Infrastructure trackers show the status of existing and planned streets, sidewalks and bike lanes. Nashville's WalknBike effort allows the public to track the status of bikeway and sidewalk links by location, estimated cost, project status and local elected representatives.
Benefits & Problems Addressed
Transparency: Infrastructure trackers make infrastructure investments transparent, which keeps the public informed on how public funds are being used and focuses public works attention to "on budget, on time" project delivery.
Communications: Maps can tell a fuller story of projects in the pipeline and how priorities fit within a larger context.
Open Data: By making information available, planners, real estate agents/investors and transportation professionals have usable data to support analysis and decisions. For example, transportation planners can assess metrics associated with existing and planned network connectivity.
Benchmarking: Cities and towns can better compare infrastructure networks, costs and coverage with peer cities.
Tips & Techniques
Getting started: Infrastructure trackers are map-based applications. Cities and towns will need to link GIS and establish schedules to continuously update the information. Some cities have maps such as infrastructure trackers compiled within a single map portal. Make sure to include stakeholders and partners (e.g. bicycle advocacy organizations) involved in project design and outreach.
Establishing priority routes: Given needs, jurisdictions need criteria for prioritizing projects. Localities often use: (1) building out a planned network, (2) first-last mile access to transit, (3) safety to address high crash areas of concern, (4) overlay with other priorities such as emergency evacuation and snow plowing routes , (5) the ability to solve several problems at once with a single project.
Repairs versus new construction: Trackers should also include existing facilities in need of repair.
Types of information to include for sidewalks: In addition to the map, details should indicate (1) location for "to and from" between streets, (2) which side of the street and width, (3) estimated costs, (4) survey, land acquisition, planning and engineering history and status, (5) timelines that include public meetings, and (6) contact information. Optional information can include a link to graphics, videos, and links to local elected officials.
Types of information to include for bikeways: In addition to the map, details should indicate (1) location for "to and from" between streets, (2) which side of the street and width, (3) type of bikeway, (4) estimated costs, (5) survey, land acquisition, planning and engineering history and status, (6) timelines that include public meetings, and (7) contact information. Optional information can include a link to graphics, videos, and links to local elected officials. In addition, information on bikeshare stations and bike parking can help illustrate the relationship of priority bikeways to other bicycling infrastructure.
Hot Buttons: Reporting infrastructure costs per linear foot is not standard across all jurisdictions. While some may report only sidewalk construction, others may bundle stormwater, land acquisition, and other costs. Residents may oppose new infrastructure, in particular where the locality assesses adjacent property owners. Residents also may fear that, with higher access, there could be higher crime. and noise