University of Vermont Transportation Research Center
In many communities’ sidewalks are discontinuous, inaccessible to those with physical disabilities, and poorly maintained. Correcting these problems would be a first step in providing infrastructure to achieve the active travel and related transportation goals of many communities. One nearly universal challenge to maintaining sidewalks is an adequate, sustainable and equitable source of funding. Municipalities typically maintain and repair their streets; however, most require residents to maintain and repair public sidewalks adjacent to their property. These policies are difficult to enforce and may be at least partly responsible for the poor condition of many sidewalks. They also place a relatively high cost on low-income households. We evaluate three sidewalk maintenance funding alternatives for public sidewalks in Albuquerque, New Mexico: increasing the gross receipts tax (GRT), the gasoline excise tax, or the property tax. We show that any of the alternatives would perform better than policies that require adjacent property owners to maintain public sidewalks. They are generally less regressive, cost less on average, and would allow municipalities to manage sidewalk assets more effectively. The differences between the alternatives are relatively minor compared to their benefits. Additional considerations should include how the revenue from each tax may change over time.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Corning-Padilla, A., Rowangould, G., 2020. Sustainable and equitable financing for sidewalk maintenance. Cities 107, 102874. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2020.102874
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in Cities in 2020, available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2020.102874