Guest Blog: Good Neighboring in the DDD

Photo courtesy of  The Chung Report

Photo courtesy of The Chung Report

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:

Sidewalks!
Sidewalks are good for riding bikes on and walking on, and many people don’t have them. They are safe and not killing any bugs or flowers.
They are safe for all ages especially little kids. When you drop something you can see it. You can go on cement without trespassing on people’s property. Sidewalks take you places you couldn’t go, and if you fall you won’t get a grass stain. You can walk to friends’ houses to talk and play, and you can walk to school and back from school.
On sidewalks you can walk, run, jump, ride bikes, play a game, ride a mini-motorbike, ride a scooter, ride a tricycle, ride a unicycle, ride a mini-car and hot wheels, skate, walk dogs, duck-and bird-feeding, hopscotch, bike-racing, running-race and jumping-race.
You can find bugs on sidewalks for bug collectors. You can look at roses near sidewalks. You can pretend to be something on a sidewalk. You can set up lemonade stands near a sidewalk.
Now count how many things you can do on a sidewalk: over twenty four things, and twenty one out of twenty four are healthy.

Neighbors!

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.  

Walking!

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!

More Neighborliness!

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.