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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.

Photo of Kathryn Schlesinger

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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.
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Attachments (4)


A strategy some community groups have used for collecting basic sidewalk conditions data: property inventory surveys.

Troy Hill Property Survey_SidewalkConditions.pdf

A strategy some community groups have used for collecting basic sidewalk conditions data: property inventory surveys.


Diana Nelson Jones addressing sidewalks in the NorthSide, in her ongoing Walkabout series (Post-Gazette, 2013)


An overview of Austin, TX's peer cities and their standards around sidewalk maintenance/repairs/expansion.


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Photo of KatieWalsh 100

Hi Kathryn, I read Mitch's comment on this post with interest. Whatever you decided about his input there, I was surprised that you hadn't made this idea a formal proposal in the Propose phase of this challenge? Please do work it up into a pilotable proposal if you would like to. If you come back to the website, to Pittsburgh page, the participate button will now take you through to the form. While you are there please read the full brief for Pittsburgh challenge to help your proposal. Best of luck, Katie, Facilitator

Photo of Mitch Turck

Agreed -- I'd actually assumed it was a proposal given the depth of supporting data and well-framed argument. Please do submit it Kathryn Schlesinger !

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