Here’s a look at the sidewalks we got (barely visible green) and the ones we don’t got (orange).
This map is included in the draft of the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, the long-range transportation vision that City Council is poised to approve in the coming months.
What’s most striking about the map is how it shows that a lack of sidewalks is an issue in nearly every area of the city, rich and poor, north, south, east, west.
Here’s a closeup of tony West Austin neighborhoods on both sides of MoPac, many of which lack sidewalks.
Here is a glimpse of East Austin.
Here’s my neck of the woods in South Central Austin.
However, not all absent sidewalks are created equal. The city has put a big emphasis on addressing missing sidewalks on the east side. Here’s a look at the priority matrix from the 2016 Sidewalk Master Plan.
The more likely that residents of an area are to be transit-dependent, the more important sidewalks are in their neighborhood. Sidewalks are a key part of facilitating transit. Making the trip to the bus stop as safe and as comfortable as possible is key.
The city’s ten-year plan calls for adding a whopping 97 miles of sidewalks to East Austin’s District 1, compared to just 5 miles in the far northwest burbs of District 6 and 14 miles to the wealthy West Austin neighborhoods in District 10. Despite this, former CM Ora Houston accidentally voted to give away a bunch of her district’s sidewalk money at the behest of former D10 CM Sheri Gallo back in 2016.
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