Austin Sidewalks: Planning, Assessment and Execution


  • How to analyze, plan, and communicate sidewalk infrastructure-investment decisions through a collaborative infrastructure-planning process that engages stakeholders and policy makers
  • How to use GIS tools to analyze and communicate objective prioritization criteria for infrastructure investments
  • How to develop and deploy ArcGIS Online mapping tools to assess existing sidewalks, scope new sidewalk projects, and manage ongoing construction using smartphone and tablet-based applications


Sidewalks are recognized as necessary and integral components of urban and suburban transportation systems. Sidewalk networks provide access to transit, increase transportation equity, help control air pollution and traffic congestion, and improve quality of life. Sidewalks and curb ramps are also subject to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, which can create a significant liability for local governments due to the potential for Department of Justice or third-party lawsuits. Gain an overview of how the City of Austin is working to address the infrastructure and regulatory challenges related to sidewalks, including the 2009 Sidewalk Master Plan and ADA Transition Plan, 2015 Sidewalk Peer Cities report, and 2016 Sidewalk Master Plan/ADA Transition Plan update; the deployment of smartphone and tablet-based geographic information system (GIS) tools for analysis, planning, assessment, and project management; the successes and lessons learned from deploying both city forces and contract crews using a field engineering/unit price contract construction delivery model; and the way other Public Works Department programs, the specifically Safe Routes to School Program, work together to coordinate sidewalk improvements with funding from the 2016 Mobility Bond Program.