DDOT has been filling in some sidewalk gaps around our neighborhood (including 29th Street and the 3800 block of Albemarle), but there’s more work to be done. Here’s the latest on an effort to address missing sidewalks throughout the city:
Last May, Marlene Berlin and Sharon Bauer, representing Iona’s Pedestrian Advisory Council, met with DDOT to present the Iona Sidewalk Gap Project’s final report (more on that here), which included specific recommendations for implementing the DC Council’s Priority Sidewalk Assurance Act of 2010.
On July 22nd, they sat down again with five DDOT officials: Sam Zimbabwe, the deputy director of DDOT; Kelly Peterson, Ward 3 transportation planner; Jennifer Hefferan, Safe Routes to School coordinator; George Branyan, pedestrian coordinator; and Jim Sebastian, manager of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. They discussed DDOT’s plans to address sidewalk gaps in the city:
- Draft an executive order that will clarify language relating to a part of the law (Section 2, Part (a)) that requires sidewalks to be built where there is road or curb and gutter work. At this point it is unclear whether the terms “priority areas” and “hazardous” to pedestrians will be clarified, as well.
- Get Safe Routes to School and Transportation Alternatives funding obligated (in other words, ready to be used) for use in filling sidewalk gaps, among other priorities. The majority of this funding will be spent on sidewalk gaps, however. Total funding for FY 2014 for these two federal programs is around $2 million.
- Prepare a list of priority sidewalk gaps using a process specified in the 2009 Master Pedestrian Plan, and then prioritizing that list.
- Work on a communication and notification plan for the public that lays out how DDOT has prioritized filling sidewalk gaps.
Iona is hoping that by October first, the executive order will be signed, the federal funds will be obligated, and a communication and notification system will be in place. We will keep you posted on DDOT’s progress.