RealEstate Ke > Neighborhood shared spaces > How to Get Sidewalks in Your Neighborhood (7 Ideas)

How to Get Sidewalks in Your Neighborhood (7 Ideas)

Did you know that residents of neighborhoods with sidewalks have a 47% higher likelihood of engaging in at least 39 minutes of daily physical activity than those without?

However, many neighborhoods still lack adequate sidewalk infrastructure, reducing walkability and pedestrian safety.

But, how do you get sidewalks for your neighborhood? To get sidewalks installed in your area, you need to:

  • build a strong coalition of neighbors
  • develop a sidewalk installation plan
  • secure funding and resources
  • work closely with local government and contractors for approvals and implementation
  • stay involved throughout the process to ensure the sidewalks are properly built

Have you ever wished your neighborhood had sidewalks for better walkability and safety? Here’s how a homeowner’s role compares to other parties:

Local GovernmentOversees construction and maintenance
Property OwnersMaintain sidewalks fronting property
Developers/BuildersInstall sidewalks in new developments
HOAsMaintain sidewalks in their communities
Government ProgramsAssist with sidewalk installation
Common sidewalk responsibilities

Many communities lack adequate pedestrian infrastructure, but installing sidewalks is possible with some effort.

Follow this 7-step guide to make it happen.

Who’s responsible for building sidewalks?

I’m sure you’ve wondered – who is in charge of building and maintaining neighborhood sidewalks? Well, it depends on where you live and local regulations.

  • Generally, city or municipal governments oversee sidewalk construction and upkeep. They may fund, plan, and handle installing sidewalks along streets and in public areas.
  • In some places, property owners have to maintain the sidewalks fronting their land.
  • When new developments go up, developers and builders usually put in sidewalks.
  • Homeowner associations (HOAs) often maintain sidewalks within their communities.
  • Some government programs help pay for sidewalk installation in certain situations, like low-income areas.

The responsibility varies, so check your local laws. However, the city or town ultimately controls public sidewalks in most cases.

neighborhood sidewalk

How to get sidewalks in your neighborhood

Alright, so now you know who’s in charge of sidewalks. Let’s talk about how actually to get them installed in your community.

Installing new sidewalks takes time and sustained effort. Building a strong neighborhood coalition and working with the city will be key. Follow these steps:

1. Understand local requirements

First things first – learn the laws and regulations for your area.

  • Contact the city to find out if they have programs to help residents build sidewalks.
  • Look into zoning codes, permits needed, and any special sidewalk requirements.

You gotta educate yourself on the rules before proposing a new project!

2. Establish a plan

Once you know the requirements, make a sidewalk installation plan:

  • Identify areas needing sidewalks, considering foot traffic, safety issues, proximity to schools/parks, etc.
  • Estimate costs using online tools like Strong Towns.
  • Map out the scope and logistics.

Having a solid plan is crucial for getting approval and funding.

3. Secure resources and support

Next, rally resources and community support:

  • Get neighbors, businesses, and local organizations on board.
  • Start a petition and collect signatures from residents in favor.
  • Apply for grants and explore funding opportunities to cover costs.

Showing wide community support strengthens your case!

4. Secure funding

Sidewalk projects can get pricey. Look into these potential funding sources:

  • Local government budgets and grants
  • State or federal grants
  • Public-private partnerships with businesses
  • Community fundraising campaigns

Explore all options to make it financially feasible!

5. Make sure the plan is implemented

Once your sidewalk proposal is approved, stay involved to ensure proper execution:

  • Work closely with the city transportation department and contractors.
  • Make certain required permits and approvals are obtained.
  • Monitor construction timelines and budgets.

Keep things on track to turn your plan into a reality!

6. Monitor implementation

When the building happens, check in frequently:

  • Attend public meetings and provide input.
  • Ensure sidewalks are built to specifications.
  • Identify any issues early and troubleshoot if needed.

Stay vigilant so your hard work pays off!

7. Celebrate and promote!

Hooray, your sidewalk project is complete!

  • Celebrate with the community and thank all involved.
  • Promote the benefits, like improved pedestrian safety.
  • Advocate for more walkable neighborhoods.

Enjoy the success and spread the sidewalk love!

neighborhood sidewalk construction

Sidewalk material types

Sidewalks come in different building materials, each with pros and cons:

  • Concrete – Most common, durable, but cracks over time.
  • Asphalt – Cheaper than concrete but less long-lasting.
  • Brick – Beautiful but high maintenance.
  • Stone – Flagstone, slate – attractive but requires upkeep.
  • Gravel – Informal, best for rural areas and parks.
  • Wood – Seen on boardwalks, requires frequent repairs.
  • Permeable – Eco-friendly, allows drainage.
  • Elevated – For wetlands and unstable ground.
  • Accessible – Curved ramps, tactile paving for wheelchairs.

Consider factors like use, aesthetics, durability, and cost when selecting sidewalk materials.

City priorities for sidewalk placement

Cities use various criteria to decide where to build new sidewalks:

  • Equity – Underserved, low-income areas are often prioritized historically.
  • Safety – Busy roads and walk zones get priority.
  • Connectivity – Access to schools, parks, transit.
  • Proximity – Where pedestrians already walk.
  • Completeness – Entire networks, both sides of streets.
  • New Development – Sidewalks included in new builds.
  • Upgrading – Replacing old deteriorated sidewalks.

Balancing these factors allows cities to expand sidewalks where needed most.

Let’s get our sidewalk on!

As you can see, getting sidewalks installed in your community with dedication and know-how is possible.

Building sidewalks takes time, but the benefits for walkability, safety, health, and the environment make it worthwhile.

Now that you’re armed with the steps and insights, you can start advocating for better pedestrian access in your neighborhood.

Band together with neighbors, coordinate with local leaders, and don’t take “no” for an answer.

Let’s create more walkable cities for all to enjoy!

Zebedee Nambaleo
Zebedee Nambaleo

Zebedee is the founder of RealEstate Ke. He creates content by carefully examining and analyzing the real estate market, home improvement resources, and government data. His analysis is based on the principle of supplying high-quality, relevant, and in-depth information to his audience. By evaluating the current conditions and predicting future trends, he provides his audience with invaluable insights that allow them to make better decisions.