Category Archives: Downtown arena

Wichita looks at year-round Q-Line

The Q-LineIt looks like Wichita may soon have downtown shuttle buses year-round. That’s according to a presentation the city council will see Tuesday.

It says the Q-Line will have to expand to year-round, six days a week service to provide arena event shuttle services. That will nearly double the cost for the city, which is already in a budget crunch. But it’s subsidized some by the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, which has promised $20,000 to market the service. The total cost for 2010 would be $159,120.

The expansion comes as ridership has increased. The buses carted 3,428 people in 2006, 4,362 in 2007 and last year it carried 9,153 folks. That seems to dovetail with the influx of more people going to Final Friday Art Crawls. The newly-started First Friday music crawls will probably also increase the number of people looking for a lift.

Going green… and building up downtown at the same time

City Council members say there’s no doubt that more parking is needed downtown, especially with the forthcoming arena and all the commercial and residential developments that have been envisioned in the blocks around it. But they’re also thinking about green space for playgrounds or just benches and trees to give people a place to chill out. Green roofs even came up.

City planners are proposing that 5 to 10 percent of each development, be it a shopping area or office building, should be green space. City Council member Sharon Fearey said in a workshop last week that she’s hoping the city can convince developers to put their pieces together to make larger open areas in the heart of downtown. She also advocated for green roofs, a concept used in many cities to cut down on the heat generated by all the blacktop, cut energy costs in the buildings and offer grassy space in the most unlikely of spots — several stories above ground. Fearey said green roofs could be integrated into parking ramps since many people don’t like parking on the top level anyway because there’s no protection from summertime heat or weather.

Read more about green roofs at this industry website. Read more about these types of concepts in this National League of Cities article. See the green roof atop the new Minneapolis Library here.