Date of release: October 3, 2018
The City of Paducah is reviewing the results from the National Citizen Survey with this release focusing on Mobility. Each question on the survey is connected to one of eight facets: Safety, Mobility, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation & Wellness, Education & Enrichment, and Community Engagement.
The Mobility facet addresses the various ways to travel through a city including the transit system, walking and bicycle paths, sidewalks, and streets. The question that saw the greatest positive change between this year and 2013, the first time the City of Paducah conducted a Citizen Survey, is the question that asks citizens to rate the availability of paths and walking trails in Paducah. In 2013, the results showed that 43% rated the availability of paths and walking trails as either excellent or good. However, that number increased to 54% in 2016 and to 55% this year.
Parks & Recreation Department Director Mark Thompson says, “Since the first segment of the Greenway Trail opened in 2008, the City has diligently worked to secure grant funding to increase the trail opportunities for Paducah’s citizens. We now have more than 4.5 miles of Greenway Trail with additional sections planned for construction over the next two years along the riverfront.”
Thompson adds, “We also have a new walking path and fitness equipment stations that opened last year at the Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park. Paducah’s parks are turning into outdoor health centers for the young and old.”
Many of the questions pertaining to Mobility saw little to no statistical change over the three iterations of the National Citizen Survey. For example, the question asking citizens to rate the quality of street repair in the City varied only one percentage point among the three surveys.
The Engineering-Public Works Department is working toward a goal of seeing an upward trend in the street repair question by implementing a Pavement Management Program. Currently crews are collecting data on the condition of every Paducah street and assigning each street a Pavement Condition Index value between 0 and 100. The Index and the data collected on each street will be put into a software program, PAVER, which pinpoints streets in need of repair and identifies problems that lead to the demise of a street.
City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “With a limited amount of annual funding for street rehabilitation, every dollar counts. This PAVER software will allow us save significant money over time by identifying pavement problems when they are small-scale and before they lead to expensive rehabilitation projects. By using the volume of imported data, the software also provides solution options customized to each street.”
Murphy says the PAVER software will be used for the Fiscal Year 2019 street rehabilitation plan. Once the initial street inventory is completed, each street in the City will be updated in the database every three years.
One result in the Mobility category that City Manager Jim Arndt sees as an opportunity for improvement relates to the quality of sidewalk maintenance in Paducah. Arndt says, “Since 2013, this Survey question has had a decrease of 13 percentage points, a trend that we are making efforts to turn around. We have identified pedestrian connectivity as one of the many priorities in the City of Paducah Strategic Plan.”
Arndt adds, “Increasing the walkability of Paducah through the addition and rehabilitation of sidewalks to ADA standards will take time but will add immense value to a neighborhood and to a citizen’s quality of life.”
The National Citizen Survey, which asks questions about a community’s livability, was mailed earlier this year to 1500 randomly-selected households within the Paducah city limits.