Friday, February 27, 2009

Good news for southside bike-commuters

I'm not back here full-time yet (though the Mrs.' condition is improving--and thanks for all the kind wishes sent our way), but I did want to pass along this tidbit: that at least in one instance, those dotted purple lines on Wichita's bike-path map do indeed mean "funded"--very good to know, given the current economy.

At the point where George Washington Blvd. crosses Gypsum Creek (a little south of Pawnee) construction of a bike path along the creek is well under way: the dirt base looks to be steamrolled, but as of yesterday no actual pouring of the (concrete?/asphalt?) surface has occurred. Assuming the weather cooperates, though, it appears that could happen any day.

This stretch is part of a route marked "funded" that will run, eventually, from the southern terminus of the Canal path south along I-135, turn east at Gill Park and follow Gypsum Creek to George Washington, then head southeast along that street to the intersection with Oliver, where it will intersect with the Gypsum Creek path. I can't say yet whether construction is progressing along the whole route, but once it's completed a hypothetical bike-commuter who, oh, I don't know, lives downtown and works at McConnell would have a slightly-longer but safer route to work--and probably quicker as well, since it will be off the streets.

But still: a couple of east-west routes that run through the center and northern portion of the city are still on my wish-list. Given our topography and urban realities, such routes would require adding dedicated bike lanes to existing streets . . . and according to the map, such routes aren't even proposed, much less funded. Given the budgeting priorities of the Obama administration, perhaps that will change. A fella can hope, at any rate. While we wait and see, though, it's very good to know that at least some already-funded projects are getting built.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello John, The construction on that path is well under way in fact some portions of it are already rideable. It is connecting the Canal Route bike path with the Gypsum Creek path. My father has told me he has rode it from the Canal Route path to south Hillside by Joyland.

It is supposed to be completed by The first part of June. By then I understand the bidding process is supposed to be completed for another section to connect the gypsum creek path with the south end of the river bike path at Garvey Park. Construction is supposed to start on that this summer is what I was told.

Philip said...

An interesting and informative blog. I will be comming over there in the suumer (August)to take part in your annual hooter than Hell from England.....Maybe it will be completed by then

sheephaters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
standi said...

I hope she's feeling better.

I found your blog a few weeks ago and thought I'd let you know I'm pumped for these new bike paths. I, too, am a commuter, although I can't do it daily. Unfortunately, last night a car hit me on my way home--I survived, but the ol' Cannondale did not. Now I'm bike-less at one of the best times of the year to ride.

Thanks for keeping us posted on ICT paths. Keep it up. And hope she gets well soon.

Chris said...

John! I am very very sorry to hear about your wife. I hope she gets well soon! Spring is coming up and I need a riding partner, so I hope she will be in good health and you will be available in a few months.
Ive been busy working the last few months. Just got back from a 18 day vacation to Ireland. I *really* want to organize a group ride down the west coast of Ireland for next year. It's simply amazing to see by bike. Just incredible! I have pictures and will share them with you when you return from your break. Best wishes and health to you and your wife. Take care the both of you.

Anonymous said...

Bike To Work Day is May 15.

Check out Bike Wichita Group on Facebook.

Let's get motivated pack the streets on May 15.