The Real First-Last Mile Solution: Fix the Sidewalks

Upgrading sidewalks on the way to transit stations could make a difference in cities facing declining transit ridership.
October 27, 2017, 7am PDT by Elana Eden

This fall, Denver voters will consider a $937 million infrastructure bond that would include $30 million to improve sidewalks near light rail stations, bus stops, and bikeshare stations.

As TransitCenter's The Connection points out, the Sidewalks to Transit program won't produce nearly enough money to fix the problem—that would take more like $475 million, given that 37 percent of Denver sidewalks near transit are "either missing or too narrow to walk on comfortably."

But, combined with small quick fixes, it could be a good start to addressing a problem that The Connection says many cities don't pay enough mind: "Because most riders in high ridership systems walk to catch buses and trains, transit stops must be supported by well-designed streets and sidewalks ...  Yet many cities in America have built streets without sidewalks, or allowed property owners to encroach on or neglect them."

Only two other cities—Nashville and Los Angeles—explicitly fund "walking to transit" programs, the blog notes.

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Published on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 in TransitCenter