Percent of Existing Sidewalks that are Functionally Acceptable

Status

The Public Works Department is responsible for 2700 miles of existing sidewalk. They are assessed using on-sight inspection and measurement of sidewalk segments. This program currently concentrates on high and very high priority sidewalks as described in the 2016 Sidewalk Master Plan. These segments have all been assessed as of the end of FY2019 - a total of 616 miles that make up about 23% of all sidewalks that PWD maintains.  An initial assessment of all sidewalks should be completed by the end of FY2021. 
Only sidewalks that have been assessed are included in the performance measure calculation; segments that are yet to be assessed are excluded. Percent Functionally Acceptable is calculated by dividing the total feet of sidewalk meeting Functionally Acceptable standards by the total feet of sidewalk inspected.
Sidewalks are a critical part of the City of Austin transportation system.  They allow people to safely walk to and from schools, bus stops, and other locations.  The combination of sidewalks and public transit allows those who cannot drive or do not have access to a car to get where they want to go.  The Public Works Department supports 2700 miles of sidewalks, and is building more to complete the network envisioned in the 2016 Sidewalk Master Plan.
Sidewalks are assessed using on-sight inspection and measurement of existing segment. This program currently concentrates on high and very high priority sidewalks as described in the 2016 Sidewalk Master Plan. These segments have all been assessed as of the end of FY2019 - a total of 616 miles that make up about 23% of all sidewalks that PWD maintains. Only sidewalks that have been assessed are included in the performance measure calculation; segments that are yet to be assessed are excluded. An initial assessment of all sidewalks should be completed by the end of FY2021.
Percent Functionally Acceptable is calculated by dividing the total feet of sidewalk meeting Functionally Acceptable standards by the total feet of sidewalk inspected.
Condition data on individual sidewalk segments is available here.

Trending

There is no trend to speak of at this time - the sidewalk assessment program has not completed an initial review of all sidewalks. Currently, PWD has conduct an initial evaluation of about one-quarter of the sidewalks it maintains, with the result that about one-third of those sidewalks are functionally acceptable. 

A complete assessment of all sidewalk assets should be completed by the end of FY2021. It is currently anticipated that on-going sidewalk assessments will be a multi-year venture, similar to the street condition assessments described in the measure narrative Percent of Lane Miles in Satisfactory Condition.  The measure to the right, Percent of Sidewalk Network Assessed, will be available to show the department's progress in completing the initial review of existing sidewalks.
As part of the creation of the Sidewalk Master Plan, the city conducted a pilot assessment of sidewalk conditions, using a weighted randomized sample of sidewalk segments from all 10 council districts and four roadway classifications (major arterial, minor arterial, collector, and local).  This evaluation found that about 20% of sidewalks in sample were Functionally Acceptable.  The pilot assessment was designed using sampling methods that would allow this review to be extended to describe sidewalks throughout the city, much like survey methods used in elections.

Additional Measure Insights

Federal law - specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - is a significant factor in the development and execution of the Sidewalk Master Plan.  It required all public sidewalks to be free of accessibility barriers by 1995.  The ADA also requires cities to maintain an ADA Transition Plan, which includes documenting accessibility barriers and scheduling their repair. Because of the significant amount of noncompliance (90% ADA non-compliant based on 2016 Sidewalk Plan), the City is focusing available funding on functionally deficient sidewalks first. Functionally deficient sidewalks represent higher levels of ADA noncompliance and present access barriers for all users, even those without disabilities. After the City has reached a functionally acceptable condition, full ADA compliance will be necessary. The functional condition provided in this performance measure will provide an updated assessment of the state of the sidewalk network to evaluate how we are progressing on the long-overdue federal mandate.

Measure Details and Definition

1) Definition:  This measure shows the portion of assessed sidewalks that are considered "functionally acceptable."
2) Calculation method: Percent Functionally Acceptable is calculated by dividing the total feet of sidewalk meeting Functionally Acceptable standards by the total feet of sidewalk inspected.
3) Data Collection Process:  Sidewalks are assessed using on-sight inspection and measurement of existing segment. This program currently concentrates on high and very high priority sidewalks as described in the 2016 Sidewalk Master Plan.
4) Measure Target Calculation: The measure target is set to be consistent with other PWD infrastructure targets, specifically street and bridge conditions.
5) Frequency Measure is Reported: Annually (Fiscal Year)