Pedestrian System Plan
Pedestrian travel is the real measure of accessibility of the transportation system. Walking is the original mode of travel and is essential to all other modes. Whether one is walking from a parked car to the front door of a business or from a transit stop to home, the pedestrian portion of every trip helps determine the enjoyment, safety and convenience of that trip.
The pedestrian system provides the connections between the different modes and is a critical element in supporting the transit system. The lack of a pedestrian system is also now identified as a major obstacle to active living, with the resulting increase in obesity and related health issues nationwide.
To encourage more walking, the pedestrian element supports:
- Providing a continuous network so that pedestrians are not stranded short of their destination or forced into difficult or potentially dangerous situations;
- Ensuring a safe walking environment through adequate maintenance, snow removal, vegetation trimming and lighting;
- Creating a pedestrian-oriented environment through high quality urban design and pedestrian amenities; and
- Providing routine education and enforcement on the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicle drivers.
The TMP pedestrian element addresses key improvements needed to complete the missing links connecting popular destinations and providing linkages between home, shopping, work and transit. In many areas, these pedestrian connections will provide a pedestrian environment similar to the downtown. In other areas, the pedestrian connections are strategic, providing pedestrian linkages between activity areas and transit. With the proposed pedestrian improvements, 55 new underpasses, 60 enhanced pedestrian crossings and an additional nine (9) miles of new pedestrian facilities will be ultimately added to complete the pedestrian element under the Vision program. The map in the related links section labeled "Pedestrian Map" does not include multi-use paths, which have been included in the bicycle facilities.
- Pedestrian travel is involved in every trip and is the basis for all other modes of travel. A high-quality pedestrian environment will be developed as the foundation for the desired multimodal transportation system.
- The city's standard for pedestrian mobility and accessibility is the ability of a wheelchair user to move safely and conveniently through the transportation system.
- A high-quality pedestrian environment includes the ability to travel safely and conveniently along the street and to have reasonable crossing opportunities; to travel through a comfortable and interesting environment provided by high-quality urban design; and to have appropriate pedestrian amenities such as benches, shade and water fountains.
- In existing residential areas, the city will identify alternative means of meeting defined pedestrian needs. If the need can be met safely within the traveled way of a rural residential street or access lane, then sidewalks may not be developed.