So, you’re a public agency trying to improve the walkability of your community and you know you have a bunch of missing sidewalks. You may have even gone through the process of identifying where the sidewalks are missing, how much you need to install, and how much it will cost. If you are like most other agencies, you don’t have the resources to fix all your problems at once. You need to establish a prioritization system that is credible and defendable…and one that will maximize your available resources.
The example above shows the result of using ArcGIS to calculate sidewalk installation priority for the City of Rancho Cucamonga based on a number of factors. These factors included various locations such as senior centers, bus stops, schools, and parks; and weighted the missing sidewalk links based on their proximity to these locations. The number of riders at each bus stop were also taken into account.
Locations such as senior centers and bus stops were given the highest value due to liability concerns related to potential trip/fall accidents and the fact that most people who utilize public bus transit walk to the bus stop. Yes, there are those who bike (or use a wheelchair) to get to the bus stop, but it is safe to assume that folks aren’t getting dropped off at the bus stop by a car- that would be somewhat contradictory.
Those segments that have the highest priority are shown in red, while those with the lowest priority are shown in blue. Bus stops (hollow circles) and schools (pink polygons) were added for effect…adding the other feature classes takes away from the priority ranks symbology.
Current estimates show that about $7-$10 million is required to install sidewalks at all missing locations. This cost will likely be spread out over a period of time, such as 10 years; with higher-priority segments being installed first. Some interesting notes about this GIS utility are that it can take into account multiple other locations and can also be used to prioritize other municipal operations, such as trip/fall hazard repairs.