Today Mayor Murray and I announced new strategies to construct more sidewalks for less money. For decades, neighborhood advocates have pushed the City to provide sidewalks to the areas that have none, but the biggest hurdle has been cost. Traditional concrete sidewalks can cost $300,000 per block face. That’s a lot of money!
But sidewalks are important. A lack of sidewalks makes it harder to access the amenities like parks and libraries that make Seattle a great place to live. It forces children to walk or bike in the street to reach our local schools. It creates dangerous situations for our neighbors with disabilities and our elderly neighbors.
So several months ago I challenged the Department of Transportation to get more creative about sidewalk production; I wanted to see if the City could do more with the resources we have.
It turns out we can.
By using more cost-effective designs and materials, like stamped and stained asphalt instead of concrete, we can build more sidewalks for less money. This approach won’t make sense for every block, but by using it in appropriate places the City can build 250 sidewalks for the former price of 150. That is 67% more sidewalks, and many more neighbors who will now be able to safely walk to school, the park, the grocery store or the bus stop.
More details are available here.