ETM contracted with the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) in partnership with St. Johns County in identifying and prioritizing the construction of missing sidewalk gaps on the County's collector roadways. St. Johns County needed a defensible and flexible methodology to rank the construction of missing sidewalk gaps that would provide the most beneficial use of limited funding.
ETM identified sidewalk gaps on the County's collector roadway network and then conducted a three-step process to evaluate and prioritize the relative need to fill missing sidewalk gaps. The first step was to develop sound evaluation criteria and a scoring system that considered potential pedestrian demand, access to major destinations, system connectivity, safety, mobility and equity.
The application of objective evaluation criteria was intended to identify the sidewalk gaps that, if constructed, would provide the greatest benefit to the most people that are expected to utilize the sidewalk system. An ArcGIS analysis was then utilized to apply the evaluation criteria and determine a score for each sidewalk gap. An online survey provided insight into community preferences and sidewalk needs. The survey results supported the use of the evaluation criteria and were generally consistent with the sidewalk gap rankings.
The second step involved field reviews to evaluate the constructability and relative cost of the highest ranked sidewalk gaps. A digital data collection application known as Survey123 by Esri was utilized to collect and manage data captured during field visits. To provide the County with additional flexibility and ease in visualizing the sidewalk gap data and analysis, ETM developed a web application. The web application is a dynamic, interactive mapping tool to help visualize the sidewalk gap data and analysis in the context of other existing conditions. The third step involved refinement of the list and ongoing updates to the sidewalk gap data and analysis by a Steering Committee of County staff with various areas of expertise in the planning, design, funding and sidewalk construction.