Pittsburgh Deserves Sidewalks!
As a private property owner, did you know you're responsible for maintaining/repairing the sidewalks on your property? Most people don't.
The Many Benefits of Sidewalks for a Range of Users/Modes (U.S. Department of Transportation Infographic)
Sidewalk Conditions Assessed in the Central Business District (Gehl Studios/Envision Downtown, 2016)
For many Pittsburgh residents, walking is a fundamental part of their routine, whether that be traveling to a college campus, getting to work, or meeting up with your friends at your favorite bar or restaurant. Sidewalks, though often forgotten, are an essential part of our public and private infrastructure network that not only help to connect people to physical destinations, but also contribute to people’s mental health, positive neighborhood perception, and a higher quality of life. Across the country, cities are prioritizing walkability and establishing pedestrian programs as a top priority to improve livability and the quality of life, for all residents. In Pittsburgh, we have yet to conduct a citywide sidewalk assessment, develop a Pedestrian Master Plan, educate private property owners on their responsibilities of performing repairs on existing sidewalks, or establish a dedicated fund for subsidizing costs. By maintaining the status quo practices around sidewalk maintenance, the City’s inaction suggests that walkability and connectivity are not top priorities despite City plans, neighborhood plans, and property inventory survey data indicating it is. However, with the recent creation of DOMI and re-organization of PLI, this is an opportune time for the City (DOMI, DPW, & PLI) included) to partner with proactive nonprofit partners, already thinking about these issues, to begin addressing this foundational and critical gap in our infrastructure network.