DID YOU KNOW?
The City of Sandpoint adopted its first ordinance formally prioritizing the need to improve sidewalks in 1919! For the past hundred years, our community has recognized the value in providing safe access for pedestrians and we have worked collaboratively to establish the network that exists today. Within city limits, we have 50 miles of sidewalks, approximately 800 curb ramps, and nearly 10 miles of multi-use pathways.
Sidewalks in Sandpoint are typically located on public right-of-way, between private property lines and the street. In an effort to become a more pedestrian friendly city for all, the Sandpoint City Council established the Pedestrian Advisory Committee in 2005. Six years later, committees merged to also represent bicycle issues. Citizens, past leadership, and committee members have been instrumental in shaping our current network, bike routes, standards, and code revisions.
WHY SIDEWALKS & PATHWAYS?
They are convenient but is there more to it?... Yes!Here are the facts.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), annually, around 4,500 pedestrians are killed in traffic crashes with motor vehicles in the United States.
FHWA also states that sidewalks provide many benefits including safety, mobility, and healthier communities.
Smart Growth America published a report of 114 pedestrian deaths in Idaho between 2005-2014. It’s been nearly 10 years since a pedestrian was killed by a motor vehicle in Sandpoint but we have had injuries, near misses, and at least one pedestrian fatality has occurred in the past few years in Bonner County.
Sandpoint Police reports 19 injuries caused by bicycle and vehicle collisions over that past 10 years.
For people with wheelchairs, scooters and walkers, and people with visual impairments, safe sidewalks and pathways are essential to the usability of their community and quality of life.
Retail properties with a Walk Score ranking of 80 out of 100 were valued 54 percent higher than those with a Walk Score of 20 and had an increase in net operating income of 42 percent.
The existing sidewalk and pathway infastructure is available in our public GIS system.Click here to access.
WHAT ARE OUR CURRENT CHALLENGES?
In 2010, the Sandpoint City Council adopted a Sidewalk Network Plan.In addition, the adopted Comprehensive, Urban Area Transportation Plans and Downtown Streets Guide reference sidewalks and pathways. A secondary implementation plan has not been developed to-date.
The current City Code Title 7, Chapter 3 is challenging to interpret, complex to enforce, and lacks the necessary flexibility to adjust for physical conditions such as drainage, topography and other landscape features.Click here to read our Code.
As a result:
*There are gaps in sidewalk and pathway connectivity
*There is a lack of agreement and concerns about equity and fairness regarding necessity and cost structure for new construction of sidewalks
*Lack of clear expectations regarding responsibilities and standards for maintenance, repair, and snow removal of sidewalks and pathways, resulting in safety/ADA and enforcement challenges.
*Performance measures and benchmarks have not been established nor monitored.
WHAT'S NEXT:A MASTER PLAN
In accordance with City Council’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan, City staff are tasked with conducting a public process to critically review needs and define preferred actions and related resource requirements for sidewalk and pathway infrastructure. Scroll below to learn how we intend to move forward. Simply put - it's the framework for how we get things accomplished.
The purpose of a Master Plan is to address these challenges by establishing a prioritization framework and policies, programs, and project opportunity areas to advance pedestrian safety and accessibility for all people of all ages and abilities. It will lay out the key strategies and actions necessary to achieve a common vision and establish funding approaches and performance measures to gauge our success. The Master Plan will serve as a key resource for staff, decision-makers, property owners, and citizens.
Establishing a clear management tool for achieving our goals enables us to make well-informed decisions. The 20-year blueprint will serve as a comprehensive plan that considers how sidewalks and pathways integrate with our overall transportation plan and include considerations for the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), lighting, and future development. Sandpoint’s master planning for sidewalks and pathways will tap into lessons learned, strategies, standards, and data here at home and in other cities.
OPPORTUNITIES & TIMELINE
Step 1. Gain a better understanding of people’s experience while using Sandpoint sidewalks and pathways through an online survey (December 2018 – January 2019)
Step 2. Improve the existing City Code relating to sidewalks and pathways to provide clarity, consistency, and fairness with a reference to the future Master Plan (January – March 2019)
Step 3. Establish a Mayor-appointed Citizen Advisory Committee to provide feedback on staff recommendations to City code, prior to bringing to Council for a decision (January – March 2019). This Committee will include all of the existing members of the Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee who desire to participate and others to ensure representative diversity of community opinions and views on the topic.
Step 4. Develop a Master Plan in coordination with professional consultant(s) and further citizen engagement, including additional surveys (Spring 2019 – Spring 2020)
To participate on the Citizen Advisory Committee, please complete our application form by clicking here.You may also come to City Hall to submit an application in person.Deadline:January 5th
More questions?Please feel free to reach out to contact our Infrastructure and Development Manager, Amanda Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208.263.3411