At the most recent budget workshop, the City Commission voted to move forward with funds for sidewalk projects. The funds for FY2020 include $1 million in maintenance and $1.6 million in a “New Sidewalk Program.”
To ensure that resources are allocated effectively and efficiently, a sidewalk prioritization method was created and approved by the Commission in 2015. The method breaks sidewalk needs into two tiers, projects with no existing sidewalks are Tier 1 and projects with existing sidewalks on one side of the street are Tier 2.
Within these tiers, projects are ranked based on a point system per specific criterion, such as safety, safe routes to school, new access on arterials and collectors, Latent Demand (demand estimated based on density of development), Connectivity and Existing Demand at pedestrian attractors.
Sidewalks, and their estimated costs, are ranked in a comprehensive list. The updated list as of January 2019 included 206 projects in Tier 1 at an estimated cost of $70.4 million, and 82 projects in Tier 2 at an estimated cost of $41.2 million, for a total of $111.6 million.
While the City has developed the Sidewalk Prioritization list to aid in planning for sidewalks, another key element in moving forward with sidewalk construction is determining the feasibility of the project.
Under the leadership of the Commission, the City has committed to initiating ten new sidewalks a year starting in FY20. The ten sidewalks identified for FY20 were selected based on both priority and readiness for construction, as well as funding availability, including funding from existing Pedestrian and Street Safety (PASS) funds and grant funding for Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS).
Additional sidewalks, three (preliminary projection) located in the Bond Neighborhood and three (preliminary projection) in the Greater Frenchtown/Springfield (GFS) community, will be identified through engagement with each community and planned funding to begin development.
The following list identifies the sidewalks funded in FY20, as well as an additional six for Bond and GFS communities.
Weems Road Extension with Pedestrian & Street Safety (PASS), Texas Street, Gadsden Street South – Phase I (design), Mitchell Avenue, Alachua Avenue, Branch Street, Iamonia Street, Rankin Avenue, Blountstown Street (design) and Tram Road.