The City of Wichita, Kansas has adopted a Bicycle Master Plan. Wichita City Council voted to approve the Bicycle Master Plan in February which will effectively double the expenditure on bicycle related projects over the next ten years.
A nineteen person steering committee was given the responsibility of formulating the bicycle master plan. The committee ultimately engaged over 4,000 citizens, experts, and government representatives through focus groups and consultation to shape their vision.
“An interconnected network of on-and off-street bicycle facilities that accommodates bicycle riders of all skill levels; and links all areas of the City of Wichita including employment centers, schools, parks, and other activity centers.”
1. Increase amount of bicycling in Wichita – Triple amount of bicycling over 10 years.
2. Improve bicyclist safety – Reduce bicycle accidents by one-third over ten years.
3. Foster and promote a culture where bicycling is an acceptable form of transportation – Increase by 50% the perception of ease of bicycling in Wichita rated as “good” or “excellent”.
The steering committee presented a compelling argument for funding the plan to council members. Utilizing Gantt charts and clear project cost analysis everything was boldly laid out. The network of bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, shared use pathways, paved shoulders, and even a bicycle boulevard were all conceived with an emphasis on connectivity, safety, and a realistic chance of implementation.
With the approval of the comprehensive bicycle master plan Wichita is going to be an even better place to live, move around, and ride a bicycle. This master plan can effectively serve as a blueprint for other forward thinking cities that aim to improve the livability of their environment for the benefit of all.