Proposed change to Cowtown boardwalk proves controversial

Published: May. 9, 2017 at 11:07 PM CDT
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Wichita's Cowtown Museum is all about taking you back in time, but now, some are questioning a decision about materials being used to replace Cowtown's wooden boardwalk.

Volunteers met Tuesday night to voice their concerns.

People in support of replacing the wooden boardwalk with composite materials say it will be more accessible for people with disabilities.Those opposed to the change say it would make the boardwalk historically inaccurate.

The Cowtown Historical Board voted in favor of replacing the boardwalk with composite material, but volunteers say it was only after the City of Wichita agreed to get rid of the wood.

The city says changes would make Cowtown more accessible to people like David Calvert, who uses a wheelchair.

"I know from experience that the wood boardwalk is difficult. It's difficult to push off and you hit a little bump. It's more than just hitting a bump, you end up dumping yourself out of your chair," Calvert says.

Many volunteers only want to make accommodations by using ways that preserve the history of the attraction.

The city says the composite material proposed for the boardwalk does last a lot longer, in the long run, making it a cheaper option. The city manager will make the final decision on the boardwalk's future after hearing feedback from the community and volunteers.