Our sidewalks are in trouble.
Homeowners should not have to foot the bill for repairs. Nor should people be injured on failing sidewalks. Insurance claims are not a good use of your tax money. We think a small sales tax paid only by home sellers is a fair way to share this community responsibility of improving sidewalks.
State legislators will soon be weighing whether to give rural Washington cities, including Walla Walla, the right to fund street and sidewalk improvements with a 0.25% tax on home sales. Our sidewalks need to be fixed, repairs should be a City responsibility, and Walla Walla deserves the same tools to fund these repairs that West side cities automatically have. It's only fair.
Proposed funding solutions and why they won't work
Last year, a Realtors® group suggested six ways the City of Walla Walla could potentially pay for sidewalk repairs and construction citywide. City staff reviewed the proposed funding sources, and found none would be suitable for a project as costly, long-lasting, and subject-specific as fixing Walla Walla's sidewalks. Read why below.
TBD was promised to residents as a way to "fix the streets," and follows a prioritized list with citizen oversight provided by the Transportation Improvement Advisory Committee. Projects go through that committee and then to Council for review and approval each year, as required by the state-mandated TBD work plan.
Additionally, the voter-approved TBD 0.2% sales tax expires June 30, 2022. That is the end date of the first 10-year period. The City will have to go back to the voters to continue the 0.2% sales tax for the second 10- year period. Currently, agencies are only authorized for two 10-year terms of the 0.2% TBD sales tax. ADA improvements are required on any project defined by the Federal Highway Administration as an alteration (repaving). That is why ramps are addressed on those projects – because there is a nexus.
- The acquisition, construction or maintenance of parking facilities for the benefit of the area;
- Decoration of any public place in the area;
- Sponsorship or promotion of public events which are to take place on or in public places in the area;
- Furnishing of music in any public place in the area;
- Providing professional management, planning, and promotion for the area, including the management and promotion of retail trade activities in the area;
- Providing maintenance and security for common, public areas; or
- Providing transportation services for the benefit of the area."
Additionally, and more importantly, damaged sidewalks are a citywide issue, as shown in a March 12, 2018, City Council Work Session presentation.
To receive grant funding, nearly all transportation programs require matching funds, so agencies must already have funding to get/use grant funding.
Sidewalks increase home values
86% say that sidewalks are a positive factor when buying a home – National Association of Realtors®
A house with a 5 foot-wide sidewalk and two street trees sells for $4,000 to $34,000 more – and in less time – than a similar house – AARP
80% say that walkability is important in deciding where to live – National Association of Realtors®
A 1-point increase in a community’s Walk Score could increase home values by $700 to $3,000 – CEOs for Cities
Sidewalk condition rating map
Type your address in the box on the upper right of the map so see the condition of sidewalks near you.
|Sidewalk Condition Rating(SCR) Legend|
|Lower SCR = Better sidewalk condition|
0 or Null
1 - 10
DISCLAIMER: The City of Walla Walla does not warrant, guarantee or accept any liability for the accuracy, precision or completeness of any information shown or described heron or for any inferences made therefrom. Any use made of this information is solely at the risk of the user.View Larger Map