Sustainable Sidewalk Infrastructure for Atlanta, Georgia

Sidewalk presence and the quality of existing sidewalk infrastructure are important indicators of pedestrian mobility, accessibility, safety, and neighborhood walkability. However, given the condition of sidewalk infrastructure in many cities, a huge gap exists between the poor quality of infrastructure provided for pedestrians (and pedestrian accessibility) and the high-quality infrastructure provided for motorized vehicles (and motor vehicle accessibility). In many urban areas, sidewalks have fallen into disrepair simply because cities do not treat sidewalks as transportation assets ... to be sustainably managed over time, and continuously repaired and refreshed as required. A second problem currently preventing the treatment of sidewalks as transportation assets is a general lack of infrastructure data (sidewalk inventories, sidewalk state of repair, and sustainable asset management cost estimates). This research will quantify sustainable sidewalk infrastructure costs for the City of Atlanta, assuming a 40-year life-cycle for repair and replacement. The research team has already generated a baseline sidewalk network (independent of the roadway network) for the entire City of Atlanta in 50’ link segments, for asset management purposes. The team will verify the presence of the sidewalk infrastructure using online tools and code the sidewalk baseline potential network for presence and absence of sidewalk structures. The team will then estimate periodic repair requirements over the sidewalk life-cycle, based upon Georgia Tech sidewalk damage inspections that have been conducted for existing facilities. The team will join all sidewalk facilities in the network to adjacent land use parcels, using the City parcel-level land use database, so that various infrastructure management and funding policies can be assessed for potential impacts. For example, the City of Atlanta requires adjacent property owners to repair and replace damaged sidewalks; whereas, some other cities actively manage sidewalks and cover asset management costs via property tax assessments. The research team will quantify the total annual cost to manage the sidewalk infrastructure and quantify the increase in property tax millage rates (based upon assessed property values and existing tax rates) required to generate the annual funding required to manage the sidewalk infrastructure into perpetuity (i.e., quantify sustainable sidewalk asset management costs). The team will then test tax assessment scenarios to quantify the potential differential impacts on Atlanta’s 244 neighborhoods and their residents across income and ethnicity groups. The team will assess whether low income neighborhoods will be disproportionately negatively impacted when sidewalk infrastructure management costs are allocated directly to property owners, rather than handling sustainable management through traditional property tax assessment methods.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $60000
  • Contract Numbers:

    DOT 69A3551747114

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority

    Atlanta,   United States 
  • Managing Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 

    Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

    790 Atlantic Drive
    Atlanta, GA  United States  30332-0355
  • Project Managers:

    Iacobucci, Lauren

  • Performing Organizations:

    National Center for Sustainable Transportation

    University of California, Davis
    Davis, CA  United States 

    Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

    790 Atlantic Drive
    Atlanta, GA  United States  30332-0355
  • Principal Investigators:

    Guensler, Randall

  • Start Date: 20200101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20201115
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01744708
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Sustainable Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DOT 69A3551747114
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2020 3:09PM