Duluth Sidewalk Study
The Duluth Sidewalk Study was conducted to provide the City of Duluth with information to help stretch scare resources farther in maintaining and developing sidewalks throughout the city. The study has three main sections: 1) sidewalk inventory and condition analysis, 2) sidewalk prioritization modeling, and 3) guidelines for sidewalk location.
Click to view the Duluth Sidewalk Study.
The sidewalk inventory is a GIS-based inventory designed to be updated on a yearly basis. Information collected for the inventory included a four point condition rating, sidewalk width, boulevard information, curb ramp location and condition, and sidewalk obstructions. The intent of the inventory is to have updated locational information of sidewalks, their condition and characteristics.
For the second phase of the study, we developed a pedestrian priority model that included creating and combining the results of three separate model components: pedestrian generators, pedestrian attractors and pedestrian detractors. Inputs for the pedestrian generator component included density of walking commuters, population, employment, seniors, youth and disabled. The pedestrian attractor component included the location of universities, schools, retail areas and transit centers. The pedestrian detractor component included pedestrian/vehicle crashes, amount of traffic, slope and barriers. Weights were applied to the input factors and the results of the three model components were compiled to create a map showing the highest priority sidewalks in the network. The results of this analysis can be used in determining capital improvement investments for sidewalk development and preservation as well as maintenance and snow removal. The pedestrian priority modeling information was also used to identify and prioritize gaps in the sidewalk network.
The final section of the study is sidewalk guidelines. The City of Duluth does not have a master sidewalk plan and there has been much contention during recent road construction projects whether a sidewalk should be included or not. The sidewalk guidelines are designed to bring clarity to where sidewalks should be located relative to the area roadway network. The guidelines include what the experts say, what factors influence sidewalk location, what other communities are doing and existing policies and guidelines.
For more information contact Principal Planner Andy McDonald at (218) 529-7514 or by e-mail.
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