Community celebrates 9th Street art, improvements

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This weekend, the City of Wichita will host a celebration for the improvements made to 9th Street, from I-135 to Hillside.

The dedication ceremony for 9th Street improvements will be held at 9th and Minnesota, on Saturday, August 31, at 10 a.m.

A portion of 9th Street, from I-135 to Piatt, will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to noon.

"I want people to take care of this and have a sense of ownership. I want them to have a sense of pride in their community and where they're from," said Ellamonique Baccus, the lead artist for the improvements.

The $3.5-million in improvements included paving, drainage, and pedestrian upgrades, as well as aesthetic enhancements throughout the corridor. More than 100 community members collaborated with Baccus by painting and placing tiles. 

Several homeowners along 9th Street appreciate the improvements but also have one complaint.

"I love it. Only thing I complain about is I lost my parking and seem like they narrowed the street down by our area, a little too much, and we lost our parking," said Myra Stewart, who has been living in the neighborhood for more than 20 years. 

Homeowners said they hope the improvements will help with the occasional flooding that occurred in the area.