NKAPC staff undertook and completed a county-wide sidewalk inventory earlier this year. Locations of all sidewalks, pathways, trails, and crosswalks were documented along with materials to the extent that they can be determined from aerial imagery.
This information has already proven valuable in various planning projects including assessment of existing conditions for the Direction 2030 comprehensive plan and the Kenton County Transportation Plan update efforts that is currently underway.
A preliminary review of the sidewalk inventory indicates that the urban cities of Covington, Ludlow and Bromley are well served by sidewalks on both sides of the street. The density and grid pattern of streets in the urban areas create an environment that is conducive to walkability.
Approximately 60 percent of the first ring suburbs that are located just outside of the urban core are served by sidewalks either one or both sides of the street. Suburban areas including the Cities of Independence and Taylor Mill include streets with sidewalks in most of the newer subdivisions. However it is important to note that compared to the urban and first ring suburbs there is still land available for development in the suburbs.
The rural area which is predominantly south of Walton Nicholson Pike is not served by sidewalks due to the rural nature of the roadways and lower density of homes.
The next step in the process is to do a cursory evaluation of locations within the county where there are missing sidewalk linkages. A prioritization of these locations based on their proximity to schools and other key destinations will be evaluated. This could assist in pursuing funding strategically to improve connectivity.
National trends indicate that people want a healthier lifestyle and providing places that are walkable is one way of promoting that. “We felt that if this community desires to have a conversation about walkability and healthy lifestyles, we need to have some baseline documentation on our existing infrastructure,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, NKAPC’s Planning Manager. “Now that we have this information, we can work with legislative bodies on key locations where sidewalks may be missing and pursue those opportunities.”
These data will also be used in the update to the Kenton County transportation plan which will be multi-modal in nature, analyzing the need for all forms of transportation. This includes driving, walking and biking. Additionally, when transportation dollars are sought, this information will be useful to illustrate the need for infrastructure.