Tyler Road closure irks students, changes bus routes

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by Collin Kasitz

Tyler Road is now closed from 21st St. N. to 29th St. N. for construction.  The change has caused problems for South students and bus drivers in their efforts to get to and from school.

“(The construction) places more cars and buses together, using the same route to and from school, which congestion,” James Baker, Director of Operations for USD 266, said.

Bus drivers have had to change their routes, which has caused some changes in pick-up and drop-off times.

“Several routes had to adjust their pick-up and drop-off times by 5-10 minutes,” Baker said.

High school students who drive to school by way of Tyler Road have had to take detours to get to school.

“It takes me longer to get to school and I have to go on the detour roads,” Bethany Heintz, 11 said. 

In addition, students who have their parents take them or ride the bus also have to take detours. 

 “It takes longer to get to school.  I have go through Bradford (neighborhood),” Bailey Benter, 9 said.    

The City of Wichita is adding a center, left-turn lane with drainage improvements and landscaped medians to the street.  A six-foot-wide sidewalk will be also added on east side of Tyler Road. While these updates are intended to ease traffic, there have been some safety concerns.

“(There is the) possibility of more accidents due to an increase in congestion,” Baker said.  “Emergency vehicles will have longer responses time by not being able to use Tyler Road as the most direct route.”

There will be two-way access from 21st to Reflection Ridge Retirement Home.  The City had to put a temporary stoplight at 21st St. and Keith to help assist access for people in neighborhoods north of 21st and west of Tyler Road.  The section of the road will be closed until mid-November, according to the city’s website.