case studies

Sidewalks - American Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance



City of Memphis


Sidewalks – ADA Compliance

With areas of the city lacking safe and navigable sidewalks, many wheelchair-bound Memphians were often forced to brave vehicle traffic by traveling on city streets. In an effort to make pedestrian facilities friendlier to Americans with disabilities, the City of Memphis contracted CAESER to map all sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and ramps throughout the city (over 3,000 miles of sidewalks and nearly 4,000 handicap ramps). Both present and future uses were considered when designing the dataset. The use of high-resolution 3-inch aerials (roughly 1” = 50’ scale maps) enabled CAESER technicians to locate, digitize, and assign widths to sidewalks. Additionally, robust set of topology rules ensured that the dataset maintained geometric accuracy and integrity, enabling its use in future network analysis. An exhaustive classification system for street crossing was developed to allow for detailed evaluation of existing street facilities at all crossings, both at intersections and mid-block.

Two outgrowths of the sidewalk digitization were the complete digitization of sidewalks within the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization focus area (Shelby, Fayette, DeSoto and Marshall Counties) and development of a bike/pedestrian plan. This increased the miles of sidewalks digitized to 6,000 miles. The sidewalk data was also incorporated into a bike/pedestrian study by Alta (located in Seattle, Washington), which aims at increasing community connectivity.

As a result of this mapping project, CAESER helped the City of Memphis provide disabled Memphians invaluable information that aids their daily lives, along with safer sidewalks.