Wichita moves vote on lanes for bikes and scooters downtown

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The City of Wichita did not approve a grant for a project that would add lines for bicycles and scooters downtown. Instead, the city council on Tuesday moved the item for discussion on November 5. 

If later approved, the painted lanes would run on Douglas from Main Street to the railroad tracks. 

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Downtown Wichita is going to continue seeing changes, this time with safety in mind.

The Wichita City Council is expected to accept a $25,000 grant on Tuesday morning. The money will help launch a pilot project, adding lanes for bikes and scooters. Some residents are concerned about what this could mean for traffic.

"It just seems like it can get congested pretty easy, so I think if they limit the lanes, then it's just going to get really backed up," says Jeff Walden, Wichita resident. 

The trial will run on Douglas, from Main Street to the railroad tracks. The outside lanes will be painted, adding a lane dedicated to bikes and scooters. 

"Everything is changing and part of that downtown streets plan that we wanted to help them make decisions that will affect downtown Wichita for the next 50 years probably, or beyond," says Mike Tann, Wichita Public Transit Director.

Tann says the study to determine if the project works has no set end date. Wichita city council members say this experiment is meant make downtown safer and to help prevent speeding.  

"Once the public meetings took place and people were in favor of this, it cost millions of dollars to actually do this kind of work and it wouldn't make a lot of sense to this without doing some sort of experimentation," says Cindy Claycomb, Wichita city council member. 

Some Wichitans have conflicting opinions. 

"I think doing that to the street is an excellent idea. We're down here a lot over the lunch over and i see the bicycles and the scooters get used heavily," says Judy Handley, Wichita resident. 

Right now Douglas is 4 lanes, but the city is hoping to make a change to 3 lanes, with one lane dedicated to turning. 

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