Percentage of Missing Sidewalk Network Completed

Status

At the start of calendar year 2021, the planned sidewalk network for the City of Austin included 4,836 miles of sidewalks, of which 2,018 miles had not been built. A total of 20 linear miles of sidewalk were added to the network by the City of Austin in 2021.
Sidewalk construction planning is based on the City of Austin Sidewalk Plan / ADA Transition Plan Update, adopted by the Austin City Council in June 2016.  The sidewalk plan prioritizes new construction based on pedestrian destinations (schools, transit stops, grocery stores, etc.), population density, how busy the street is, and demographic factors including income and population health.   
Sidewalk projects are also sponsored by the PWD Safe Routes to School and Neighborhood Partnering Programs, Cap Metro, and other City departments or agencies. In addition to the City of Austin, other agencies like the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authorities (CTRMA) build sidewalks in Austin as part of their construction and maintenance work.  Private developers  also build sidewalks in projects they sponsor.  While this work is not always communicated to PWD to include in its maps and reporting, PWD is working with its partner agencies and developers to improve these communications so it can provide the best information possible.
The process of updating the Sidewalk Plan is currently underway as part of ATX Walk, Bike, Roll, a coordinated update of the city’s Urban Trails, Bikeways and Sidewalk Plans. Review and adoption of the plan updates are tentatively scheduled for Spring 2023. There may be some changes in data reported here as a result of the updates.
More information about the City’s sidewalk programs is available on the Sidewalk Program website.  Segment-level data about sidewalk construction is available in the City’s Open Data Portal.

Trending

There was an 60% increase in new sidewalk construction in 2021, as shown in the chart to the left. Increased production resulted from additional funding for construction crews and new employees  to scope and manage the projects.
For the past several years, the primary source of construction funds has been the 2016 Mobility Bond. However, in early 2022 the Austin City Council officially approved the 2020 Mobility Bond, under which another $80 million has been allocated to construct and rehabilitate high and very high priority sidewalk segments as well as ensure Austin’s sidewalks meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. $50 million will go towards building about 78 miles of new sidewalks and $30 million is dedicated to the rehabilitation of existing sidewalks. In addition to these bonds, funding can come from the Austin Transportation Department, Cap Metro, and other sources. As noted above, other agencies and private developers build sidewalks within Austin. PWD includes those facilities in overall sidewalk reporting when the information is available. However, tracking new sidewalk construction is challenging, which may contribute to some of the peaks and valleys in the trend line shown here.
Annexation is another source of growth in the sidewalk network.  When the City annexes new areas into its full purpose jurisdiction, the area’s streets and sidewalks (or lack thereof) become part of the city’s network, and therefore will affect both the amount of missing and existing sidewalk added to the network. Note: To see the underlying data for the chart, please select the "View Source Data" link.

Additional Measure Insights

The following chart shows where construction has occurred over the past four years, broken out by council district. The relative amounts of construction reflect alignment with the high and very high priority sidewalks as approved by City Council.

Measure Details and Definition

1) Definition:  This measure shows the portion of the missing sidewalk network that has been built by PWD each calendar year, starting in 2016.  This measure is limited to the full-purpose jurisdiction of the City of Austin; limited purpose and other extra-territorial jurisdictions are excluded from the measure.  Sidewalks built by TxDOT, CTRMA, private developers, and other sources outside PWD are also excluded.

2) Calculation method: This measure is calculated by dividing the amount of sidewalk added to the network during the year (numerator) by the length of missing sidewalk at the start of the calendar year (denominator).

3) Data Collection Process:  Data for this measure comes from construction records maintained by the PWD Sidewalks Program.

4) Measure Target Calculation: The target is based on costs for constructing sidewalks and available funds for construction based on 2016 Mobility Bond resources.

5) Frequency Measure is Reported: Annually (Calendar Year).

Date page was last updated: April 2022