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Thread: Sidewalks after the fact

  1. #1
    Member
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    Oct 2006
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    Kennett Township, PA
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    Sidewalks after the fact

    Within my local community, we are considering whether we should require
    sidewalks on an existing roadway that is constrained by embankments, etc.
    No sidewalks exist today. But the development activity within the area
    suggests pedestrian movement may be appropriate. The question is whether
    the idea is appropriate for the area.

    We know we have challenges in the area (such as the constrained roadway;
    existing development; traffic volume and speed.

    Any suggestions on links where I can see minimum standards for safety and
    efficiency, etc. would be appreciated. Of course, we will work with our
    Engineer, etc., but I like to obtain a working knowledge of the issue first.

  2. #2
         
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    Aug 2005
    Location
    Funky Town, CO.
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    I came across a recent publication at the International Traffic Engineers (ite.org) web site book store called "Context Sensitive Solutions in Designing Major Thoroughfares for Walkable Communities". You might what to look at this. You can download the pdf (200 + pages) and print it for free or order it on-line. In general, the "Walkable Communities" program looks at whether a community actually needs all those lanes of traffic on major roads and how all those lanes impact pedestrian safety.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Rarely is there a case where sidewalks arent appropriate. Those rare cases being freeways.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    The ITE document I found very helpful on a project last spring. I have actually been trying to remember who had put it out, so thanks for posting the info. Its easy to use and very detailed. I found it easy to relate to our own codes and was helpful in having constructive conversations with traffic engineers that were otherwise skeptical of what we were proposing.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5

    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Calgary, AB
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    If possible, try to provide a buffer between the sidewalk from the roadway (i.e. a separated sidewalk is better than a monowalk).

    Here, we provide sidewalks, but also regional pathways, which are asphalt and intended for both bicycles and pedestrians, and typically are painted with a line down the centre similar to a road.

    If th construction of standard concrete sidewalks is a problem, you might consider rubberized sidewalk: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0712/p01s03-usgn.html

  6. #6
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Here is also a link to project they are in the middle of right now in Albuquerque's South Valley. The reconstruction project addresses a main N-S arterial in a rural-cum-semi-urban environment. Prior to improvements, the roadway was 2 lanes with no sidewalks and it was very dangerous to cross or walk along the shoulder. The project introduces 3 to 5 lanes (it varies in different areas) and a sidewalk separated from the roadway with a planting strip. The impact of phase 1 (completed) has been very positive and pedestrian activity has skyrocketed. Bus stops, crossings nice landscaping, signage, and a grant program to assist with local business improvements have also helped.

    It may not address sidewalks in the detail you need, but this pdf talks about how they arrived at the current design ("context-sensitive design" they call it). The County had proposed ramming 5 lanes through the whole length which would have eliminated some historic structures and physically divided the community. People were very upset and vehemently opposed it, resulting in this process:

    http://www.unm.edu/~atr/TRB-CreatingaSenseofPlace.pdf

    PS. The rubber sidewalks are cool - how do they stand up to weather (winters and brutal sun)?
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    PS. The rubber sidewalks are cool - how do they stand up to weather (winters and brutal sun)?
    Everything I have read, they are pretty nice, but limited in application due to cost. If 30-50 years of life for a concrete sidewalk (if installed properly - even in adverse climates) are not good enough for you then rubber sidewalks MAY be an alternative.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

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