Lack of community supportThe annual budget forsidewalk repairsenables Public Worksto address less than1 percentof the estimated$152 million backlog ofbroken sidewalks and curbs.Limited funding & staff
Atlanta has prioritizedsidewalk maintenanceso low for decades,it will be difficult,if not impossible,to restart a programfunded by assessmentsfrom abuttingproperty owners.Lack of community support forcurrent sidewalk policy
than to abutting property owners.Sidewalks are public assets that providemore benefits to the community at largethan to abutting property owners.
Selective enforcement is inherently unjust..“What is so frustratingis that there are somany blocks aroundDelaware where thecity repaired thesidewalk at no cost tothe residents. It isselective billing andthat is simply unfair.”Edjuardo Julio
Atlantahas a22.4 %povertyrate.High poverty rateA program relyingon property liens asa major fundingsource is notsustainable.23 %
Maintenance costs should be shared by all taxpayers,not just those whose property abuts sidewalks.
Sidewalks and curbs are often damaged byillegal parking, car wrecks, and other problemsbeyond the control of property owners.
Create a comprehensiveinventory of sidewalk conditions
Use a points-based system to prioritize projectsScore pointsfor bothpedestriangeneratorsanddeficiencies
Reduce maintenance costsUse a two-prongedapproach ofrepair and replacement.
Identify Funding:The City must identifya funding source thatallows the City tore-assume responsibilityfor construction andmaintenance of thesidewalk system.
A bond referendum could help, butcompetition for funds will be fierce.
A parking surcharge could payfor infrastructure repairsThe City of Atlanta hasestimated that if a $1daily surcharge waslevied on transactionsfor 200,000 parkingspaces inside of thecity, it would generate$75.9 million in its firstyear of implementation
.Raise my taxes, please!Raising the millage rate by 1 mill would increaseannual revenue by an estimated $15 million.A home valued at $200,000 would pay$50 more in city taxes based on a 1 mill change.Dedicate the revenue to the Sidewalk Trust Fund.
The Americans with Disabilities Acttrumps local ordinances.Photo by Dan Burdenpedbikeimages.orgPublic sidewalks are aprogram of the City thatmust be accessible toall users.Photo by Dan Burdenpedbikeimages.org
Allocate tax dollars only to the cost ofsidewalks built with plain concrete. Make plain concretethe default choice.Add Assign costs for bricksor stamped hexagonsto abutting property ownersor associations
• Replacing trees withones that matchcircumference ofexisting trees• Using historic sidewalkmaterials on top of aconcrete base inhistoric districtsEliminate unfunded mandates –or allocate sufficient funding so they do notremain barriers to repairing sidewalks
This presentation expresses recommendations made to the Atlanta City Council’s Sidewalk Task Force byparticipants in the Best Practices / Sidewalk Policy and Financing Reform Subcommittee. It is not intended torepresent the opinions of the Atlanta City Council or others who lead or work for the City of Atlanta.1912: Atlanta Constitution calls on City to“revolutionize the poor system of street inspection.”1998: Atlanta-Fulton Pedestrian Safety TaskForce calls on City to enforce the sidewalkordinance – or replace it.Next step: Courageous Leadership2004: The Mayor’s Walkable Atlanta Task Forcecalls for a city-wide Pedestrian Master Plan and aproactive system for monitoring and repairinghazardous sidewalks .2010: The Connect Atlanta Plan calls on City toidentify funding source enabling it to re-assumeresponsibility for sidewalk maintenance.