New City Sidewalk Program
Sidewalk Program - New Sidewalk Component
Effective: 24 August 2007
Program Scope: A program to coordinate identification, selection, design, funding sources and construction management for new construction sidewalk projects in the City of Bowling Green. This program governs both commercial and residential areas. This program is not intended to supplant the separate annual sidewalk repair program – currently funded by Municipal Aid (Liquid Fuel Tax) revenues.
General Program Description and Purpose: A voluntary program intended to foster development of a “walkable” city by providing sidewalks in areas where none exist. Public Works is the proponent for, and provides general oversight of a program in which city staff, other public agencies (e.g. utilities), and neighborhood associations collaboratively advance the vision of increasing opportunities to travel throughout the community on foot.
The identification of potential candidate projects is via requests submitted through normal service request channels, through Citizen Information and Assistance, to Public Works. Projects thus identified proceed to Project Qualification.
In order for a candidate projects to qualify for the program, several criteria must be met as described below (we refer to qualified projects as “candidate” projects for the remainder of this document):
- Project Sponsorship – Anyone may sponsor including: citizens, staff, elected officials and committee representatives.
- Grant of Easement – Adjacent property owners must grant right-of-way or easement, should said ROW or easement be necessary to build the sidewalk. Staff will explore all design options to avoid the need for easement. If that is not possible, staff will ascertain the sentiment of adjacent property owners toward the project and present the information to the BOC to assist in deciding whether to pursue the project.
- Conformance with planned transportation improvements – A project cannot be at risk of subsequent removal or demolition to accommodate projects listed in the Long Range Transportation Plan, and cannot already have been designated to receive Greenways Commission funding. A central goal of the sidewalk program is to promote sidewalks (potentially similar improvements such as mixed use trails) throughout the community. However, it is not desirable to construct sidewalks or trail facilities only to have subsequent projects (e.g. utility installation, street or road widening, etc.) result in removal or demolition well short of the sidewalk’s useful life (20 years +). And, to ensure city funds are used to best advantage, we will not consider projects identified for Greenways funding, opting to spend valuable resources on unfunded projects.
Staff will develop a DRAFT project map illustrating, among other things, locations staff proposes to construct projects to achieve the greatest improvement in “walkability”. Staff will then host a public workshop at which citizens may review the staff proposal and leave comments, including submission of additional candidate projects. Staff will consider public comments, accommodating citizen input to the maximum practical extent. Staff will then present a revised, final DRAFT project map for BOC approval. After the BOC approves the map, staff will prioritize (see “Project Prioritization” below) the candidate projects illustrated on the approved project map and advance as many projects as budget will allow to design and, or construction. Projects that are too far down the priority list to receive funding will automatically carry forward to successive fiscal years for revalidation of project priorities and allocation of approved budget.
Owing to the time consuming nature of developing the candidate project list and candidate project map, and because the locations of greatest need do not tend to change greatly from year to year, we propose that the BOC reconsider the map every only every three years. However, project priorities, including new candidate projects nominated between BOC map approvals, will be validated against screening criteria every year.
Project Selection and Scheduling:
At the start of each annual budget planning cycle, a panel (PW & others TBD) evaluates candidate projects against a set of criteria to prioritize them for design and construction. Small projects may be designed and constructed in the same fiscal year. Large projects may unfold over successive fiscal years. Once a project enters the design / construction sequence, it continues without interruption to completion absent some compelling reason for advancing junior projects ahead of a project already underway. We will schedule projects in accordance with a Board of Commissioners approved priority list, adjusting the sequence only as necessary to respond to technical or budget considerations, or to achieve cost savings.
To prioritize candidate projects we will score each against the criteria described below, in the context of a “higher-score-is-better” prioritization methodology.
- Location (20 Points Max) - Candidate projects that best enhance pedestrian movement to schools, parks, commercial centers and bus stops will receive relatively higher scores than projects that enhance said movement.
- The proximity of candidate projects to schools, parks, commercial centers and bus stops is a desirable project characteristic. Note that in this scoring system proximity to schools, parks and bus stops is preferred over proximity to commercial or industrial centers. The latter is a normative judgment made in consultation with the Greenways Commission, PD and others with whom we coordinated this program. Also, projects that enhance movement to both sub-group areas can receive credit for both – not to exceed 20 points.
- Financial Feasibility (20 Points Max) – Candidate projects that are likely to have expenses defrayed from non-city sources will receive relatively more points than projects expected to receive little or no external funding.
|Location||0.00< d< 0.5 Miles||> 0.5 Miles|
|School, Park, Bus Stops||20 pts to 10 pts||0|
|Commercial or Industrial Centers||10 pts to 1 pt||0|
The potential for financial or other resources over and above city-budget-funded resources enhances the fiscal feasibility of a project, and means that city resources can purchase more construction for any fixed amount of program budget. Financial contributions come from various sources (e.g. property owner contributions, grants, etc.). Scoring for this prioritization factor shall be based on the equation below.
Financial Feasibility Score = 20 x (% of estimated project budget available from non-city sources)
- Technical / Fiscal Feasibility (20 Points Max) – Candidate projects deemed most technically / fiscally feasible will receive more points than projects less technically /fiscally feasible. In other words, affordability, as dictated by ease of design and construction, is a desirable project characteristic.
- Technical / fiscal feasibility is based upon whether special construction challenges that materially escalate project cost exist (e.g. need for or existence of retaining walls, excessive grading requirements, utility relocation requirements, property acquisition needs, scope of drainage considerations, etc.).
- Connectivity (25 Points Max) – Candidate projects filling short gaps in the existing sidewalk network will receive relatively more points than projects that fill longer gaps (owing to the relatively greater fiscal feasibility of filling short gaps).
|Technical Feasibility Measure||Scoring|
The existing sidewalk system contains gaps of varying length. By placing sidewalk in short gaps, the city receives benefits with minimal capital outlay, generally providing the “biggest bang for the bucks” we invest in new sidewalk, certainly expediting completion of a “connected” network.
|Connectivity (Length of Gap)||Scoring|
|0 < d < 500 ft||25|
|d > 500 ft||Decreasing score based on regression formula and increasing gap length|
Note: No “connectivity” points awarded to projects that do not close gaps, or those closing gaps in excess of 2,500 feet.
5. Walkability Index (15 Points Max) – Candidate projects most likely to reduce vehicle / pedestrian / cyclist conflicts / collisions will receive relatively higher scores than projects less likely to reduce these potentially tragic accidents.
This index primarily considers the functional classification of the street along which the candidate project route lies. The underlying concept here is that separating pedestrians from high volume roads will result in a greater reduction in potential vehicle / pedestrian conflicts than a project placed along streets with much lower traffic volumes.
Note: Project within the Enterprise Community zones will receive a default score of 15.
Projects will be funded from an annual allocation of resources, authorized by the BOC. Potential funding sources include the general fund, municipal bonds, grants, special revenues and other funding sources. As part of the annual budget submission Public Works will recommend the amount of sidewalk program funding the department can feasibly administer within the upcoming FY. Finance and Public Works will jointly recommend the source(s) of funding.
Public Works will supervise all project design, whether contract or in-house. Designs will conform to other community development plans (e.g. Chapter 99, Greenways, Phase II Storm Water) and applicable standards (e.g. ADA, KYTC and City of Bowling Green). At a minimum, designs coordination will involve Public Works (Engineering), Greenways, Planning and Zoning, Police, Fire, Legal and a representative from the neighborhood in which the project will be built. Designs will meet relevant technical design standards, including (ADA). Necessary accommodation of site-specific conditions will be made, as they are routinely, during the design phase of each project.
Contracts and Contract Administration:The Department of Public Works will be the proponent agency for soliciting and awarding design, construction management, and construction contracts. Public Works will also administer all contracts during both the design and construction phases of each project.
Property Acquisition / Easements and Disposition of Personal Items:
If the City must acquire property for right-of-way or a permanent easement, the city will employ standard appraisal and acquisition procedures to determine compensation for owners. Owners may donate property / easements to the City.
Personal Items Scenario #1 - Compensation for loss of personal items located on acquired right-of-way or easement:
If the city must acquire an easement and personal items located within the easement must be removed, the city will compensate the owner an amount equal to the full appraised value of both the easement and personal items (e.g. flowers, flower beds, shrubs, berms, trees, planters, mail boxes, fences, decorative drive entrance treatments, yard ornaments, etc.). The city will obtain appraisals at its expense. The city may agree to negotiate payment amounts if the City’s appraisal differs from a property owners’ independent appraisal, should a property owner choose to obtain an independent appraisal at their own expense.
The city will have sole discretion in identifying the limits of necessary easements and personal items that must be moved based on the project design.
The City or its contractor will dispose of any abandoned personal items the city / contractor removes from the new easement as construction debris. If the owner wishes to retain some or all of the personal items, the city will reduce compensation by the appraised value of personal items as the owner chooses to remove and retain at their own expense.
Personal Items Scenario #2 - Payment for the inconvenience of removing personal items from within the public right of way:
In exercising its right to use the right of way for public benefit, the city of Bowling will make every attempt to design in such a way as to avoid personal items.
When it is infeasible to bypass personal items residents have placed in the right of way and achieve an acceptable project (e.g. ADA compliant, adequate drainage, etc.) the city will pay owners for the inconvenience of having to remove their personal items from the ROW. The owners will remove their personal items. The city / contractor will remove personal items remaining within ROW on or after a stipulated date. The city will have sole discretion in identifying those personal items that must be moved based on the project design, and will accommodate owners regarding abandonment dates as much as construction schedules will allow. Inconvenience payments will be as follows:
|Personal Item||Inconvenience Payment *|
|Mailbox (of any description)||$100|
|Decorative Driveway Treatment (e.g. stamped concrete, brick)||$5 per square foot|
|Landscaping (plants, shrubs, mulch, berms, block / brick / lumber edging, etc.)||$5 per square foot of landscaped area|
|Fencing (non-masonry, of any description)||$5 per linear foot|
|Trees – Small (1” ≤ diameter** ≤ 4” , any variety / species)||$50 per tree|
|Trees – Medium (4” < diameter** ≤ 12”, any variety / species)||$100 per tree|
|Trees – Large (12” < diameter**, any variety / species)||$300 per tree|
|Irrigation and Sprinkling Systems||$0.25 per square foot|
|Masonry (pillars, walls, etc.)||$8 per square foot of interior and veneer block surface area|
|Asphalt Paving||$1 per square foot|
|Concrete Paving||$1.75 per square foot|
* Payment is not intended to approximate replacement values for personal items. This schedule applies only to this particular project / program
** Diameter measured 4 ½ feet above ground level. If the trunk splits below 4 ½ feet, measure just below the split. If the tree is less than 4 ½ feet tall, measure the stump below the first limb. If the tree is smaller than 1” in diameter make no payment without proof of recent purchase / planting.
Before the start of each project, PW will:
- Identify, for each address, personal items that need to be removed and inform each owner.
- Identify real estate or easements that must be obtained and inform owners.
- Obtain appraisals for real estate (Owners wishing to donate property may do so), and acquire property or easements as necessary.
- Compute the personal item payment due each owner in accordance with Board of Commissioners approved schedule.
- Inform owners of the amount of payment due them for personal items.
- Convene a neighborhood meeting to acquaint residents with the characteristics of the new sidewalk (concrete surface finish, drainage characteristics, extent of the project, etc.) and proposed construction schedule.
- Establish a date by which personal items must be removed from the ROW by the owner or be considered abandoned by the owner
- Provide a minimum of 14 calendar days for owners to remove personal items from the project area
- Remove personal items not removed by owners from the ROW before the stipulated date.