by Marlene Berlin and Sharon Bauer
Sidewalks are more than a way to get from one place to another on foot. They connect us to our neighbors and neighborhoods. And they become even more crucial as we age.
So Iona Senior Services has spearheaded a pedestrian advocacy effort to focus on filling priority sidewalk gaps in Ward 3. This effort, which came out of Iona’s series of advocacy workshops, is led by Marlene Berlin, Iona’s pedestrian advocate, and Sharon Bauer, a former traffic analyst from Austin, Texas. This pedestrian advocacy group has focused on updating the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) Sidewalk Gap Map of 2008 for Ward 3 and proposing new sidewalk gap closure procedures (more on that Thursday).
The Priority Sidewalk Assurance Act of 2010, initiated by Councilmember Mary Cheh, establishes routes to schools, recreation and park areas, and transit stops as priority areas for filling in missing sidewalks. And when streets with no sidewalks are due for reconstruction or new curbs and gutters, the law requires that a sidewalk be built on at least one side.
Sharon Bauer, with the assistance of DC Office of Planning, has put in many hours of work to update the DDOT map. She based her changes on the latest Google Street View data. The map includes quarter-mile radius zones (light blue circles) around schools, recreation areas and Metro stops. This is an approximately 5 to 10-minute walk, which we propose as the highest priority areas for filling missing sidewalks.
We have three categories of streets denoted by different colors:
Now, we need your input.
1) Download the PDF file of the map by clicking the image below. Open the PDF and zoom into the areas you are familiar with – your ANC, schools, etc.
2) Focus particular attention on priority areas – the quarter-mile circles around significant pedestrian features such as schools, Metro stops, rec centers and playgrounds.
3) Check for inaccuracies on the map, especially the streets marked in RED (no sidewalk on either side) and GREEN (partial sidewalk on one or both sides or difficult to tell).
4) Using the survey form below, provide feedback/recommendations for areas that should receive high priority for sidewalk installation, or in some cases, point out areas where no sidewalk is needed or reasonable. (Each text box can be enlarged by clicking on its lower right hand corner, holding, and dragging downward.) Alternatively, you may email your feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The map’s legend can be opened and printed separately by clicking here.
We will present our findings to DDOT and to the Ward 3 communities by the end of March. Make sure that your comments and priorities are included by completing the form below by March 1st. If you have any difficulties with the form, you may also try this link: surveymonkey.com/s/sidewalkpriority.