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Implementation:  Construction Strategies

There are many ways to accomplish projects. Be creative, take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. Here are some suggestions:

Regulation of New Development and Redevelopment: Developers can be required to install public infrastructure such as sidewalks, curb ramps, and traffic signals. In addition, zoning requirements can be written to allow for or require narrower streets, shorter blocks, and mixed-use development. Encouraging developers and community leaders to focus on basic pedestrian needs will benefit the community and increase the attractiveness of the developments themselves.

Annual Programs: Consider expanding/initiating annual programs to make small, visible improvements. Examples include sidewalk replacement programs, curb-ramp programs, annual tree-planting programs, etc. This creates momentum and community support. Several considerations should be made when developing these programs:

• Give priority to locations that are used by schoolchildren, the elderly, those with disabilities, and locations that provide access to transit.

• Consider giving preference to requests from neighborhood groups, especially those that meet other priorities, such as addressing a crash problem.

• Evaluate your construction options. Consider having city crews do work requested by citizens to provide fast customer service while bidding out some of the staff-generated projects.

Capital Projects: "Piggybacking" pedestrian improvements onto capital projects is one of the best ways to make major improvements in a community. Sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, landscaping, lighting, and other amenities can be included in road projects, utility projects, and private construction in public rights-of-way (e.g., cable television, high-speed fiber optics, etc.). To accomplish this, there are several things that can be done:

• Contact all State and regional agencies, and local public and private utilities that do work in public rights-of-way. Secure their 5-year project plans as well as their long-range plans. Then, work with them to make sure that the streets are restored in the way that works for your city.

• Look internally at all capital projects. Make sure that every opportunity to make improvements is taken advantage of at the time of construction.

• Consider combining small projects with larger capital projects as a way of saving money. Generally, bid prices drop as quantities increase.

Public/Private Partnerships: Increasingly, public improvements are realized through public/private partnerships. These partnerships can take many forms. Examples include: Community Development Corporations, neighborhood organizations, grants from foundations, direct industry support, and involvement of individual citizens. In fact, many public projects, whether they are traffic-calming improvements, street trees, or the restoration of historic buildings, are the result of individual people getting involved and deciding to make a difference. This involvement doesn’t just happen, it needs to be encouraged and supported by local governmental authorities.

Getting Started
Construction Strategies
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