Howard J. Grossman
Transportation covers many elements, including sidewalk management.
There is a need in many communities to consider how edge management should take place, including possible strategies and ways to find revenue streams and partners related to this topic. In a recent issue of “Planning”, the magazine of the American Planning Association, the sidewalk management system was discussed.
This topic included what constitutes a successful sidewalk frame, including the following:
- High-level goals based on city-wide plan and policies.
- Locations specifically selected due to high activity.
- A clear understanding of how curbside space will function and be allocated to different users.
- Mapped land use types to help guide edge functions.
- Limit priorities based on these land uses and functions
- A means of evaluating the policies, tools and strategies used to allocate sidewalk space along a block or corridor, including performance measures.
- Resources and processes that help operationalize sidewalk management in city departments and with the public.
Most important is the role of education and awareness and the size of the community where sidewalk management becomes essential. This includes access for people and goods, necessary public space, vehicle storage, movement, greening, space activation and mobility.
Not all communities can benefit from true sidewalk management, but the Pocono Northeast has a number of cities and other types of government arrangements such as boroughs and perhaps some townships that could benefit of this knowledge.
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Inventories of curbs in the area would be a starting point, as well as looking at parking meters and their use, and what cameras can show in areas where these facilities are located.
Double parking can be a problem and be dangerous, however, when such activities occur there may be use for recording and downloading smartphone data and reserving spaces at loading zone locations.
In this region, edge management may not have been highlighted, but attention should be paid to ways of analyzing geographic areas where such conditions exist to warrant further investigation of techniques. border management. The magazine article suggests having a digestible reference document that details practices and processes for licensing, design guidance, and development review.
In this region, here are some ideas for reflection on this subject in the months and years to come:
- Create a sidewalk management team of planners and other managers to consider how best to move this topic forward.
- Select a model community for intense discussion and action regarding curb management in the region.
- Consider using consultants such as the one mentioned in the article titled Walker Consultants for advice and guidance.
Incorporate this topic into downtown revitalization efforts where appropriate. Parking is always part of these activities and sidewalk management should become a structured part of how downtowns revitalize and change for the betterment of their future.
These and other steps will enhance the eventual growth and development of central business districts within the Pocono Northeast.
Howard J. Grossman, AICP operates his own consulting firm, HJG Associates, in Pittston, PA. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from New York University. He served as Executive Director of the Economic Development Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania (EDCNEPA). He can be contacted at [email protected]