OPENING UP: Pedestrians, cyclists explore downtown

Instead of the usual bustle of downtown traffic, Wichita’s Douglas Avenue was filled with the sounds of clicking bike spokes and conversation Sunday at Open Streets ICT.

The annual, all-ages event blocks off a stretch of Douglas Avenue from Seneca Street to just past Clifton Square to motor vehicles to promote walking and bike-riding in one of the city’s most dense commercial areas.

Vendors and community organizations set up booths and tables outside, with some businesses opening their doors to event-goers. Live performances and DJs provided the soundtrack.

This year’s event also coincided with Avenue Art Days, which seeks to cover buildings along Douglas with murals. This year, 16 new murals will adorn downtown establishments.

Open Streets began last year and is now being planned as an annual event in Wichita, along with another event during the spring that shuts down parts of the NoMar neighborhood in northwest Wichita.