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Jurisdictional Scan of Sidewalk Management Practices from North American Municipalities


Sidewalks generally receive lower attention than primary infrastructure, such as roadways and bridges. Lawsuits incurred from sidewalk hazards can be costly for jurisdictions and detrimental to public perception of safety and mobility. Many municipalities recognize the importance of maintaining sidewalk assets systematically, from condition evaluation to treatment selection. However, limited resources for sidewalk assets, such as standards, reports, and research papers, are available.

To gain a better understanding of sidewalk management practices, a survey was distributed to select municipalities across North America. The survey comprised 41 questions covering various sidewalk management aspects, including sidewalk network information, data collection methods, distress types, data quality check and calibration, and management system.

Analyses were performed on the collected survey feedback. The results show that, while some respondents have similar sidewalk network sizes to maintain, the available budget varies greatly. Most participating municipalities do not have calibration and/or acceptance criteria for the collected sidewalk condition data. Subsequently, a condition rating system and/or performance index have not been developed for sidewalks. This may lead to unspecified treatment triggers and inconsistent decision-making processes. The data and findings presented in this paper can serve as a reference for any size municipality looking to benchmark its sidewalk management practices.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Emerging Asset Management Classes and Maturity
Zhao, Guangyuan (Luke)
Ahmed, Riaz
Whiteley-Lagace, Leanne
Surette, Edmund
Asset management