Mobility Task Force
The Mobility Task Force (MTF) was formed in May 2010 at the direction of the Mayor to address the concerns of citizens of Moscow with access issues, especially for those with physical limitations, whether permanent or temporary. The MTF's top priority was the improvement of sidewalk access in critical areas throughout the city.
Some areas of Moscow have excellent sidewalks and pedestrian drops; other areas, especially older neighborhoods, have either no sidewalks or defective sidewalks, and either defective or missing pedestrian drops. These problems hinder east-west and north-south connectivity in the city and, to a certain extent, the vibrancy of our Central Business District.
City code requires that property owners maintain their sidewalks "in good repair and safe condition" and indicates that "where no sidewalks exist on a street, the Council may require construction by the property owner." (City Code Title V Ch. 7).
The last city-wide program to upgrade existing sidewalks was about 30 years ago. In recent years, the general policy of the City has been to respond to specific complaints about the condition of sidewalks before repair is requested. The Engineering Department has also used grants to fund sidewalk improvements (for example Safe Routes to Schools), and has used recent stimulus funding to construct pedestrian drops. These projects have greatly improved a portion of Moscow's sidewalk system, but many problems remain.
The Transportation Commission and City of Moscow Engineering Department asked the Mobility Task Force to identify and prioritize further improvements that are needed for the sidewalk system.
The MTF developed a comprehensive report of their work, included here on the right hand side of this webpage. The group made several recommendations based on the work they completed over the course of a six-month review including the following:
- The City of Moscow should address the top-priority deficiencies listed in Appendix A of the Mobility, through enforcement of city codes, pursuit of public-private partnerships, grant funding, and use of its currently appropriated funds for sidewalk improvements.
- Property owners should be instructed to repair the remaining problems cited on the detailed surveys of Mobility Routes.
- The City of Moscow should increase efforts to protect existing sidewalk from non-pedestrian use. This includes, where necessary, marking the pavement to clarify that a section is, indeed, a sidewalk. (An example is the sidewalk on Jefferson between 3rd and 4th, west side, along the key shop and beauty shop.) Sidewalk protection includes locations where property owners routinely leave their cars, sandwich boards, or dumpsters in the sidewalk.
- The City of Moscow Transportation Commission should discuss and make recommendations to improve pedestrian crossings at problematic locations around the city.
- Building codes should require that newly-constructed sidewalks end with ramps or pedestrian drops at alleys and driveways, or other terminations of the sidewalk.
We live in a unique community that attempts to include all its citizens in every aspect of its life. The Mobility Task Force feels that with the implementation of their recommendations, that safe, non-vehicular travel via Mobility Routes will benefit the physical and mental well-being not only those facing physical challenges, but of all citizens.