The City of Wichita opened a Forum and survey for people to share their opinions on a project to improve a section of Douglas Avenue in the Delano area. 

The $4.9 million construction project would include changes on the road from Meridian to Seneca. It would add bike lanes, parking, art features and more, but the plans are not finalized. 

“It’s kind of to extend the footprint of Delano, aesthetically,” Wichita City Council Member Maggie Ballard said. “This has kind of been the focus, and they're kind of ready to move a little bit further west.”

Ballard represents District 6, and this project needs to be approved by both her district and District 4, along with the City Council and Design Council. Neighbors in the area, including Herbert Hutchinson, said they support improvements.

“The Delano district goes close to downtown, to the river, and it would extend out to Meridian, and anywhere in that area would be fantastic to have these businesses,” Hutchinson said. 

Hutchinson lives near Meridian but said he visits the Delano Business District often. He said he would love to see major restaurants and businesses, like Applebee's or Cracker Barrel, open locations as a part of the construction. 

“The people in this part of town would love it,” he said. “It would increase the quality of life in this part of town dramatically.”

The project will also cost an extra $400,000 for the art features. Ballard said this includes landscaping, seating and potential crosswalk art. 

“It’s a really exciting time for Delano,” she said. There's a lot of momentum in the area with the ballpark, so starting to move that west a little bit is really exciting, and I think the neighborhood will be really happy.”

City leaders said they expect construction to start in 2024. 

To learn more and weigh in on the improvements on Forum, click here. To fill out the survey, click here.