Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2019


In many communities, pedestrian infrastructure is poorly maintained. One challenge is finding sustainable and equitable funding since many municipalities across the country require adjacent property to maintain and repair sidewalks adjacent to their property. These policies are difficult to enforce, may place a high cost on lower-income households, and may be partly responsible for the poor condition of many sidewalks. Therefore, in the first part of this research, we evaluated three alternatives for financing the maintenance of sidewalks in Albuquerque, New Mexico: increasing the gross receipts tax, the gasoline excise tax, or the property tax. We concluded that any of the alternatives would perform better than requiring adjacent property owners to maintain sidewalks. They are generally less regressive, cost less, and would allow municipalities to manage sidewalks more effectively. We also know very little about how the quality and design of pedestrian infrastructure affects the decision to walk. Therefore, in the second part of this research, we conducted a household travel survey to collect data on walking frequency and attributes related to pedestrian infrastructure quality in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We used summary statistics and statistical modeling to identify pedestrian infrastructure attributes associated with more walking. Our results were limited by a small sample size; however, we found that a lack of marked crosswalks was significantly associated with less walking. We did not find any other significant infrastructure effects, possibly due to our small sample size. Having sidewalks and maintaining them were reported to be most important for encouraging walking.


Sidewalks, Finance, Equity, Pedestrian Infrastructure, Quality, Maintenance

Document Type


Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Gregory Rowangould

Second Committee Member

Nicholas Ferenchak

Third Committee Member

Claude Morelli