Note: The following is a guest post submitted by Jane Byrnes, resident of the East Front Neighborhood, located in the District.
A few years ago one of my grandsons won an essay contest with this:
One of the reasons I like my mixed-age neighborhood is that it has kids, kids with their own wonderful perspectives like Zach’s sidewalk essay here. This neighborhood also has millennials, Gen Xers, retirees and plenty of in-betweens. Some chose their spaces 40 years ago and some last month.
Me, four years ago I chose a small house in the East Front neighborhood. EF shares its northern boundary with the Douglas Design District (DDD).
EF folks like Wichita. Look at the first frame of this 2017 Chung Report, that EF street has five Wichita flags along its row of friendly porches.
And more and more, Wichitans like walking. According to this Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Report, Wichitans are walking and biking 80% more than they did seven years ago when the official Bike-Ped Count began. Pedestrians made up 71% of the total in 2018. East Front has sidewalks, and so does the Douglas Design District. We are walkable!
As a fan of healthful walking AND happy neighboring, imagine my delight when I downsized into a right-sized house within a well-established neighborhood association.
The EF Neighborhood Association (EFNA) has a bi-monthly newsletter. For some years, East Front has announced and carried out a yearly cleanup day. This March it’s also trying out a Scavenger Hunt for those who live and work between Douglas and Kellogg, Grove and Hillside. Businesses within EF have donated prizes for the end-of-March drawing, and more prizes and interactions are welcome. All Scavenger Hunt finds are visible from the sidewalk.
City planners call our convenient locations within DDD a “node”: we can easily walk to shop for groceries, hardware, wine and seasonal celebrations such as Christmas lights. We have delicious choices to meet up for coffee and dinner. We can walk to East High or catch the Q-line. Within EF and DDD, we can do all 24 of Zach’s sidewalk activities. And more.
Sidewalks, sidewalks, sidewalks. Walkability, walkability, walkability. And neighbors, neighbors, neighbors. Thanks DDD, for your good neighboring with EF.