

According to transit officials, the city extended bike lanes north and south of Market and Topeka streets which they’re possibly looking at extending farther south to Pawnee Street.

Other improvements include new shared lane markings on 17th and 18th streets. The markings guide bikers along a recommended bike route, but also remind drivers to expect people biking along the street.

The city also added more crossings across town.

“It’s not only about having a route to travel on, but what do you do when you get to those major intersections or major streets,” said Scott Wadle, interim director of Wichita Transit.

Some upcoming projects include the Redbud Bike Path, the Delano Bike Path, bike lanes on McCormick Street and bike crossings at the Prairie Sunset Trail.

While engineering is an important part of improving bike safety, officials said educating the public is just as important.

Wadle explained they want to educate both drivers and bicyclists on how to share the road effectively. 

Wichita just launched a new safety campaign funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation — Safe Streets ICT.

Transit officials encourage the public to take the quiz to refresh their memory on the rules of the road.

According to the Wichita Police Department, officers see more bike accidents involving cars when the weather gets warmer.

From May through August 2015, there were 33 accidents; in 2016, 38 accidents; and in 2017, 34 accidents.

Here are some bicycle safety tips:

  • Be patient
  • Choose the right path
  • Look twice
  • Get around safely
  • Bikes are vehicles
  • Pay attention
  • Check behind you
  • Look both ways
  • Light up your bike
  • Take it slow

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