The Stumblr is a blog devoted to documenting some of the worst sidewalks in San Diego, California. Some of these sidewalks would make for good X-Games ramps.
See more bad San Diego sidewalks here…
Spent the morning with the family in beautiful San Clemente, California. Avenida Del Mar is a main village attraction and draws people to it with its many unique shops, Spanish colonial architecture, and pedestrian-friendly environment. The people there are some of the friendliest you’ll meet anywhere. Community leaders and businesses are very much into promoting a more vibrant downtown village experience and they realize that fostering a pedestrian-friendly, or “walkable” environment is an important factor.
*All photos copyright Vanderhawk Consulting LLC
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.
Many may have heard the common “bridge to nowhere” phrase. Well this is an ongoing catalog of pedestrian ramps (often incorrectly called wheelchair ramps here in the States) that are not fully connected to other pedestrian infrastructure. One can’t complain when funds are allocated for important pedestrian infrastructure. However, leaving things incomplete doesn’t do much for encouraging pedestrian travel and improving safety – especially for those with wheelchairs, walkers, or other physical impairment(s).
There are a number of reasons why only pedestrian ramps, and no adjoining sidewalk or other pedestrian infrastructure, are/were installed. Sometimes even the ramps themselves have been left incomplete. Most reasons revolve around cost or the fact that certain communities or portions of communities were developed a long time ago. It’s encouraging that more and more public agencies are realizing the many benefits of walking and biking and are changing the way they design new communities and improve existing ones…especially in these challenging economic times.
We’ll be adding more photos as we go and we welcome viewers to submit their own photos of problematic pedestrian ramps to the email address listed on our Contact page.