Sidewalks are a critical part of sustainable transportation systems, supporting pedestrian travel and healthy physical activity. Presence and quality of sidewalks is a significant predictor of perceived safety and quality of the pedestrian environment. Lack of adequate pedestrian infrastructure data has been identified as a major barrier to large-scale pedestrian planning. Sidewalk presence, width, and surface condition are identified as important indicators of facility quality and accessibility. Georgia Tech is deploying an Android tablet application to automatically generate spatial sidewalk inventories, automatically assess sidewalk quality, and prioritize sidewalk repairs. The research team has collected field data on sidewalk segments across the City of Atlanta and deployed a quality evaluation survey of selected segments to transportation experts in order to obtain baseline sidewalk quality expert ratings. Researchers then link expert ratings from survey results back to the field data to complete the automated Sidewalk Quality Tool. The sidewalk assessment ratings developed through this project can provide a baseline for municipal and regional sidewalk inventories, influencing transportation decision-making and improving quality of life and public health. The development of automated evaluation tools will help to address current challenges in prioritizing infrastructure improvements, fostering walkability and livability for cities and suburbs.
Frackelton, Alexandra; Grossman, Alice; Palinginis, Evangelos; Castrillon, Felipe; Elango, Vetri; and Guensler, Randall
"Measuring Walkability: Development of an Automated Sidewalk Quality Assessment Tool,"
Suburban Sustainability: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/subsust/vol1/iss1/4