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Thousands Of Austin Sidewalks Missing

Updated: Tuesday, January 7 2014, 05:39 PM CST

The City of Austin claims 2,200 miles of sidewalks are missing in the city limits. To put it in perspective that's the same distance from our capitol to Seattle, Washington.

Public works project manager John Eastman explains the sidewalks are missing due to lack of ADA rules and the city not enforcing development in the past.

"There is a significant era between 30 to 50 years where sidewalks were not being built as streets were being built," said Eastman.

Now they are catching up.

In 2012 voter approved $25 million in bonds to pay for the work. But the entire project is estimated at $820 million.

Right now the goal is to fix 15 miles a year.

"Any given moment there is anywhere from five to 10 crews out working on sidewalk specific projects," said Eastman.

The areas of very high priority are east, south and downtown.

Daniel Keshet wants to see the change. He walks to and from work an hour a day near 5th Street and Lamar Boulevard. But says there are bumps in his path.

"It's about affordability and it's about freedom," said Keshet, "Some areas are easier to walk than others. Some areas I have to skirt a missing sidewalk and walk out in the street and dodge cars. Not a lot of people do that."

He is glad something is being done to improve his walk and more so to get additional people to choose walking instead of driving.

"It's a good way to get into the work mindset and out of the work mindset," said Keshet.

To see the priority sidewalk areas, go to http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Public_Works/Sidewalk_Prioritization_Map.pdf.

By Christie Post

Thousands Of Austin Sidewalks Missing


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