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Safety, Aesthetic Improvements Planned For Old Town Streets

Nadya Faulx
2nd Street in Old Town is slated for improvements next year.

The City of Wichita is looking at making safety and aesthetic improvements to Old Town.

City Council members approved designs Tuesday for work on 1st and 2nd Streets west of Washington.

The $3.5 million improvement plan includes widening the sidewalks and installing speed bumps at certain intersections to slow traffic without lowering the speed limit.

“One of the things we’ve talked to a lot of people about, and I’ve even heard from just this morning was the need for more pedestrian safety and improvements to help people get around more on foot than anything, and that’s one of our goals here," City Engineer Gary Janzen told council members.

Van Gogh murals will also be painted under the railroad overpass, and benches and landscaping will be installed along parts of the streets.

A major component will be a full removal and replacement of the pavement along 2nd Street. Construction is expected to begin spring 2018 to avoid conflicting with Wichita's NCAA men's basketball tournament hosting duties.

Janzen said the full cost of the project is about $1.7 million over the budget allotted in the city's Capital Improvement Program. He said he will re-approach the city at a later time to discuss approval of construction funding.


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Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.