Open Streets ICT comes to WSU, Fairmount neighborhood
All day cars are moving up and down 17th St. in Wichita, but for a few hours on Sunday, April 16, that will shift to foot traffic for one section.
Open Streets ICT will be shutting down 17th from Grove to Oliver to cars and opening up the area for people to walk and bike through the Fairmount and Wichita state area.
It's the first time open streets is doing this here after having events downtown and in Nomar last year.
Naquela Pack with WSU says having open streets in this area of town is "really an opportunity for us to be a good neighbor, to continue to encourage collaborations and drive prosperity when we can."
For businesses along the path like Fairmount coffee company, it's a chance to welcome people in who might not come by otherwise.
Paige Edgington says they are excited about Open Streets because “we're a little bit off the beaten path, but we love it when we get to meet new members of our community. So I think they're gonna find a lot of gems."
Showing people new areas of town is a big part of what Open Streets does. Last year’s event in Nomar brought in 12,000 people to the area according to city officials.
Ariel Rodriguez with Empower, a group that works to grow the north end of Wichita says “There's business owners in the area who were asking, can we do this monthly?”
He adds that having events like Open Streets can be a huge benefit to communities, especially ones of color. It brings people in on foot so “they're actually taking that moment to slow down. They're walking or biking, they're rollerblading, and you're seeing this community in a whole new way.”
Open Streets is this Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m.
There are four major hub areas: Chester Lewis Elementary, Kirby’s Beer Store, Fairmount Park, and one at the end of the street at the Red Bud Trail Head.
For more info, visit here.