Photo courtesy of Mat Huf, Vanderhawk Consulting, LLC
Missing sections of sidewalks pepper the landscape of Rancho Cucamonga, a holdover from its unincorporated days in the 1970s.
Derek Johnson, ICMA
17 February 2011 |
The City of Rancho Cucamonga, California, has partnered with Vanderhawk Consulting, LLC to conduct a sidewalk inventory project that city officials hope will provide them a blueprint for filling gaps in the local pedestrian infrastructure. Under contract from the city, Vanderhawk used a two-dimensional aerial photo of the city to identify spots near roads, intersections, homes and businesses that are in need of sidewalk paving. The company used GIS mapping technology to chart Rancho Cucamonga’s sidewalk circulatory system, with green lines representing existing sidewalks, blue lines for decomposed granite trails and red lines for missing sidewalk links. City officials hope the long-term effects of the project will result in higher pedestrian safety, increased walkability and perhaps even encourage further economic development.
Originally named after The Cucamonga Rancho, a historic local cattle-grazing site established in 1839, the area largely stayed true to its rural and agricultural roots for most of the next century and a half, until the communities of Alta Loma, Cucamonga and Etiwanda incorporated into the City of Rancho Cucamonga in 1977. Over the next 30 years, the city slowly developed into a hub for the logistics industry and today its biggest private employers include pharmaceutical and insurance companies, a steel mill and snack giant Frito-Lay, Inc. Though the city’s streets and roads have come a long way since its ranching days, there remain some missing gaps in the infrastructure that serve as reminders of Cucamonga’s rural past.
“When the city was incorporated more than 30 years ago, for various reasons there were a number of developed and undeveloped areas lacking sidewalks,” said Walt Stickney, associate engineer for the city. “The community of Alta Loma, for example, was established over a century ago and was predominantly agricultural, consisting of citrus groves and vineyards. Prior to incorporation, being a rural area, development did not always trigger a requirement for sidewalks. Now, being nearly built out, these segments of missing sidewalk are a high priority to the city.”
Vanderhawk was contracted by the city to supplement city staff with field inspection resources and expertise. President Mat Huff described the role his company played as helping to lessen the burden on the city’s engineering team:
"Many cities like Rancho Cucamonga have staff that are wearing 2 or 3 extra hats nowadays to make up for personnel that have been let go,” Huff explained. “Our company was able to inspect, map, analyze, and report on the city's missing sidewalks within a short period of time and within the city's budget."
Stickney said Rancho Cucamonga is in the process of developing a system of prioritizing each individual project in order to better lay out the cost and schedule of an endeavor city officials expect to be accomplished piece-by-piece over the course of years.
“The bottom line is that this inventory program will provide a master plan…,” he said. “The realities of the budget process results in these construction projects being a multi-year program. The first step in most inventory projects is to establish how the inventory will be maintained and current. With this inventory, the quantity of missing sidewalks will only be reduced over time.”
For more information on Rancho Cucamonga's sidewalk inventory project, contact:
The City of Rancho Cucamonga
10500 Civic Center DriveRancho Cucamonga, California 91730
Mat Huff, Vanderhawk Consulting, LLC
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