Topeka City Council Discusses Bikeways And New Schedule

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__Topeka city council members spent the majority of the night planning for the Capital City's future. That includes the first phase of a 9-trail city-wide bikeways project.

Topeka Public Works Director Doug Whitacre detailed two projects that would open up Topeka to bicyclists and nature walkers.

First, a $1.3 million dollar extension of the Shunga Trail, west and south along Shunga Creek.

Second, $1.6 million dollars for the first phase of a nine trail bikeways plan for the city.

The council could vote on both projects as early as November. Set for vote Tuesday, but delayed was a possible revision to the Topeka Landmarks Commission which would allow neighborhoods such as Potwin and Westboro to have community input in new architectural design in their neighborhoods.

A new design for council meetings also drew discussion. Mayor Larry Wolgast proposed meeting just 3 times a month as opposed to the current four meeting format.

Wolgast said, "Many times it makes it so that if have a good solid meeting we will have it but if not, we don't have a meeting. There is no reason to meet if there's not business to transact. The proposal just eases up on the process and makes it easier for the council to run the way it thinks is best."

One idea for streamlining the meetings was to eliminate first readings. Some council members felt that might limit time the public had to give input on issues, but others pointed out people could still view upcoming agenda items online on the city's website.


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