By Joe Stumpe
Older residents appear just as interested as younger ones in helping chart the area’s future, according to results of the Project Wichita survey. Of 13,907 people took time to fill out the survey, 3,731 were aged 56 and older.
For the most part, there weren’t sharp disagreements among various demographic groups. However, senior residents did have different priorities on three issues. Regarding further development of downtown and the Arkansas River, older residents “are not seeing that as quite as an important issue as the younger generation,” said Misty Bruckner, director of the Public Policy and Management Center at Wichita State University, which analyzed the survey. On the other hand, they ranked neighborhood investment and public transportation as higher priorities than other groups.
Overall, the top three priorities identified were retaining college graduates, increasing the affordability and number of direct flights from Wichita Eisenhower National Airport, and doing a better job of educating the workforce. At the bottom of the list were expanding bike and walking paths, promoting “historical” neighborhoods and repairing deteriorating homes.