'Project Sidewalk' Crowdsources ADA Compliance

A crowdsourcing app allows citizens to hold the public realm to higher standards of access and mobility.

April 27, 2019, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Americans With Disabilities Act

Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock

Josh Cohen reports that Project Sidewalk, a data gathering mobile app project led by University of Washington faculty and students, has launched in Seattle in the hopes of improving sidewalk conditions.

"First piloted in Washington, D.C., in 2016, Project Sidewalk launched the Seattle version in mid-April," according to Cohen. "The app relies on data generated by users reviewing the city’s sidewalks via Google Street View, an attempt to speed up city audits usually conducted by teams of city workers walking the streets with clipboard in hand."

Leading the University of Washington effort is Computer Science Professor Jon Froehlich, who tells Cohen that desired outcomes for Project Sidewalk include a better educated citizenry and political accountability in maintaining ADA compliant access in the public realm.

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