Sidewalk Scout, Sidewalk Sentry, and the Sidewalk Priority Index: Cost-Effective Tools for Inventorying and Managing Sidewalk Assets and Prioritizing Improvements in Small to Large Communities

 

External link: http://www.trbtoolsofthetrade.org/files/theme/B7-1-paper.pdf

Publication date: September 1, 2016

Capsule summary: This report describes tools developed for managing pedestrian infrastructure as a transportation asset.

Author(s): Cebe, J.; A. Grossman; C. Dyess; H. Li; A. Akanser; R. Guensler

Publisher(s): Transportation Research Board


Definition: Processes of upgrading, maintaining, and expanding transportation assets throughout their life-cycles
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Definition: Planning practices for pedestrians, bikes and transit
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Definition: The development and use of new technologies in transportation planning and transportation systems.
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Definitions: The movement of people
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Definitions: Transportation on foot
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Definition: A federally funded transportation policy-making organization, comprised of local government representatives and transportation authorities
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Definition: A large urban area
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Description: Pedestrian infrastructure plays a critical role in accessibility and mobility throughout communities. In order to maintain a State of Good Repair, sidewalk data must be collected and projects must be prioritized. This paper outlines the development and capabilities of three research tools used for evaluation of pedestrian infrastructure: Sidewalk Scout, Sidewalk Sentry, and the Sidewalk Prioritization Index.

Objectives: The objective of this research was to provide cost-effective tools for communities with insufficient data on the conditions of their pedestrian infrastructure. The first tool developed was Sidewalk Scout, which is a smartphone application that allows pedestrians and practitioners to report sidewalk problems, complete with images and a geotag. The second tool is Sidewalk Sentry, a tablet application which inventories and assesses sidewalks by collecting vibration and video data while the tablet is attached to a moving wheelchair. The third tool is the Sidewalk Prioritization Index, which takes sidewalk data, estimated cost, and survey results on community priorities into account in order to prioritize maintenance projects.

Findings: The research team found that the tools developed through this study function together to provide effective asset management services for pedestrian infrastructure. The tools take community input into account, and consider stakeholder perspectives as a part of the asset management process.

Recommendations: In order to comply with ADA legislation and provide protection from liability, communities with insufficient sidewalk data should improve their pedestrian infrastructure management practices. The use of current tools and strategies such as those developed through this study can facilitate cost-effective data collection, prioritization, and project development.

Research Theme: Advancing New Technologies, Planning for Pedestrians, Bikes, and Transit, Transportation Asset Management

Community Type: City

Transportation Mode: Pedestrian, Personal

Planning Scope: Regional or Metro Area, Single State

Organization Type: City, MPO or RPO

Planning Subject: Evaluation and Assessment, Ratings